Obama’s Abandoning Iraq Roadshow

Rick Moran is blog editor of The American Thinker, and Chicago editor of PJ Media.His personal blog is Right Wing Nuthouse.


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President Barack Obama and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki met at the White House on Monday to map out the future relationship between the two countries now that American combat troops will be out of Iraq by the end of this month.

While the president proclaimed that we leave Iraq with our “heads held high,” the re-emergence of Al-Qaeda in Iraq, the increasing influence of Iran on Iraqi affairs, troubling indications of increased oppression by Maliki’s government, and the unstable political situation all point to the rising probability that the 4,400 Americans who died in Iraq may have given their lives in vain.

Indeed, the Washington Post editorial board took the president to task for drawing a “too rosy” picture of Iraq in his remarks following the meeting with Maliki. During those remarks, the president stated no less than 5 times that the war was over, as if he was reminding voters that he kept his “promise” to end the conflict.

Beyond that, there was a strange disconnect between the president’s words and the reality on the ground in Iraq. For example, Obama described Iraq as “sovereign, self-reliant, and democratic” despite the fact that it is clear that Iranian influence is guiding Iraqi foreign policy, that the Iraqi government will rely heavily on America for economic and military aid for the foreseeable future, and that the country is hardly “democratic” in any meaningful sense of the word. Freedom House, which rates countries based on their political and civil liberties, lists Iraq as “Not Free” (“Free” and “Partially Free” are the other designations), and gives the Iraqi government a grade of 5 out of 7 for political freedoms and 6 out of 7 for civil liberties – with 1 being the best grade and 7 the worst.

Freedom House notes:

Iraq is not an electoral democracy. Although it has conducted meaningful elections, political participation and decision-making in the country remain seriously impaired by sectarian and insurgent violence, widespread corruption, and the influence of foreign powers.

Obama also stated that Iraq was “working” to build “efficient and independent and transparent” institutions despite the fact that the Iraqi government is considered wildly corrupt and secretive by Freedom House.

But this didn’t stop the president from trying to cover himself in glory for ending a war he opposed and negotiating a withdrawal that is a disaster. In what CBS News referred to as a “victory lap,” the president used the occasion of Maliki’s visit as part of a carefully staged series of events to publicize the end of the war. The show began on Saturday with the president thanking service members attending the Army-Navy football game and continued with his appearance on 60 Minutes Sunday evening.

Following his meetings with Maliki, the president and prime minister traveled to Arlington National Cemetery for a wreath laying ceremony. Then on Wednesday, the president will be at Fort Bragg addressing the troops, continuing his self-congratulatory tour. While 78% of Americans approve of the withdrawal from Iraq, many analysts believe that the White House didn’t try hard enough to maintain a minimum security force to not only protect Americans still in Iraq, but to deter Iran from stirring up trouble.

This is significant because not only is there the threat of Iran fomenting sectarian strife through its Shia militas, but al-Qaeda in Iraq appears to be making a comeback. One American military observer said that the terrorists may be confined to the north of the country, but carry out about “30 attacks a week” across the country. Just two weeks ago, a car bomb blew up outside of a prison, killing at least 19 and wounded dozens. Two other bombings killed 15 more in Baghdad and another 19 in Basra. The most spectacular recent attack was in August when more than 70 Shia pilgrims were massacred in several different suicide bomb attacks during Ramadan.

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  • Amused

    If anything; he did what he said he would do . If Iraq can not stand on its own , after thousands of American lives sacrified [ by GW ] ,and TRILLIONS in Treasure spent ….oh well . As for any threats or concerns about Iran ? We shoulda thought of that before taking out Saddam ,as bad as we wanna paint him [ and he was bad ] his regime was te best deterrent against Iranian hegemony . And after all Obama's merely doing what many of our own analysts were advising – "declare victory and get the hell out of there " .

    Leave a minimum Security Force ???? FOR WHAT ? Target practice for muslims !!!

    • BIG IRISH

      absolutely! well put…there will never be peace in that hell hole of a country or ANY muslim crap-can over there…islam and democracy are not compatible – simple! never was – not now – and never will be…leave the bastards alone to wipe themselves all out!…then there will be peace with only ISRAEL remaining…what a lovely thought!

      • Guy Faux

        What part of "it's not our country, and they don't want us there" don't the delusional Israel-Firsters not understand? I only wish that Obama would keep his word more often.

        • Amused

          The folly in Iraq 's got nothing to do with Israel firsters , and EVERYTHING to do with GW's following Papa Bush's cronies . .If anything , the whole notion that the Incursion in Iraq was in any way beneficial for Israel, or in anyway for the sake of Israel , is just a red herring .

    • ObamaYoMoma

      We shoulda thought of that before taking out Saddam

      Sorry, I hate to rain on your insane parade as always, but taking out Saddam wasn't the problem. The problem was the subsequent counterproductive nation-building missions which were all founded and based on false leftwing PC multicultural fantasy-based myths and assumptions. Indeed, the same goes for Afghanistan.

  • Amused

    ….and YEA , 78% of Americans think we oughta get out of there ….TOTALLY , and have not qualified that with leaving ANY "minimal security force " .
    Too bad so many of the "editorialists " here, cannot see common sense through their rabid hatred of Obama .
    This article is nothing more than another strawman disguising itself as …cough …cough . "journalism " , which pervades on this blog . It has long been known that Malik speaks out of both sides of his mouth , time to make him accountable ,

  • StephenD

    “The sticking point is still the desire of the US government to give our soldiers immunity from the vagaries of Iraqi prosecution, trying to prevent them from being exposed to a highly politicized and anti-American justice system. Until that arrangement can be worked out, Americans will not be training anyone.”

    Because the Iraqi’s want to be able to “charge” American Military with crimes under Sharia (in other words, they demand we behave as dhimmi's). So what have we accomplished? The place is Islamic and wants to be. They will have no law that supercedes Sharia. Well, if they want to remain as 7th century cave dwellers, I say let them. Whether or not we maintain a presence there is irrelevant in the long run since they will ultimately side with those that believe the same as they…which isn’t us! We would do well by making it clear that if we see the need to we will come back in, welcomed or not, to protect our own interests. If we leave no room for doubt that we will act decisively when we have to, it makes for far less instances that we would have to. Most folks respond to self-preservation…even cave dwellers.

    • davarino

      Next time just nuke em. If they dont start nothin wont be nothin

      • randy

        If the U.S did not play around in different countries, 911 would never have happened.

        • Guy Faux

          Very true, and the Israel-Firsters at FPM know it.

          • ObamaYoMoma

            Yeah right…the 9/11 jihad attacks were America's chickens coming home to roost.

            Indeed, every supporter of Ron Paul without exception are totally obsessed and completely consumed by Jew hating. In fact, if you support Ron Paul, you support Jew bashing!

        • Barb

          Naive-Wake up!

      • Guy Faux

        By that logic, Dav, we could nuke Israel and be done with the problem. (And no, I certainly don't advocate that.)

        • peter

          (Moron mode ON) By that logic, Guy, we could nuke Israel, europe and the US. Voilla! All problems solved. (Moron mode OFF)

  • Rifleman

    Yet we still have troops tied up protecting jihadis in the Balkans. They were sent by wild bill clinton (D) in the 90s, so no withdrawal date for them.

  • Maxie

    The Iraq "war" was a deadly, drawn-out and financially ruinous"nation building" enterprise as is the case in Afghanistan as well. The model for this sort of adventure was/is the Blair-Clinton "Doctrine of International Community" which posits that "human rights" trump national sovereignties. In other words, the world is a neighborhood and the "Western Powers" (America, Great Britain, Canada, Australia) is the police force entitled to invade/punish offending nations. Kosovo was another instance. Hopefully the Iraq/Afghanistan fiasco's will disabuse us of these costly undertakings in the future. Our military are not social workers and the money we send is stolen by the corrupt regimes we prop up. Obama is incidental to this but it needs to end once and for all. If we're going to use our military then use it to devastate the enemy and get it over quick. Otherwise stay home.
    The Iraq/Afghanistan fiascos

  • Maxie

    The Blair/Clinton Doctrine can be seen Here: Chicago Tribune, April 23 article "Blair unveils bold intervention doctrine" by Rob d. Kaiser & Michael McGuire

  • waterwillows

    Well you can be sure of one thing.

    Whatever, that man Obama does, it is not in the best interest of Americans.

  • ObamaYoMoma

    all point to the rising probability that the 4,400 Americans who died in Iraq may have given their lives in vain.

    What you mean may have? They all did die in vain, but as much as I can't stand Obama, it's not Obama's fault, it's GWB's fault, as the fantasy based nation-building missions in Afghanistan and Iraq, which together constitute the two biggest strategic blunders ever in American history, were preordained to fail since even before they were ever implemented because they were both founded on fantasy based false PC multicultural myths and assumptions.

    Thus, if you are going to point the finger of blame for what is inevitably happening in Iraq today, point it squarely at GWB and not at Obama. Look I don't like Obama as much as the next guy, but if we blame Obama for what is inevitably happening in Iraq today, then that amounts to self-delusion.

    As for as the current situation in Iraq goes, I could care less, since the reality is they are our eternal enemies. Indeed, the nation-building missions in both Iraq and Afghanistan are not only exceedingly fantasy based, but they are also incredibly misguided and counterproductive because they amounted to propping up and building up what are in reality our eternal enemies.

    Indeed, if anyone is gullible enough to believe the governments of Iraq and Afghanistan are democracies, then give me a call at BR-549, because I have a bridge to sell you. The fact of the matter is they are both Sharia states, thanks to Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad, a stealth jihadists that penetrated, not the Obama administration, but the GWB administration.

    Now is Obama delusional and incompetent? Does a bear crap in the woods? However, GWB was just as delusional and incompetent as Obama is today. Indeed, the Republican Party and the Dhimmicrat Party today are really just two sides of the same incompetent Leftwing coin, and never mind the fact that the Left is totally in bed with Islam.

    Too bad Republicans are trying to cover up the disgraceful disaster of Iraq they are largely responsible for, because they could rub Obama's so-called victory lap in his face.

    While 78% of Americans approve of the withdrawal from Iraq, many analysts believe that the White House didn’t try hard enough to maintain a minimum security force to not only protect Americans still in Iraq, but to deter Iran from stirring up trouble.

    I hate to rain on those unhinged analyst's parade, but the only way to deter Iran is to eradicate the ruling Mullahs and their nuclear weapons program. Indeed, something that should have been done long ago instead of occupying Iraq to pursue silly and asinine incredibly counterproductive nation-building missions that couldn't have been more fantasy based.

    This is significant because not only is there the threat of Iran fomenting sectarian strife through its Shia militas, but al-Qaeda in Iraq appears to be making a comeback.

    Great news! Indeed, as soon as Saddam was ousted and Iraq had been scoured for WMD, we should have gotten the hell out of Iraq ASAP, crossing our fingers and hoping at the same time that the gigantic vacuum we created via the ouster of Saddam, would lead to a massive jihad between the Sunni and Shi'a that would have lasted for many years, as Muslim on Muslim violence is very counterproductive for the Dar al Islam (them) and their stealth global jihad and exceedingly productive for the Dar al Harb (us), the targets of their stealth global jihad.

    Indeed, a jihad between the Sunni and Shi'a, although delayed at the expense of dead American troops who all died in vain, would be a very good outcome indeed. Otherwise, Iraq becomes the poodle of Iran and Iran completes its Shi'a crescent and acquires nukes.

    One American military observer said that the terrorists may be confined to the north of the country,

    The terrorists, right! Give me a break! Indeed, his absurd analysis is definitely the result of our military being transformed from what used to be a merit based organization to a what is today a diversity based organization, and as a direct result it is an organization that couldn't be anymore ill equipped to fight this war, as sad as that is to say.

    –continued below

  • ObamaYoMoma

    Just two weeks ago, a car bomb blew up outside of a prison, killing at least 19 and wounded dozens. Two other bombings killed 15 more in Baghdad and another 19 in Basra. The most spectacular recent attack was in August when more than 70 Shia pilgrims were massacred in several different suicide bomb attacks during Ramadan.

    Who cares and why? We should be applauding Muslim on Muslim violence? Hell, after all they are our eternal enemies.

    Indeed, some of you people need to get out of your minds the notion that Islam is a Religion of Peace™ being hijacked as by a tiny minority of extremists, since when GWB made that utterly absurd proclamation he was trying to pander to Muslims for votes, even though they had just blew up the WTC, the Pentagon, and murdered 3,000 innocent Americans.

    John McCain said

    McCain and his ilk, who have been some of the biggest cheerleaders for our terribly misguided “War on Terror” should be tarred and feathered. Who cares what that unhinged loon says? He's a moron of major proportions, and also bares some of the responsibility for what are the two biggest strategic blunders ever in American history.

    Those “shared interests” include trying to keep Iran at arm’s length in order to allow Iraq to develop without interference from Tehran.

    In other words, McCain is still so blinded by PC multiculturalism, that he still hasn’t realized how incredibly counterproductive, totally misguided, and extremely fantasy based our senseless nation-building missions in Afghanistan and Iraq have been. I'm not surprised in the least. Like I said folks, the Republican Party and the Dhimmicrat Party are really two sides of the same Leftwing coin today, as sad as that is.

    It’s this kind of magical thinking that that could result in an eventual catastrophe as Iran seeks to dominate the political life of Iraq as time goes on.

    Give me a break…the writer really means the preordained and inevitable catastrophe. Either that or he is as mentally incompetent as McCain. Look, I dislike Obama as much as everyone else, but lets not continue deluding ourselves. All of this was inevitable, even before we ever occupied Iraq. Indeed, nation-building missions in Muslim countries or anywhere else for that matter are a fool's game. Can we please at least learn from our major strategic blunders. How about holding all of those responsible for engineering these two biggest strategic blunders ever in American history to account. Anyone?

    the president has been trying to work out an arrangement that would allow the US to continue to train the Iraqi army while supplying it with first class military hardware. To that end, the president will ask congress to approve the sale of another 18 F-16 fighters to rebuild the Iraqi air force that was destroyed during the war. A previous sale of 18 F-16′s was approved last summer.

    Yeah right, let's train and arm our eternal enemies, even while they are already the poodle of Iran. Again, the Republican Party and the Dhimmicrat Party are really two sides of the same incompetent Leftwing coin and it's pathetic.

  • scum

    Bush said the war was over 8 years ago. Horowitz now says he's not a neo-con and opposes the war, despite the fact that he called perfectly legal opposition to the war 'nearly traitorous.' Why should we stay?

    • ObamaYoMoma

      Hey scum…did your mother accidentally drop you on your head when you were just a baby? Just wondering.

  • Caarbondioxide

    The deceptive, high-priced theocracies the US government spends billions planting are producing their bitter fruit.
    I had forgotten Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad, but do recall a newsmagazine cheerfully report that when it came Iraqi contitution writing time, the US State Department (I would say incomprehensibly) put a UN official and an Iraqi cleric in charge. That State Department formula reminded me of the old computer science slogan "GIGO" – garbage in garbage out. Our eternal enemies working together if I might borrow a bit of ObamaYoMama's apt description.