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Donít Blame Bush for Al Qaeda in Iraq, Blame Obama
FrontPage Mag ^ | 06/23/2014 | Daniel Greenfield

Posted on 06/23/2014 8:12:47 AM PDT by SeekAndFind

Like Birkenstocks and ironic t-shirts, blaming Bush has never gone out of style on the left. When Al Qaeda’s resurgence in Iraq became so obvious that even the media, which had been pretending that Obama’s claims about a successful withdrawal were true, could no longer ignore them, their talking points were all lined up and ready.

It was all Bush’s fault.

Defenses of the war by pivotal figures like Dick Cheney and Tony Blair only enraged them further. “Why wouldn’t they admit it was all their fault?”

But the left’s lazy talking points about Iraq, like their talking points about the economy, ignore everything that has happened since 2008.

The leading factor behind the resurgence of Al Qaeda in Iraq didn’t come from Iraq. It came from Syria.

From the “Islamic State of Iraq” under Bush to the ”Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant” under Obama, it’s all in the name. The variations of ISIS and ISIL show a regional shift toward Syria. Al Qaeda in Iraq was a vicious terrorist organization before the Arab Spring, but it was not capable of menacing Baghdad with a sizable army while crushing numerically superior forces along the way.

That didn’t happen in Iraq. It happened in Syria.

If you believe liberal supporters of Obama and opponents of the Iraq War, regime change in Iraq disastrously destabilized the region, but regime change in Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Yemen and Syria didn’t.

But the theory that turned Al Qaeda into a regional monster didn’t come from Dick Cheney. It came from Obama’s Presidential Study Directive 11 which helped pave the way for the Arab Spring. The definitive speech that opened the gates of hell wasn’t Bush’s speech on Iraq, but Obama’s Cairo speech.

That speech and the policy implemented with it led to the fall of allied governments and the rise of Islamist militias aligned with Al Qaeda. The Arab Spring was a regime change operation on a much larger scale than the Iraq War. Unlike the Iraq War, it was completely unsupervised and uncontrolled.

And it favored America’s enemies from the very outset.

ISIS picked up its weapons and manpower as a consequence of the conflicts in Libya and Syria. Obama chose to fight on the side of Al Qaeda in Libya. That led to the murder of four Americans in Benghazi after Islamic militias took over major cities.

Obama chose to facilitate the smuggling of weapons to Islamic militias by Qatar and other Gulf states. The White House endorsed the weapons smuggling, but then claimed to be surprised that the weapons were going to “more antidemocratic, more hard-line, closer to an extreme version of Islam” fighters.

The White House didn’t shut down the smuggling operation. Instead a senior official claimed not to be able to control the Qataris; not to mention the Saudis, Kuwaitis and the rest of the state-sponsored terrorism gang.

After Libya many of the fighters and weapons went to Syria where different factions of Al Qaeda were battling it out with the Syrian government and each other. And some of those weapons didn’t just end up in Syria.

A US chopper was shot down in Afghanistan using Qatari weapons supplied to the Libyan Jihadists that ended up in the hands of the Taliban.

Despite supposedly learning a lesson from Libya, Kerry announced last year that he supported efforts by the same bad actors to arm the Syrian rebels. Occasional noises were made about seeing to it that the weapons ended up in the hands of the “moderates”, but there was an extensive track record showing that such distinctions meant nothing and that the Gulf states would go on arming terrorists.

Even when the weapons didn’t go directly to Al Qaeda, its various affiliates were able to capture them anyway through defections, deals or outright attacks.

Obama failed to crack down on the weapons smuggling that armed ISIS because it was being carried out by “allies” like Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. Al Qaeda would be in no position to menace Baghdad if its flow of weapons and recruits had been aggressively cut off.

There were two paths that led to this current crisis. One was from the Gulf and the other from Iran.

Obama failed to check Iranian power which emboldened Maliki to crack down on Sunnis. The Gulf Sunni states were busy financing the armed and political Jihads of everyone from the Muslim Brotherhood to Al Qaeda. The intersection of these two paths led to the current civil war.

The “Blame Bush” crowd insists that if Saddam had not been overthrown, none of this would be happening. Except that Assad, Saddam’s fellow Baathist dictator, wasn’t overthrown by Bush and he’s still having trouble holding his own against Al Qaeda.

Saddam Hussein might have been less threatened by a Sunni insurgency, but that’s because Al Qaeda in Iraq is allied to and fighting alongside the current head of the Baath Party.

Saddam had supported a number of terrorist groups. Al Qaeda had operated under Saddam Hussein as Ansar Al-Islam and had a Saddam man in its ranks. Today Saddam’s Baathist successors have their own man in ISIS who chose its current leader.

Saddam and Al Qaeda being on the same team is not some new phenomenon. Saddam helped fund and plan operations with Egyptian Islamic Jihad which eventually merged into Al Qaeda and took over its leadership. They both had a common interest when it came to the United States and to Shiites.

If Saddam had not been overthrown, he would probably have become a much more active state sponsor of Al Qaeda once the Arab Spring rolled around.

Obama could have kept Iran and its Shiite allies from pushing the Sunnis into the Baath/Al Qaeda corner by standing up to Iran. Instead he disengaged and pretended that everything was going to be fine. He didn’t believe that, but he didn’t care either. Democrats had been vocal critics of Maliki. Obama repeatedly told Maliki to govern more inclusively as if mere words would somehow change anything.

Power in the Middle East is based on strength, not on teleprompters.

Obama’s withdrawal only meant that everyone would choose a stronger horse. The Shiites chose Iran. The Sunnis chose Al Qaeda. Obama’s failure to do anything about Iran led the Gulf states to require a Salafist horde to keep it at bay. Al Qaeda is their response to the military gap between them and Iran.

Iraq would not have fallen apart nearly as badly without the Arab Spring. Al Qaeda would have gone on killing dozens of people in car bombings, but it wouldn’t have been moving on Baghdad. It wasn’t the Iraq War that turned Al Qaeda in Iraq into a monster that could menace two nations.

It was the Arab Spring.

Obama chose to execute regime change on a much larger scale than Iraq. Al Qaeda’s dominance in Syria and Iraq is only one of the consequences of that disaster.


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: alqaeda; alqaedaspring; bush; iraq; iraqmeltdown; isis; obama; obamadoctrine; obamaforeignpolicy; syriawar; waronterror

1 posted on 06/23/2014 8:12:47 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

Bush WON the war, Obama LOST the peace.


2 posted on 06/23/2014 8:17:20 AM PDT by Mr. K (Palin/Cruz 2016)
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To: SeekAndFind

Either you get in it to win it or you get the F.O. and stop wasting our soldiers with stupid ROE’s. Why does April 1975 sound familiar?


3 posted on 06/23/2014 8:18:14 AM PDT by rktman (Ethnicity: Nascarian. Race: Daytonafivehundrian)
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To: SeekAndFind
... The Iraq project would have had to last a span of around two generations. This would serve the purpose of breeding out the old guard of hate and destruction and allow the new guard of a generation that grew up in and cherish their freedom to take their places in the government. This more than likely could have been accomplished with a minimal American presence of a few thousand support personnel and equipment.

...Up until the draw down we had proven that we were a strong force to be reckoned with and were a definite deterrent. Sadly... that deterrent is gone and the country has sunk back into the ways of the old guard. The battles for freedom would once again have to be re-fought and the old guard once again removed at the cost of considerable expense and lives.

.... In short ... because of this administration .... Our Iraqi presence has gone from maintaining a SASO status (Security and Stabilization Operation) ... to one of having to basically re-fight the Iraqi War in order to bring it to the hard gotten point it was just a few years ago.

.... Like so many Progressive Liberal politicians in America ..... they never calculated the consequences of their actions. They just do not understand the basic principles or Cause and Effect. They simply feed their electorate base whatever allows them to have a warm fuzzy feeling inside with all disregard of what the consequences may be for their actions.

.... Like mentioned earlier in this thread.... Bush WON the war, Obama LOST the peace!" This should be the mantra and sound bite that we all repeat when the inundation of the coming massive Blame Game arrives.

4 posted on 06/23/2014 8:24:20 AM PDT by R_Kangel ( "A Nation of Sheep ..... Will Beget ..... a Nation Ruled by Wolves.")
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To: SeekAndFind

We will pay for this for years to come.


5 posted on 06/23/2014 8:25:15 AM PDT by VRW Conspirator (Global Warming is caused by illegal immigrants!)
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To: SeekAndFind
Don't tell the Libertarian Party people this.

Truth is the Lib Party line on many (too many) things (the war, illegals, gay marriage, drugs, etc.) really is pure progressive left.

Really give me a list of Lib Party points that line up right vs Lib Party points that line up left.

I'm not talking about libertarian philosophy ..

I'm talking Libertarian Party line

6 posted on 06/23/2014 8:29:19 AM PDT by tophat9000 (An Eye for an Eye, a Word for a Word...nothing more)
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To: SeekAndFind

**Don’t Blame Bush for Al Qaeda in Iraq, Blame Obama**

Bump that!


7 posted on 06/23/2014 8:35:12 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: SeekAndFind

But Rand Paul said........


8 posted on 06/23/2014 8:46:54 AM PDT by Buck-I-Guy
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To: SeekAndFind

Daniel Greenfield torpedoed Rand Paul but good.


9 posted on 06/23/2014 8:53:32 AM PDT by jazusamo (Sometimes I think that this is an era when sanity has become controversial: Thomas Sowell)
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To: SeekAndFind
Finally. Someone gets it 100 % correct. Great article and spot on.

How could anyone blame Bush after everything that happened under Hillary/Obama during their first 4 years. The entire Middle East was changed by them.

10 posted on 06/23/2014 10:40:51 AM PDT by justa-hairyape (The user name is sarcastic. Although at times it may not appear that way.)
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To: Mr. K

ping


11 posted on 06/23/2014 11:38:00 AM PDT by celmak
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bkmk


12 posted on 06/24/2014 8:45:08 AM PDT by AllAmericanGirl44
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