Author Topic: The Abandoned War By Rich Lowry  (Read 206 times)

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The Abandoned War By Rich Lowry
« on: August 12, 2014, 09:35:39 AM »
http://www.nationalreview.com/node/385191/print

 NATIONAL REVIEW ONLINE         

August 12, 2014 12:00 AM
The Abandoned War
After boasting for three years that he “ended” the Iraq War, Obama says it was Bush’s fault.
By Rich Lowry

There was a time not so long ago when President Barack Obama boasted of how he had “ended” the Iraq War. It was, in his telling, a sign of his stalwart fidelity to his word.

A video produced by his 2012 presidential campaign was titled “Ending the War in Iraq: A Promise Kept.” In December 2011 his website said: “This month, President Obama is making good on his promise to bring the last American troops home from Iraq in time for the holidays.” The president portrayed the complete withdrawal of U.S. troops as testimony to his exemplary political character. “You know I say what I mean and I mean what I say,” he told crowds during his reelection campaign. “I said I’d end the war in Iraq. I ended it.”

That’s as definitive a statement of responsibility as you get. But now that the president has “restarted” the war in Iraq — with limited air strikes against the terrorist group ISIS, which has thrived in the vacuum created, in part, by our total exit — he is not in such a buoyantly boastful mood.

At a press availability over the weekend about his new bombing campaign, the president kvetched about all those people who keep insisting that he ended the Iraq War: “What I just find interesting is the degree to which this issue keeps on coming up, as if this was my decision.”

It is true that the Bush administration had agreed to end our troop presence, and if we were going to stay, Obama had to negotiate a new status-of-forces agreement with the Iraqis. Why it didn’t happen is a complicated question, and Iraqi resistance is part of the answer. But Obama was perfectly content with the outcome.

“The leaders of all the major Iraqi parties had privately told American commanders that they wanted several thousand military personnel to remain, to train Iraqi forces and to help track down insurgents,” according to a definitive account in The New Yorker by Dexter Filkins. Obama was “ambivalent about retaining even a small force in Iraq,” Filkins writes. American officials negotiating with the Iraqis were left without guidance from the White House for months, and when Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki offered to sign an executive agreement — bypassing the problematic Iraqi parliament — the administration said “no.”

Filkins quotes an Iraqi politician: “The American attitude was: Let’s get out of here as quickly as possible.” And why not? This was the fulfillment of Obama’s defining political promise. When we were out of Iraq entirely, he didn’t say how regrettable it was; he declared “mission accomplished.”

It’s only after the ensuing disaster that we learn he was an innocent bystander. It may be that Iraq — after being largely pacified by 2009 — would have fallen apart even if we had maintained a residual force. But troops on the ground gave us the influence to restrain Maliki from his worst instincts.

Without the U.S. as an honest broker, it has been downhill ever since. Lieutenant General Michael Barbero, the former deputy commander in Iraq, told Filkins, “Everything that has happened there was not just predictable — we predicted it.”

Iraq is perhaps the purest expression of the Obama doctrine. We removed ourselves entirely from the country on the assumption that we could diminish our influence without baleful consequence and that there were effective substitutes for military power. Now that the most powerful terrorist group of modern times controls large parts of Iraq and neighboring Syria, we are back at war, although without the requisite seriousness or comprehensive strategy.

What is happening in Iraq is exactly what we fought to prevent with the surge in 2007 and 2008. It is heartbreaking commentary on President Obama’s recklessness that we are now in an arguably worse position, with fewer options to reverse it. He never ended the Iraq War, as he so proudly said. He only abandoned it.

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Re: The Abandoned War By Rich Lowry
« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2014, 11:04:01 AM »
Quote
What is happening in Iraq is exactly what we fought to prevent with the surge in 2007 and 2008. It is heartbreaking commentary on President Obama’s recklessness that we are now in an arguably worse position, with fewer options to reverse it. He never ended the Iraq War, as he so proudly said. He only abandoned it.

This is what happens when you elect a president who truly thinks that America is a very bad place, and removing our influence will be good for the world.

Now the world is on fire, and we have a 'leader' who doesn't give a rip.
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Offline jmyrlefuller

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Re: The Abandoned War By Rich Lowry
« Reply #2 on: August 12, 2014, 12:36:30 PM »
Quote
It may be that Iraq — after being largely pacified by 2009 — would have fallen apart even if we had maintained a residual force. But troops on the ground gave us the influence to restrain Maliki from his worst instincts.

Without the U.S. as an honest broker, it has been downhill ever since.
Well, that's what colonialism gets you: a group of people unable to govern their own affairs and more than willing to pawn them off on us, on our dime. You don't think Iraqis are going to pay taxes to us, do you?

I'm sorry, but there comes a point where Iraq should no longer be our business. This is the fourth consecutive President to inject the country in a dispute we have no direct interest in fighting, each with its own flimsy excuse.
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Re: The Abandoned War By Rich Lowry
« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2014, 12:57:07 PM »
Quote
A video produced by his 2012 presidential campaign was titled “Ending the War in Iraq: A Promise Kept.” In December 2011 his website said: “This month, President Obama is making good on his promise to bring the last American troops home from Iraq in time for the holidays.”

Cynical, demagogic propaganda befitting a Third World dictator in a "free" (stacked) election.
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Re: The Abandoned War By Rich Lowry
« Reply #4 on: August 12, 2014, 01:57:02 PM »
Well, that's what colonialism gets you: a group of people unable to govern their own affairs and more than willing to pawn them off on us, on our dime. You don't think Iraqis are going to pay taxes to us, do you?

I'm sorry, but there comes a point where Iraq should no longer be our business. This is the fourth consecutive President to inject the country in a dispute we have no direct interest in fighting, each with its own flimsy excuse.

Iraq is very much our business because it is where ISIS is festering and growing, and will be an immediate threat to our national security.
Character still matters.  It always matters.

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Offline sinkspur

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Re: The Abandoned War By Rich Lowry
« Reply #5 on: August 12, 2014, 03:12:55 PM »
Well, that's what colonialism gets you: a group of people unable to govern their own affairs and more than willing to pawn them off on us, on our dime. You don't think Iraqis are going to pay taxes to us, do you?

I'm sorry, but there comes a point where Iraq should no longer be our business. This is the fourth consecutive President to inject the country in a dispute we have no direct interest in fighting, each with its own flimsy excuse.

Yours is the perfect example of why Rand Paul will never be elected President.  We can't take the risk of a hesitant president in the war on terrorism, ever again.
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Re: The Abandoned War By Rich Lowry
« Reply #6 on: August 12, 2014, 04:18:55 PM »
Yours is the perfect example of why Rand Paul will never be elected President.  We can't take the risk of a hesitant president in the war on terrorism, ever again.

Amen!
Character still matters.  It always matters.

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Offline Fishrrman

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Re: The Abandoned War By Rich Lowry
« Reply #7 on: August 12, 2014, 10:24:07 PM »
sinkspur wrote above:
[[ We can't take the risk of a hesitant president in the war on terrorism, ever again. ]]

A "war on terrorism" does nothing, and will never be able to do anything, regarding the real enemy The West faces.

That enemy cannot and will not be defeated by replacing regimes and by re-drawing international boundaries. Because that "enemy" has nothing to do with regimes and boundaries.

Well, there is one "boundary" that exists: the one between dar al-harb and dar al-islam. Until we are willing to build a barrier that prevents dar al-islam from continuing its advance throughout the world, and until we are willing to force the return of all muslims to dar al-islam, we are losing whatever "war" there exists, be it on terrorism or otherwise.
« Last Edit: August 12, 2014, 10:24:59 PM by Fishrrman »


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