Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Welcome to the White House's Nightmare
National Journal ^ | June 19, 2014 | James Oliphant

Posted on 06/21/2014 12:51:43 AM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet

Already swamped by domestic and foreign crises, Obama finds that even his self-proclaimed successes are at risk. That's just about the last thing he needs now.

Of all the things to rise up and bedevil President Obama again, Iraq seemed to be low on the list. But now the White House must live with the reality that, almost three years after the war was declared over, American blood could be spilled anew in a conflict that could readily escalate.

Obama's announcement that up to 300 military advisers would be sent to Iraq marks a brutal moment in a brutal stretch for this presidency, one that threatens to indelibly stain not only his foreign policy record but his legacy as well.

This was a man who, as a candidate and as a chief executive, made pulling the United States out of two intractable wars in the Middle East central to his theory of governance. He ended wars, he liked to say. He didn't start them.

Sending a relative handful of forces back to the region doesn't mean he's doing so, of course. "American forces will not be returning to combat," Obama was sure to pledge to the public Thursday, and White House aides insist that this is a limited mission, that the Iraqi government, ultimately, will have to be the ones to repel the forces of the Sunni insurgency and mend the broken country. Still, the move is a tacit acknowledgment that many of the assumptions that Obama and his foreign policy team made about the world have proven to be incorrect:

◾That without the leverage of U.S. military power in the country, Iraqi leaders would pursue political change that wouldn't leave Sunnis alienated and antagonized and that its security forces could counter internal threats;

◾That Afghanistan would be stable enough for the U.S. to end that war and depart with confidence the government can keep the nation on a stable path;

◾That the U.S. could pursue a "reset" with Vladimir Putin's Russia—but then watched his troops take Crimea and threaten the rest of Ukraine;

◾That the civil war in Syria could somehow be contained within its borders—and could reach a resolution without American intervention.

More than anything, these events and others have served as a rebuke to Team Obama's worldview that a new generation of leadership could move on from both the Clinton-era and Bush-era policies. Both of those administrations were more hawkish and aggressive about the exercise of American power, whether it was to intercede in regional conflicts in the Balkans or take down Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq.

Disdainful of much of Washington's foreign policy establishment, Obama and his close-knit circle of advisers, on the other hand, talked about engaging Iran diplomatically, using sanctions to punish bad actors, "pivoting" to Asia, and neutralizing the threat of terrorism more bloodlessly through the use of drones. They viewed American power in terms of limits. This was a president, after all, who opposed the U.S. "surge" that arguably stabilized Iraq to the point where Obama could pull the troops out.

Yet here was Obama on Thursday using the language of presidents past such as John Kennedy and George W. Bush, talking of sending "advisers" into a global hot spot and warning of the need to deny "safe haven" to terrorist groups. "Right now, this is the moment when the fate of Iraq hangs in the balance," he said—something that sounded So 10 Years Ago.

That's why Obama's remarks had to have left such a bitter taste. Iraq was a box that his administration had checked. And already, the unrest there is casting fresh doubt on his decision to leave Afghanistan just a few years removed from calling for his own "surge" there. Americans are giving his handling of foreign policy the lowest marks of his presidency. With Syria on fire, Egypt and Libya in turmoil, and Russia meddling in Ukraine, the world has reached up and pulled the once-soaring avatar of change crashing earthward

The White House's best hope is that a political solution can indeed be reached in Iraq and that the crisis falls off the radar screen. Other than targeted airstrikes, there aren't great options for Obama beyond this point: The public is dead set against a further involvement and Congress—especially Obama's fellow Democrats—is skittish. If the president wants to do more on this battlefield, he'll end up owning this in a way he never wanted and, a few years ago, probably couldn't have contemplated.

(VIDEO-AT-LINK)


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Government; Politics/Elections; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: iraq; isis; obama; wot
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-2021-4041-42 next last

1 posted on 06/21/2014 12:51:44 AM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

Comment #2 Removed by Moderator

To: 2ndDivisionVet
one that threatens to indelibly stain not only his foreign policy record but his legacy as well.

Obama has a foreign policy record, but it is one of failure. Can some liberal please point out for me something that Obama has done that can truly be considered to be a success?

3 posted on 06/21/2014 1:04:03 AM PDT by Cowboy Bob (They are called "Liberals" because the word "parasite" was already taken.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: 2ndDivisionVet

This group thinks ‘If we say it so, that makes it so”. Right. Remember Recovery Summer of 2009? We are still ‘recovering’ from the unemployment.


4 posted on 06/21/2014 1:10:05 AM PDT by lee martell
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: F15Eagle

Whats Oliphant been smoking? Nightmares? Bull. The One is having nothing but sweet dreams as the media and donks slobber all over him and praise him to the sky no matter what he does.


5 posted on 06/21/2014 1:16:58 AM PDT by chessplayer
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: 2ndDivisionVet

Barack Obama is destroying the United States.

Pure and simple.


6 posted on 06/21/2014 1:19:51 AM PDT by Jack Hammer
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: chessplayer

Maybe in some alternate universe The One is having nightmares, but not in this one.


7 posted on 06/21/2014 1:22:30 AM PDT by chessplayer
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

Comment #8 Removed by Moderator

Comment #9 Removed by Moderator

To: 2ndDivisionVet

AND THE WALLS CAME TUMBLING DOWN! ! ! ! !


10 posted on 06/21/2014 1:28:17 AM PDT by DeaconRed (Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their country! ! !)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: 2ndDivisionVet

300 advisors? Can anybody say “mission creep”?

This is how we went, step by step, into Viet Nam, under Kennedy.

Our troops should not be in the Middle East. They should be in Mexico, the Honduras, Guatemala, Panama and Nicaragua. Pacify those countries so it safe for their children to go home.


11 posted on 06/21/2014 1:28:54 AM PDT by alloysteel (Selective and willful ignorance spells doom, to both victim and perpetrator - mostly the perp.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Comment #12 Removed by Moderator

To: Cowboy Bob
Can some liberal please point out for me something that Obama has done that can truly be considered to be a success?

The prob Bob, is that they can't think in reality. It's all abstracts for them.

13 posted on 06/21/2014 1:32:30 AM PDT by onona (I’ve pretty much given up on sanity returning.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: alloysteel
Our troops should not be in the Middle East. They should be in Mexico, the Honduras, Guatemala, Panama and Nicaragua. Pacify those countries so it safe for their children to go home.

There you go ! America for the Americans ! (Monroe Doctrine, look it up)

14 posted on 06/21/2014 1:35:39 AM PDT by onona (I’ve pretty much given up on sanity returning.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

Comment #15 Removed by Moderator

To: 2ndDivisionVet

What else should one expect from a black narcissistic man-child illegal alien Marxist from Kenya?


16 posted on 06/21/2014 1:48:49 AM PDT by AlexW
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: F15Eagle

That’s okay - Obama didn’t.


17 posted on 06/21/2014 2:05:06 AM PDT by Jack Hammer
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: 2ndDivisionVet

One tough sell is explaining how ISIS now possesses Iraqi WMD that never existed, ‘cause Bush lied, people died....


18 posted on 06/21/2014 2:15:00 AM PDT by kevao (Biblical Jesus: Give your money to the poor. Socialist Jesus: Give your neighbor's money to the poor)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: 2ndDivisionVet

“He ended wars, he liked to say. He didn’t start them. “

Same dude that claimed he were rather good at killing people, right? Seems to be a wee bit of cogitative dissonance going on there - not exactly surprising in a hard left Progressive.

The only answer to that is that classic picture of Presidents in their uniforms, if anyone has it kicking around. Even Carter were a bit of a hard case at times by all accounts, though he should never have run more than a squad. Good officer, terrible CO. It happens, as you know full well.


19 posted on 06/21/2014 2:15:23 AM PDT by EC1
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: EC1

“...;limited mission.”
Americans get killed.


20 posted on 06/21/2014 2:29:32 AM PDT by Eric in the Ozarks (Rip it out by the roots.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-2021-4041-42 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson