Monday Morning quarterback

Read what George Will has to say about Iraq. Notice he doesn’t blame Bush (just Obama’s predecessor), in keeping with the “thou shalt not bash” rule.

 

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/obamas-foreign-policy-of-retreat/2014/06/16/37aa0dcc-f578-11e3-a606-946fd632f9f1_story.html

Advertisements

6 responses to “Monday Morning quarterback

  1. An amalgam of thoughts on the Iraq mess (some thoughts mine and some from others):

    President Obama’s hallmark recklessness is pretty evident from the method used to exit Iraq. He heedlessly withdrew U.S. forces, making no effort to preserve the modicum of security gains they achieved in the routing of al-Qaeda, even as it became increasingly obvious that the withdrawal had evaporated those gains and invited the terror network to return with a vengeance.

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

    In 2008, before Obama entered the Oval Office, the Bush administration was then entering into a status of forces agreement (SOFA) with the feeble and ingrate Shiite government of Nouri al-Maliki. Even then, the Bush administration failed to realize that Iraq was pulling ever closer to the Shiite regime in Iran while American troops continued fighting to protect Maliki’s fledgling government from al-Qaeda jihadists.

    In the SOFA, the Bush administration agreed to strict withdrawal deadlines that invited al-Qaeda to catch its breath, wait out the United States, and then resume the jihad as Americans were leaving the country — the better to make it look to the world like they were chasing-out the U.S. forces. The SOFA required that all American combat operations were to cease in mid-2009; and that, at the end of 2011, all American forces would pull out of Iraq. The 2008 Bush-initiated SOFA is the basis for the American withdrawal that Obama so anxiously consummated. That is the situation that has prompted a resumption of Islam’s eternal, fratricidal bloodletting between Sunnis and Shiites (and, to an extent, Kurds) 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 predicament that was envisioned in such a delusional fashion by the Republican and Neocon Islamic-democracy-project devotees: That is, a free, pluralistic democracy that would be a reliable counter-terrorism ally and a thorn in the side of totalitarian Iran. But to a pragmatist and to one who understood a modicum of Islamic history, that was a completely foolish assumption.

    In reality, Iraq remains as it has always been, an incorrigible sharia society in which the persecution of religious minorities, secularists and homosexuals is routine. Far from democratizing the country in any cultural sense, Bush officials fortified these persecution 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. Under the Maliki government, Iraq sought closer ties with Tehran, a desire the Bush administration indulged on the rationale that Iran had a strong interest in a stable Iraq — even though there was conjecture that Iran was fueling anti-American terrorism in Iraq by funding both Shiite and Sunni jihadist cells.

    Why did President Bush agree to the SOFA on his way out of office and 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 imperialist and infidel America.

    Thus, would the situation really change in Iraq over the long haul had Obama left a small contingent of U.S. military that would attempt to quell uprisings? Wouldn’t it be similar to a Whac-A-Mole game where a final outcome is never achieved? How long would American forces have to remain, 60 or 70 years like in Korea and Japan and Europe? How often would the meager military force left behind have to be reinforced and expanded to be effective against a rising tide of Jihadists?

    Has President Obama been a disaster in Iraq — as in every other place? Sure he has. But so was the Bush administration in thinking that the surge would be a lasting success and thus a SOFA could be negotiated that would include the removal of all U.S. military. And with Obama overseeing the wind-down of military personnel from Iraq, the security situation in steadily deteriorated as the American forces departed. Maliki was sufficiently desperate that he most likely would have renegotiated the SOFA if Obama had been the least bit interested in preserving that for which our military had fought and died. We know, however, that Obama is all about Obama: He wanted to run for reelection as the president who “ended” the war in Iraq, just as he is now chasing the legacy of being the president who “ended” the war in Afghanistan — even if “ending” really means the Taliban and al-Qaeda win.

    But again, let’s not pretend 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 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 and al-Assad’s Alawite (aka, Shiite) government.

    That really makes a lot of sense! But that kind of insanity does not happen overnight. It happens after more than 20 years of willful blindness to the ideology of our enemies, to the religious basis of the antipathy of our enemies toward this or that Islamic sect that has lasted almost 1.300 years, and to more than 20 years without a strategic vision of the global jihadist challenge.

      • Oh no. I don’t let “Obombya” off the hook. He was very much culpable in the events that led up to the collapse of the current Maliki Shiite government and the civil war now well underway. I’m quite sure that Obama looked on the Bush SOFA agreement expiration date as a gift, in that it allowed “Obombya,” before the presidential election in 2012, to loudly and frequently campaign on the basis that he had ended the Iraq war, brought the soldiers home, and that he left Iraq in good shape and able to embark on a journey of Democracy. He could very well have negotiated a Status of Agreement with Maliki had he really wanted to leave Iraq with a chance for a longer term peace, though how long that peace would have lasted under the Sunni-hating Maliki can be very much debated.

        In the Taliban-Bergdahl deal, the five Taliban prisoners were portrayed by the conservative media as, in John McCain’s words, “Hard-core Jihadists responsible for 9/11.” McCain is wrong, but the major news outlets don’t care. Over and over, the five are identified as terrorists. But the facts mostly take a back seat to drama and conflict and media sensationalism.

        Consider that the media simply take the government’s word that the five Taliban figures are international terrorists. But the Taliban are not al-Qaeda. The Taliban were the theocratic government overthrown by U.S. forces. So when Taliban insurgents attack American forces, can we legitimately call it terrorism? Perhaps we should, instead, refer to the attacks as war against an invading force, a war that was started by the U.S government.

        That’s not to ignore the recent terrorist attack on the Karachi, Pakistan airport that was attributed to the “Pakistan Taliban,” whether that description denotes that this Taliban group is an arm of the Afghani Taliban is unknown. But it should be of concern since Pakistan does possess nuclear weapons but has refrained from using them (like Libya and Israel) or providing the munitions or technology to terrorist organizations (not that any terrorist group today would possess the knowledge, skill or wherewithal to appropriately care for nuclear devices, let alone also have a nuclear weapon delivery system).

        Before being captured, the five Taliban officers were treated as potential allies by the CIA or the U.S.-installed government of Hamid Karzai. Anand Gopal, author of “No Good Men Among the Living: America, the Taliban, and the War Through Afghan Eyes,” writes that all five of the swapped prisoners were initially captured while trying to cut deals, and . . . three had been attempting to join, or had already joined, the Afghan government at the time of their arrest. (Of course, by the time events described by Mr. Gopal occurred, the Taliban were in complete disarray, having been decimated and scattered, so it would be in the best interests of those Taliban “leaders” to cut the best deal they could.)

        Like the invasion of Iraq, the U.S. invasion-occupation of Afghanistan was a war of choice not a war of necessity. American forces made it worse by indiscriminately placing a price on the head of any Afghan at whom someone else was willing point a finger in an attempt to destroy.

      • In that the establishment media grants indulgences to “Obombya” and to Democrat supporters and to those involved in the surfeit of Obombya scandals, I suppose the Catholic Church pre-ML situation is a sort of stretch comparison. Problem today is that we don’t have a Martin Luther to tack to the Vatican door a 95 theses list of government bureaucratic wrongs. Not that there is anyone who would follow-up on an action like that and really do something. The Left has accomplished its sinister objective of marginalizing any person or group that disagrees with their positions. Perhaps the 95-theses should be penned and posted by brave Republicans. Oh wait! There aren’t any brave Republicans.

      • “Oh wait! There aren’t any brave Republicans.” Not that aren’t marginalized anyway. The candidate I would have voted for in the general election to replace the retiring/despicable Tom Harkin was Sam Clovis. But he supported Rick Santorum, who rolled his eyes at all the positions Ron Paul supported in the debates that time proved correct. Marginalizing is an effective substitute for real dialog, to the boobwahzee.

        On Wed, Jun 25, 2014 at 8:38 AM, alternativebyfritz wrote:

        >

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s