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Donít Blame Iraq on Obama Alone
National Review ^ | 06/14/2014 | Andrew C. McCarthy

Posted on 06/14/2014 7:06:23 PM PDT by SeekAndFind

I’ve just written Faithless Execution, a book positing that there is such a solid legal case of high crimes and misdemeanors committed by the president that the time is ripe to build a political case for his impeachment. I have argued, moreover, that the president’s policy of appeasing and empowering Islamic supremacists has been a national-security catastrophe, catalyzing a jihadist resurgence across the Middle East.

It is pretty safe to say I am no fan of Barack Obama’s. But it is just as safe to say that for Beltway Republicans to blame Obama alone for the implosion of Iraq — which is now being overrun by the same Sunni jihadists those Republicans have championed in Syria and Libya — is shameful.

Look, I will stipulate that the president’s signature recklessness is abundantly evident in Iraq. He heedlessly withdrew U.S. forces, making no effort to preserve the security gains they achieved in routing al-Qaeda, even as it became obvious that the withdrawal had evaporated those gains and invited the terror network to return with a vengeance.

Still, it was not Obama who agreed to the withdrawal schedule. It was President Bush. And it was not Obama who turned Iraq into an Islamic-supremacist state seething with anti-American and anti-Semitic hatred. Long before Obama came to power, Iraq was an Islamist country, rife with Sunni and Shiite militants who agreed on little else besides their devotion to sharia and their abhorrence of the West.

In late 2008, several weeks before Obama entered the Oval Office, I wrote here about the status of forces agreement (SOFA) the Bush administration was then entering into with the ingrate Shiite government of Nouri al-Maliki. Even then, Iraq was pulling ever closer to the terrorist regime in Iran while American troops continued fighting to protect Maliki’s fledgling government from al-Qaeda jihadists — jihadists that the insidious mullahs were also supplying with money, training, and IEDs.

In the SOFA, the Bush administration agreed to strict withdrawal deadlines that invited al-Qaeda to catch its breath, wait out the United States, then resume the jihad as Americans were leaving — the better to make it look to the world like they were chasing us out. All American combat operations were to cease in mid 2009; and, at the end of 2011, all American forces would pull out of Iraq. The 2008 SOFA is the basis for the American withdrawal that Obama so anxiously consummated. It is what promised a resumption of Islam’s eternal, internecine bloodletting between Sunnis and Shiites that now has Iraq on the verge of collapse.

To listen to Republicans and those who foolishly repeat their revisionist history, you would think Obama inherited the Iraq so delusionally envisioned by Islamic-democracy-project devotees: a free, pluralistic democracy that would be a reliable counterterrorism ally and a thorn in totalitarian Iran’s side.

In reality, Iraq remains an incorrigible sharia society in which the persecution of religious minorities and homosexuals is routine. Far from democratizing the country in any cultural sense, Bush officials fortified these tendencies by encouraging Iraq’s adoption of a constitution that enshrined Islam as the state religion and sharia as a primary source of law. Under American occupation, Iraq continued to shun diplomatic relations with Israel and to cheer the “resistance” waged by Hamas and Hezbollah. It sought closer ties with Tehran, a desire the Bush administration indulged on the fantasy rationale that Iran had a strong interest in a stable Iraq — even as everyone knew Iran was fueling anti-American terrorism in Iraq by both Shiite and Sunni jihadist cells.

Why did President Bush agree to the SOFA on his way out of office (under the pressure of a December 31, 2008, expiration of the U.N. mandate approving U.S. military operations there)? Because it was the best deal he could get in an Islamist country that despises America.

Beginning in 2003, fatwas calling for violent jihad against American forces in Iraq were issued by influential sharia jurists, including Sheikh Yusuf Qaradawi and Sheikh Abdulla bin Bayyah (who are now Obama administration consultants). Because our government eschews the study of Islamic-supremacist ideology, most Americans remain unaware that these fatwas represented a mainstream interpretation of sharia in the Muslim Middle East: If Western forces occupy Islamic territory, and especially if they are peddling concepts like Western democracy, they must be driven out — even if, in their own minds, they are do-gooders trying to make life better for Muslims.

The Iraqi mindset was obvious in public polling: In 2008, four in ten Iraqis continued to see Americans as legitimate terror targets — and the figure had recently hovered close to six in ten. Fully 80 percent of Iraqis said they wanted Americans to vacate their country. In the one vestige of Iraqi democracy about which the Bush administration could brag, the nation’s holding of popular elections, candidates competed with each other over who could most strenuously condemn the United States and demand that our troops leave yesterday.

It is certainly understandable that after thousands of lost lives and hundreds of billions of wasted dollars, veterans of the war in Iraq are incensed to see the triumphant march of an al-Qaeda offshoot — the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (greater Syria or “the Levant”) — through cities they once heroically wrested from terrorist control. After all the American sacrifice, it is infuriating to watch jihadists triumph while Obama idles.

But is it fair to blame these developments on our overmatched commander-in-chief?

Many of us on the right supported the toppling of Saddam Hussein. He was a terror supporter. In those post-9/11 days, there was reason to believe our government was serious about dealing with terror-supporting regimes as if they were terrorists. If Saddam was the next domino to fall after the Taliban, all to the good — it didn’t seem like he’d be the last.

But then the Bush doctrine morphed from a crackdown on the jihad into a reimagining of the Middle East. When democracy predictably didn’t take, the dreamers decided to define democracy down rather than admit failure. “Democracy” somehow became fully compatible with repressive sharia, and we fantasized that anti-Western Islamic supremacists were democratic allies and that Iran would play a constructive regional role.

It was absurd. Yet it was the unquestioned premise for concluding, in 2008, that a sharia state gravitating ever further into Iran’s orbit — an Iraqi state that was dependent on the loyalty of Shiite militias and was already in a simmering conflict with its restive Sunni minority — could be trusted in the imminent draw-down, then complete absence, of American troops to preserve the security gains hard won by American bravery and know-how.

Our troops did astonishing work given the severe limitations placed on them. It was not within their capabilities, though, to democratize Iraq — not unless we were willing to occupy that country for generations with a firm purpose to stamp out its sharia culture. And while our troops demolished al-Qaeda in Iraq, it was not within their capabilities to conclusively defeat a global enemy by demolishing it in one country.

In 2008, we announced we were leaving and provided a timeline for our departure under circumstances where a new American president, bitterly opposed to the war in Iraq, was about to assume power. From that point on, al-Qaeda’s return was inevitable.

Has President Obama been a disaster in Iraq — as in every other place? Sure he has. The security situation in Iraq steadily deteriorated as American forces departed. Maliki was sufficiently desperate that he’d surely have renegotiated the SOFA if Obama had been interested in preserving what our troops had fought for. Obama, however, is all about Obama: He wanted to run for reelection as the president who “ended” the war in Iraq, just as he is now legacy-chasing to be the president who “ended” the war in Afghanistan — even if “ending” really means al-Qaeda and its allies win.

Let’s not pretend, though, that America’s Middle East mess is strictly an Obama production. Today, a Sunni jihadist in Iraq might be killed by an American drone in support, incredibly, of the Iranian military intervention to prop up Iraq’s Shiite government. But if that same Sunni jihadist instead crosses the border into Syria, he will be given American-supplied weapons to fight against the Iranian military intervention that props up Syria’s Shiite government.

That kind of insanity does not happen overnight. It happens after more than 20 years of willful blindness to the ideology of our enemies, and more than 20 years without a strategic vision of the global jihadist challenge.

— Andrew C. McCarthy is a policy fellow at the National Review Institute. His latest book, Faithless Execution: Building the Political Case for Obama’s Impeachment, was released by Encounter Books on June 3.


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Government; News/Current Events; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: andycmccarthy; cino; iraq; ntsa; obama; upyours; whinewhinewhinewhine

1 posted on 06/14/2014 7:06:23 PM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

Don’t Blame Iraq on Obama Alone


Yep. I blame Hillary for a lot of this mess too.


2 posted on 06/14/2014 7:08:11 PM PDT by boycott
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To: boycott

don’t forget effin Kerry.


3 posted on 06/14/2014 7:11:19 PM PDT by Secret Agent Man (Gone Galt; Not averse to Going Bronson.)
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To: SeekAndFind

“it was not Obama who agreed to the withdrawal schedule. It was President Bush.”

Assuming that we had a status of forces agreement with a secure base left behind.


4 posted on 06/14/2014 7:13:14 PM PDT by garjog (Obama: bringing joy to the hearts of Terrorists everywhere.)
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To: SeekAndFind
obama, hiLIARy and J Finning Kerry

The children are running the country. We need adults

5 posted on 06/14/2014 7:13:38 PM PDT by FatherofFive (Islam is evil and must be eradicated)
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To: SeekAndFind

You can blame anyone except for the neocons. Especially those at National Review. They’re NEVER wrong.


6 posted on 06/14/2014 7:13:39 PM PDT by Romulus
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To: Romulus

So, we should never have invaded Iraq?


7 posted on 06/14/2014 7:15:49 PM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

was the release of the Gitmo 5 part of the SOFA?
just saying


8 posted on 06/14/2014 7:19:35 PM PDT by dontreadthis
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To: SeekAndFind
It is NOT ENOUGH to impeach Obama. He is the Commander in Chief and he is completely ape-s*** betraying us, betraying his obligation to protect uphold and defend. He must be relieved of command, as would be done for any general who has failed in his basic duties. Arrest, incarcerate and then charge him with treason. Impeachment can follow.
9 posted on 06/14/2014 7:29:02 PM PDT by Missouri gal
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To: SeekAndFind

I am deeply disappointed in Andrew C McCarthy -— let me just leave it at that...

Is Obama ghost-writing for him now?!


10 posted on 06/14/2014 7:35:59 PM PDT by Innovative ("Winning isn't everything, it's the only thing." -- Vince Lombardi)
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To: SeekAndFind

Andrew C. McCarthy forgets where the buck stops.
Who is the chief executive?
Who is the one ultimately responsible?
“The buck stops here”, does he remember where that sign sat?


11 posted on 06/14/2014 7:37:31 PM PDT by Darksheare (Try my coffee, first one's free..... Even robots will kill for it!)
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To: Romulus

Heh. Well said.


12 posted on 06/14/2014 7:42:25 PM PDT by Psalm 144
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To: garjog
it was not Obama who agreed to the withdrawal schedule. It was President Bush.

And 0bama had no ability whatsoever as President in the last six years to reverse that decision or change its course. None.

Premise rejected as complete bullsh!t

13 posted on 06/14/2014 7:48:59 PM PDT by Hardastarboard (Please excuse the potholes in this tagline. Social programs have to take priority in our funding.)
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To: SeekAndFind
"Beginning in 2003, fatwas calling for violent jihad against American forces in Iraq were issued by influential sharia jurists, including Sheikh Yusuf Qaradawi and Sheikh Abdulla bin Bayyah (who are now Obama administration consultants)."

The problem is that the US government will not treat Islam for what it is. Islam is a religion AND government rolled into one. Islam is not satisfied until ALL OTHER RELIGIONS are subjugated to Islam.

Islam should NOT be recognized nor protected as a religion in the US. Until we make that move, we will be losing the war against Islam.

14 posted on 06/14/2014 7:50:20 PM PDT by Bryan24 (When in doubt, move to the right..........)
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To: SeekAndFind
Yep, I think the same.

Its fun to pile on Obama and he deserves it.

But it was Bush's mess.
Invading, occupying and democratizing poor dysfunctional crapholes where they hate us was a bad idea,
sadly I believed Bush, Cheney, Rummy etc in the early 2000s.


15 posted on 06/14/2014 7:54:45 PM PDT by sickoflibs (King Obama : 'The debate is over. The time for talk is over. Just follow my commands you serfs""')
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To: Bryan24

I’m wondering, how are 2 idiots who called for jihad on our men and women, serving our current CIC? Wth?

I don’t know, you’d think the muslims have enough to tangle with over on their side of the world, and just leave America out of it, blood thirsty evil freaks.


16 posted on 06/14/2014 8:07:53 PM PDT by AllAmericanGirl44
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To: AllAmericanGirl44

I’d like to hear Obama justify their service.


17 posted on 06/14/2014 8:12:51 PM PDT by Bryan24 (When in doubt, move to the right..........)
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To: SeekAndFind
So, we should never have invaded Iraq?

If we never intended to stay their for at least twenty years, then yes, we should have never invaded. Arabs aren't capable of handling democracy.

18 posted on 06/14/2014 8:14:33 PM PDT by dfwgator
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To: SeekAndFind
The past is the past. There is no way in heck GWB would have done the following.

Send weapons and cash to Al Qeada terrorist in Syria.

Ignore the Iraqi's plea for help against terrorism.

Ignore the Iraqi demands for air strikes on the advancing terrorist columns.

Blame the Iraqi government for the large powerful ISIS Blitzkrieg.

Or ignore the Kurds warning about ISIS's actual plans over a year ago.

Also, it was the neocons who wanted to topple Assad.

19 posted on 06/14/2014 8:16:36 PM PDT by justa-hairyape (The user name is sarcastic. Although at times it may not appear that way.)
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To: SeekAndFind

Obama said “I” got the troops out of Iraq. You’re not saying he lied to us are you Andrew?


20 posted on 06/14/2014 8:21:19 PM PDT by Lurkina.n.Learnin
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To: dfwgator; All
If we never intended to stay their for at least twenty years, then yes, we should have never invaded. Arabs aren't capable of handling democracy

This.

21 posted on 06/14/2014 8:22:21 PM PDT by TADSLOS (The Event Horizon has come and gone. Buckle up and hang on.)
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To: Bryan24

I almost cringe at the thought of how many lies it would take to explain this crap!


22 posted on 06/14/2014 8:23:31 PM PDT by AllAmericanGirl44
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McCarthy’s benevolence here is over the top.

>> persecution of religious minorities and homosexuals is routine.

Routine to what, Islam? What about the honor killings, repression of women?

>> Bush administration agreed to strict withdrawal deadlines

A complete withdrawal, no exceptions?

>> The 2008 SOFA is the basis for the American withdrawal that Obama so anxiously consummated.

Yeah, Bush’s fault. Especially in consideration of Obama’s allegiance to existing policies, and unwillingness to change things around — chart a different course. /s

No, Andrew, the destabilization of Iraq is NOT Bush’s fault.


23 posted on 06/14/2014 8:25:08 PM PDT by Gene Eric (Don't be a statist!)
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To: SeekAndFind

[Warning Profanity]

OLD FOOTAGE from back in the Iraq war, American soldier trying to guide Iraqi police, sums up why Iraq failed, it never changed.

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=760_1402758789


24 posted on 06/14/2014 8:34:47 PM PDT by Fitzy_888 ("ownership society")
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To: SeekAndFind

National Review has been very supportive of Obama lately.

No mentin the ISIS leader was released by Obama 5 years ago, no mention ISIS was outnumbered 40-1, no mentioned Obama is in cahoots with Iran. Obama has done everything possible to stop oil production in the US.

This is all a farce. Afghan opium is flooding world markets, Iran and Pakistan are ships, are being seized with tones of pure heroin India Ocean by Canadian and Australian ships and this isn’t being reported by US media. The major flow of heroin from Canada, and the epdedemic opiate addiction problem is the US is ignored by Federal agencies.

Now oil prices will go sky high. Didnt this happen with Carter. The OPEC cartels are also drug cartels. Taliban, Al Qaeda, Muslim Brotherhood are the criminal element of those cartels, supported by government.

Our government is TREAONOUS.


25 posted on 06/14/2014 8:47:52 PM PDT by mgist (.)
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To: SeekAndFind

I normally really like mcCarthy, but this is deeply flawed.

The Bush administration refused to specify a terminus for Iraq in 2008. That was a huge part of the criticism of their policy.

Obama pressed primarily on a promise to end the Iraq war. Unlike most competent presidents, he did not complete a Status of Forces Agreement. While Bush had built preliminary frameworks for such an agreement, the Obama team specifically allowed it to collapse.

There were no provisions in 2009 for the return of our forces in a crisis like the one Iraq faces today. That is why Obama is struggling to construct a relationship now. That is absolutely not Bush’s fault.

Since Vietnam, the nation continues to struggle to restore the logic we understood until that time. We must completely defeat our enemies.

In many respects, the current Islamic Supremacist movement is little different than the Shinto Supremacists we faced in Japan. We still have troops deployed in Japan and Japan remains relatively demilitarized as the third largest world economy.

Some kind of defeat and occupation like that will be completed of the Islamic world.

The anti-American war movement composed by libertarian Paulites and lefty code pinkos must be defeated here at home in order for us to defeat our enemies. Until then, we earn only temporary vacations from evil.

Though shintoism is still practiced in Japan, there is nearly zero chance of that religion rising as it did 70 years ago to create the mega death machine that killed 20 million people. That is because our harsh military order stripped their rhetorical gears. This will be done to Islamic radicalism at some point in this century.

I sometimes think we need to simply allow the supremacists to turn more of our nation into craters so that isolationism can be thoroughly discredited. We cannot temporarily suspend evil. It must be soundly defeated and the moral alternative must always be clear. We must be the strong horse as Bin Laden said.


26 posted on 06/14/2014 8:58:53 PM PDT by lonestar67 (I remember when unemployment was 4.7 percent / Cruz 2016)
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To: SeekAndFind

and to think Al-Quida was “on the run”. Little did I know Barry Hussein meant back to Iraq.

Osama Bin Laden is dead? Prove it. (oh that’s right, you dumped him overboard, then had Seal 6 team massacred)

Thanks for nothing Barry.


27 posted on 06/14/2014 9:15:43 PM PDT by eyedigress ((zOld storm chaser from the west)/?s)
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To: SeekAndFind
In reality, Iraq remains an incorrigible sharia society in which the persecution of religious minorities and homosexuals is routine. Far from democratizing the country in any cultural sense

Andy appears here to suffer from the common confusion between the two frequently used meanings of the term "democracy."

One refers to a method by which leaders are chosen by a society.

The other refers to a massive complex of social institutions and attitudes which are more appropriately called "civil society."

The confusion results when McCarthy and others assume that A will necessarily result in B. Whereas it is entirely possible that a particular society will choose democratically (in "the people make the choices" meaning) to have a society that is not in the least democratic in the civil society sense of the word.

28 posted on 06/14/2014 9:30:58 PM PDT by Sherman Logan (Perception wins all the battles. Reality wins all the wars.)
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To: SeekAndFind

Yes. Even further we should not have interfered when they took over Kuwait


29 posted on 06/14/2014 9:40:55 PM PDT by Cronos (Obama’s dislike of Assad is not based on Assad’s brutality but that he isn't a jihadi Moslem)
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To: Cronos

sarcasm noted.


30 posted on 06/14/2014 9:43:19 PM PDT by eyedigress ((zOld storm chaser from the west)/?s)
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To: Bryan24

He doesn’t have to — he is on their side.


31 posted on 06/14/2014 9:57:20 PM PDT by 353FMG
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To: SeekAndFind

One thing is clear. GW Bush, supposedly a Christian, never lifted a finger to help one in the Middle East. He should have instituted a policy which would have allowed all persecuted Christians amnesty here while leaving the Islamists to fight each other.


32 posted on 06/15/2014 1:00:31 AM PDT by tinamina
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To: SeekAndFind
In October 2011 I posted a piece which incorporated another reply from just before the eve of the election on November 4, 2006. The earlier piece anticipates in 2006 much of what Andrew McCarthy writes today.

I think we have to understand the situation in Iran as being driven by the Sunni vs. Shia centuries long feud and the theater of war, for now, consists of Syria, Iraq, and Iran. Seen from this theater wide perspective, our policy in these three countries is worse than incoherent it is mutually antagonistic. Andrew McCarthy sums it up brilliantly:

Today, a Sunni jihadist in Iraq might be killed by an American drone in support, incredibly, of the Iranian military intervention to prop up Iraq’s Shiite government. But if that same Sunni jihadist instead crosses the border into Syria, he will be given American-supplied weapons to fight against the Iranian military intervention that props up Syria’s Shiite government.

McCarthy's historical explanation for this incoherence is a 20 year willful blindness to the global jihadist challenge. I do not disagree but I think the reason is that we have not yet found a formula that works; not because we fail realistically to identify the threat, but because we are afraid to articulate the threat for fear of compromising our ability to enlist Muslims to neutralize Islamicists. That may have been Bush's motivation for failing the call the enemy anything but "terrorism." Allah alone knows what motivates Obama and his willful blindness.

McCarthy and McCain are at odds here. Most FReepers, I suspect counterintuitively, would side with McCain who is on the airways insisting that the war was won under George Bush; that a stable government was in place; that a small American presence without physical risk would have maintained the peace; that al Malaki would be intimidated by our mere presence into good behavior so the Sunnis would not be marginalized, energized and in revolt. McCarthy takes the view which I expressed in my 2006 piece incorporated below to the effect that the idea of imposing democracy on Islam is hopeless until the culture profoundly changes. More specifically, an outside third party, even the United States with all its might, cannot put Sunni and Shia together and expect peace for ever and ever.

One last observation about the current mess before appending the two pieces to which I referred: we must identify the most dangerous and imminent enemy. That clearly would be Iran in possession of atomic weapon. If we support the regime against the Sunni insurgents in Iraq we really risk combining the potential petrodollars of Iraq with the potential atomic power of Iran under Shia fanatics. Iran in possession of the atomic bomb and missiles or terrorists with which to deliver them would be an incalculable calamity and an existential threat to the United States.

Here is the piece, (October 2011) actually two in one:

So This Is How Iraq Ends, in Futility, Bitterness, and Recrimination

After nearly 5000 body bags, tens of thousands of limbs, and $1 trillion, Obama is skedaddling from Iraq, vainly attempting to put the best face on the ignominy of our departure which is demanded by the very Iraqi nation we built. A war, originally started to make us safe from weapons of mass destruction, was waged against a psychotic dictator who had no such weapons. We succeeded in regime change, which was a good thing and proceeded to build a nation, which was a futile endeavor. Somehow, we lost sight of our national strategic interests for which we sacrificed our blood and treasure.

Today, we are facing a new Islamist crescent, dominated by Iran, and running from Pakistan nearly to the Atlantic shores of northern Africa. One of these nations is in possession of nuclear weapons and a second, even more fanatical than the other, will soon be possessed of such a weapon and poses a real existential danger to the security of the United States. The original justification for the war, to prevent Iraq from building an atomic bomb and passing it off to terrorists who would smuggle it into America and destroy one or more of our cities, is even more threatening today than it was the day before we commenced hostilities.

Whatever gains we have made in making the American people safer have been achieved almost exclusively by virtue of national technical means and by old-fashioned spy vs. spy sleuthing.

Our national security posture is substantially weaker. The nation has contributed to its own bankruptcy by squandering trillions of dollars on Iraq and Afghanistan. The war has estranged us from Europe and left us vulnerable to attack through that flank. It has aroused and energized the Arab street. The Mexican border remains a backdoor open to infiltration by terrorists carrying weapons of mass destruction as small as a mason jar full of germs. At the other end of the spectrum, Iran is at the verge of obtaining an atomic weapon and the means to explode it in the heavens over the homeland which could knock out our electric grids and leave tens of millions to die of thirst and starvation because they would be beyond the nation's power to succor them.

Whatever chance we had to prevent Iran from getting the bomb was always limited to a military strike and that option was swallowed up in the sands of Iraq.

Out of bitterness and frustration, we have turned upon one another in recrimination, even blaming John McCain of all people.

As a result of the American electorate's frustration with the war, Republicans were driven from office on Capitol Hill just days after the piece quoted below was written and they were later driven from the Oval Office. Today, we are ruled over by a potential tyrant whose allegiance to this country is dubious. His elevation to the highest office in the world could not have happened without our involvement in Iraq.

The following is a post which I first put up on these boards on November 4, 2006. As it says at the foot of the post, I invite your reaction. I do not repost this out of vanity but out of frustration and an aching heart. Above all, I ask what have we learned and where are we going?

Here is the piece (November 2006):

Before the invasion I wrote that "God help me" I wanted the invasion to begin as soon as possible before the inspection regime or the French could so undermine the administration that the war could not be started.

Unlike these treacherous neocons, I will admit that I was wrong. In my own defense I can say, for what it's worth, that I was never seduced by the idea of imposing Wilsonian democracy on Iraq, although I of course would not have spurned it, but I saw the war in what I arrogantly believed were grown up and real world considerations of geopolitics. I wanted forward bases in the Mideast from which to strike at Syria and Iran if intimidation alone did not work. I wanted us to get our hands on the oil fields to deprive Muslim terrorists of petrodollars with which to buy weapons of mass destruction. I wanted us to demonstrate to the Muslim world that no leader could sleep safe if he played a double game with America. I wanted to so intimidate the Muslim world with our military prowess that they themselves would turn against the terrorists in their midst because I believed, and still believe, that the only way we ultimately can win this war is to turn the sane Muslims against the crazies. And, of course, I wanted a regime change as the only effective defense against WMD's in Iraq. My mistake, and I believe Bush's, was to underestimate the tenacity of the Muslim belief system and to see the war in a two dimensional geographical box, like a game of checkers, where squares were to be taken and held.

Not only was I wrong but the result has been calamitous and every one of the "strategic" reasons for waging war in Iraq have been stood on its head. I suspect that the main reason there has been no terrorist attack on the heartland is because Al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden, as well as Iran, are quite content to see America founder in Iraq. Iran, likewise, is the big winner from all of this as it moves closer to upsetting the entire balance of power in the Middle East when it acquires the bomb and perhaps fashions a Shi'ite Crescent running to the Mediterranean Sea. I believe my error came out of the false understanding of the nature of the global intergenerational war against terrorism: that somehow it was a war which could be conceived of in geographical terms. It is not-- although if it is lost the ultimate impact will be geographical. This is a war for the soul of Islam and we must not lose our own souls before we can save theirs.

Perhaps the very worst legacy of this whole Irak tragedy is that we are a daily demonstrating to the world that we are presently incapable of winning asymmetrical wars of terrorism. The Israelis just proved that in Lebanon. The people in Afghanistan are beginning to understand it. The tide in the Muslim world is rising against us as their fear drains away. So the goal of saving the soul of Islam has been made more elusive.

To compound the catastrophe, the "socialist" world of Cuba and Venezuela, Russia and China can read the daily events in Iraq and are emboldened as they have not been since the first Iraq war and seem eager to make mischief 1960s style.

Meanwhile, we've increased the danger of losing our own soul as defined as the will to win. Western Europe already lacks it and half of America possesses an anemic red blood count. Another tragedy of the Iraq war might will be to cause the installation of a Democrat regime in America which will align itself with the appeasers in Europe and so fatally succumb to jihad. The danger is as near as next Tuesday when, if the Republicans suffer a stinging repudiation of the polls, Bush might be left in as feckless a state as Gerald Ford was during the final pathetic agony of Vietnam.

Our dilemma is that we cannot win in Iraq and we cannot abandon it. We cannot win until we learn how to fight asymmetrical insurgencies against our occupation. We show no evidence that we have any idea how to do this at a price America is willing to pay. The training up of Iraqi forces, especially the police, is clearly a failure. So we are mired in a situation that spills our blood and empties our treasury and turns our friends against us. Meanwhile, the existential threat against America, represented by Iran's possession of a nuclear weapon which it passes off to terrorists to explode in the heartland, grows daily closer to reality. Our efforts in Iraq have so attenuated our military force that we probably cannot mount an invasion and air power alone probably cannot interdict Iran's nuclear program. This is well known to the whole world and especially to Iran so our ability to intimidate the Iranians into good behavior has bled into the sands of Iraq along with the Bush Doctrine.

Soon it will be fashionable even in conservative circles to blame Bush just as the neocons now are doing so ignominiously. My belief is that the miscalculation was to presume that the Iraqis, read Muslims, would behave rationally when presented with the opportunity for self-determination and democracy. It is not really that we made fatal tactical military mistakes in Iraq which we can lay at the feet of Bush or Rumsfeld, rather it is the nature of the traditional Muslim society that caused all of this bloodshed to be inevitable. Iraq has revealed that America has no stomach for the pain which must be endured to see such a traditional Muslim society through to Western democratic values.

Asymmetrical warfare works against armies of occupation but these tactics do not work against 21st-century Blitzkrieg, American-style. I fear that the American military will engage in another Vietnam style soul-searching and draw the wrong conclusion, that military force does not work at all in the war against terrorism. I am tempted, therefore, to argue that it was the occupation and not the war itself which was the bridge too far. After Iraq, I am humble enough to admit and perhaps it is I who misses the lesson.

I am well aware that new military adventures will be virtually impossible to sell until the inevitable happens: a strike is made against the homeland. If Al Qaeda strikes with anything less than a mortal blow, ie. a series of nuclear explosions, America might yet be able to find its finest hour. But strike it must if Al Qaeda intends fulfill its ambitions. God grant that they settle for half a loaf with an intensity level not exceeding 911.

We must fashion a new policy, a new strategy for winning this intergenerational worldwide war against a portion of 1.4 billion Muslims who inhabit the earth. We must turn rational Islam against this jihad or we will perish because we will rot from the inside out or we will simply surrender after our cities are turned into glass. We cannot hope to prevail if we eschew all military operations as ultimately counterproductive. We must find what works. Above all, we must not lose our soul.

I would be grateful for your reaction to all this.

33 posted on 06/15/2014 1:08:22 AM PDT by nathanbedford ("Attack, repeat, attack!" Bull Halsey)
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To: Bryan24; All

Islam is a political ideology parading as a religion.
It’s not just ‘satisfaction,’ - it is Islam’s DUTY to rule the world - NO MATTER HOW LONG IT TAKES - - -
We happen to be living through their varied ‘struggles’ to do just that.
Years ago, those before us suffered whatever wrath was happening in Islam at that time.
And so it goes - - -


34 posted on 06/15/2014 1:56:31 AM PDT by USARightSide (S U P P O R T I N G OUR T R O O P S)
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To: SeekAndFind
It is pretty safe to say I am no fan of Barack Obama’s.

About a month ago, I saw a very similar comment in an article that went on to explain why the big Zero shouldn't be blamed for all he does. Anyone know if it was another Andrew McCarthy propaganda piece? It seems ironic that he writes about a case to impeach Obama, but also acts as part of the defense.

35 posted on 06/15/2014 2:07:49 AM PDT by trebb (Where in the the hell has my country gone?)
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To: SeekAndFind

I regret ever supporting the invasion of that country. We overthrew a brutal dictator in Saddam, but secular, iron-fisted dictators are what creatures in those countries need... a forceful jackboot that keeps them properly suppressed. They aren’t capable of representative government. I had too much faith that the Bush administration had a clue as to what it was doing. It didn’t... they were winging it the whole way.


36 posted on 06/15/2014 2:28:43 AM PDT by ScottinVA (If it doesn't include border security, it isn't "reform." It's called "amnesty.")
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To: ScottinVA

(Addendum to my previous)

Obama, by assuming the mantle of the presidency, agreed to see to the security needs of this country... by rushing the end of the Iraq war, this administration condemned to rape and murder untold numbers of Christians and other minorities there. By allowing the rabid baboons of ISIS — who have openly said they will target America — Obama failed miserably.. again.


37 posted on 06/15/2014 2:39:22 AM PDT by ScottinVA (If it doesn't include border security, it isn't "reform." It's called "amnesty.")
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To: Bryan24

Bingo. And see tag line.


38 posted on 06/15/2014 3:19:16 AM PDT by FreedomPoster (Islam delenda est)
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To: Hardastarboard; garjog
Garjog said: it was not Obama who agreed to the withdrawl schedule. It was President BusHardastarboardh

And Obama had no ability....none

You're both correct. Transforming Iraq might've worked, even though it turns out Iraq was a bad idea and on false premises. But then Obama came in and toppled a few more heavy handed leaders and destabilized more countries. Then he armed and trained terrorists in Syria to topple Assad, a very stable country. That's fueling this latest disaster.

The people arguing against Obama seem to be saying mostly that we should've done more to help the terrorists topple Assad. Maybe they should be calling for a u-turn and help Syria get rid of the terrorists.

The problem is that the foreign policy of GWB and now Obama has nothing to do with what's best for the US. It's what Saudi Arabia wants and what global oil/banking interests want.

39 posted on 06/15/2014 3:49:32 AM PDT by grania
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To: SeekAndFind

Every time Obama puts his foot in it some F’in Repub comes along with a story how the Repubs are also to blame for the problem. STFU and stop flying cover for the commie in chief you stupid A-hole.


40 posted on 06/15/2014 4:38:18 AM PDT by Brooklyn Attitude (Things are only going to get worse.)
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To: nathanbedford

Well put.

My beliefs re McCarthy’s column:
THE OBAMA had no trouble reversing other policies and intentions that Bush had proposed and/or suggested before THE OBAMA gained POWER.
This THE OBAMA’S DOING every bit as much as is Obamacare..

I live in New York state and must listen to Republicans in the state, particularly in Downstate give their opinions. I suggest they rely less on the NYTimes and ABCBSNBCNN and do more critical thinking before offering advice.

Of course McCarthy is correct about McCain.


41 posted on 06/15/2014 4:40:17 AM PDT by BilLies (sharyl attkisson is alive and well HOORAY!!!!!)
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To: ScottinVA

I am of exactly the same opinion and circumstance.


42 posted on 06/15/2014 6:15:07 AM PDT by Valentine Michael Smith (You won't find justice in a Courtroom)
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To: eyedigress

No, I was being serious. I believe the first gulf war was a mistake that led to where we are now


43 posted on 06/15/2014 7:44:56 AM PDT by Cronos (Obama’s dislike of Assad is not based on Assad’s brutality but that he isn't a jihadi Moslem)
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To: SeekAndFind

There were a few problems with Bush’s approach. One, he threw out all the Baahthist military generals that could have worked with the defeated Iraqi army and knew how to deal with Islamists. Two, political correctness pressure prevented what really needed to happen in Iraq, a de-Islamification process.

Obama just ignored Iraq completely. Negligence is far worse in this situation. And Obama’s tireless support for Islamic radicalism inspires AQ.


44 posted on 06/15/2014 8:04:14 AM PDT by Organic Panic
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To: SeekAndFind

As the FR archives will show, that was my view at the time. I’ve seen nothing to make me think I was wrong.


45 posted on 06/15/2014 2:03:52 PM PDT by Romulus
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To: SeekAndFind

Links?


46 posted on 06/16/2014 9:59:34 AM PDT by neverdem (Register pressure cookers! /s)
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To: neverdem

RE: Links?

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/380398/dont-blame-iraq-obama-alone-andrew-c-mccarthy


47 posted on 06/16/2014 10:38:07 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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