Obama's Rezko--and Iraq--problem
by Artificial Intelligence, Wed Feb 06, 2008 at 04:02:38 AM EST
Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) consistently gets credit for his reservations about the United States pre-emptively going to war with Iraq in 2003. In a single speech delivered October 26, 2002, at a Chicago anti-war rally, Obama said
I don't oppose all wars. ... And I know that in this crowd today, there is no shortage of patriots, or of patriotism. What I am opposed to is a dumb war. What I am opposed to is a rash war. ... That's what I'm opposed to. A dumb war. A rash war. A war based not on reason but on passion, not on principle but on politics.This is the part of his anti-war speech that anyone with access to media has heard. It is the part of his speech upon which Obama has based his run for the presidency, the highest office in the United States, the most powerful nation in the world. But there is within this October 2002 speech, the very next paragraph, in fact, a commentary which begs explanation.
Now let me be clear - I suffer no illusions about Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal man. A ruthless man. A man who butchers his own people to secure his own power. He has repeatedly defied UN resolutions, thwarted UN inspection teams, developed chemical and biological weapons, and coveted nuclear capacity.
He's a bad guy. The world, and the Iraqi people, would be better off without him.
But I also know that Saddam poses no imminent and direct threat to the United States, or to his neighbors, that the Iraqi economy is in shambles, that the Iraqi military a fraction of its former strength, and that in concert with the international community he can be contained until, in the way of all petty dictators, he falls away into the dustbin of history.
Let's focus on the key words "I also know that Saddam poses no imminent and direct threat to the United States, or to his neighbors".
To say that you know something requires an explanation. It has to be based on information certain—not a belief and certainly not hope. How did Obama know? How could he speak with such certainty?
Could it perhaps be because of Obama's 15-to-20-year friendship with indicted Syrian and Chicago resident Tony Rezko, his political fundraiser patron? Could it possibly be because of Rezko's long-term relationship with exiles and former residents of Iraq, Syria and Jordan, many of whom have either resided in or visited Chicago?
Could it possibly be because of Rezko's affiliation with corrupt Iraqi-British billionaire Nadhmi Auchi, the long-time bagman for Saddam Hussein's secret money-laundering trail, to whom Rezko was "introduced several years" prior to 2005 "by a mutual acquaintance in London" and with whom he entered into a multi-million dollar 62-acre Chicago development deal, and the source of the $3.5 million "loan" wired from a Middle East bank that landed Rezko back in jail January 29, 2008, to await jury selection March 3, 2008?
Could it possibly be because of Rezko's affiliation with corrupt Iraqi exile and Chicago resident Aiham Alsammarae who returned to Iraq in 2003 to serve as the Coalition Provisional Authority's minister of electricity and who was jailed in Iraq in relation to missing millions in reconstruction funds?
Could it possibly be because of the joint plan in 2003 by Rezko, Auchi and Alsammarae to build a power plant in Kurdish Iraq—a plan yet unfilled as recently as December 2006?
Brush aside Obama's claims of being guilty of making "bone-headed" mistakes in regards to his Rezko-related issues. This very significant one-degree of separation between himself and Rezko's Iraqi business partners and Saddam Hussein is much more troubling.
The apparently now dead-in-the-water plan for the Iraqi power plant—a plan, by the way, openly discussed by Chicago media—raises greater concerns about his judgement where his ties to Rezko are concerned, extending far beyond the unseemly Rezko-facilitated Obama house deal in Chicago or any other assumptions or assertions about political pay-to-play in Illinois.
Recently, Chicago political blogger Bill Baar raised questions about the connections between Baghdad and Chicago, saying that
Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-Ill.), Chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, "[may] not [be] looking hard enough. There is a fascinating trail of philanthropy between Chicago and Baghdad worth sorting out, and considerable sorting it's going to take."On February 5, 2008, Baar added in regards to the upcoming Rezko trial:
We're going to hear blunt recordings from [the] man who was Obama's mentor for over 17 years with guys who called themselves "The Pope" (Bob Cellini) and "The Rabbi" (Stuart Levin). They're going to sound like players out of the Sopranos raising money for Obama: the unamed Political Candidate in the proffer. (A connection leaked to the [Chicago] Sun Times by maybe Levine or Rezko themselves? I doubt Fitz's office did that.)We can only hope.
All it takes is for Obama's name to pop up a few more times in these documents and recordings and I think Obama will be finished politically. Won't matter if Obama knew about the wrongdoing or not.
Add in the Iraq reconstruction connection when Rezko goes on trial for that, and I think it will be a very damaging picture of Obama's character and judgement. He won't survive Illinois politics and Patrick Fitzgerald.
This article is cross-posted from RezkoWatch.