The first rule of Obamaism is that Obama is always right. The second rule of Obamaism is that Obama meant to do that. The third rule of Obamaism is that he is never responsible for anything.
Obama spent much of his time in the White House taking credit for ending the War in Iraq, even long before it was over. He changed the name and took credit for it. He ran for reelection and kept taking credit for it. He went on taking credit for it until Al Qaeda began taking over Iraq.
Obama surprised a few people during a news conference Thursday by claiming that the 2011 decision to withdraw all U.S. forces from Iraq, a politically popular move on the eve of an election year, was made entirely by his Iraqi counterpart. The implication ran counter to a number of claims that Obama has made in the past, most notably during a tight campaign season two years ago, when he suggested that it was his decision to leave Iraq and end an unpopular war.
For much of that election year, Obama had included a line of celebration in his standard stump speech, one that among an electorate exhausted by more than a decade of war always drew a rousing applause: “Four years ago, I promised to end the war in Iraq,” Obama proclaimed in Bowling Green, Ohio, in September 2012, and did nearly every day after until the election. “We did.”
By “we”, Obama apparently meant the Iraqis.
“With regards to Iraq, you and I agreed, I believe, that there should be a status of forces agreement,” Romney told Obama as the two convened on the Lynn University campus in Boca Raton, Fla., that October evening. “That’s not true,” Obama interjected. “Oh, you didn’t want a status of forces agreement?” Romney asked as an argument ensued. “No,” Obama said. “What I would not have done is left 10,000 troops in Iraq that would tie us down. That certainly would not help us in the Middle East.”
Obama was lying, obviously. But it was an old lie. Attempts had been made to negotiate an agreement even while the White House went on denying that any such thing was going on.
But now Obama is lying all over again in a whole new way.
Q Just very quickly, do you wish you had left a residual force in Iraq? Any regrets about that decision in 2011?
OBAMA: Well, keep in mind that wasn’t a decision made by me; that was a decision made by the Iraqi government. We offered a modest residual force to help continue to train and advise Iraqi security forces.
Obama is finally admitting that he had proposed a residual force, but he did so in such a way as to make it unworkable. That allowed him to have it both ways. He could blame the Iraqis for turning him down while claiming credit for ending the war.
Normally he would play up the war’s ending, not the residual force, but if Iraq went to hell, his ass was still covered.
So suddenly Obama doesn’t want to claim credit for ending the war. He wants Iraq to have all the credit.
No one can say that Barack Obama is not a generous man.