Filed under: Afghanistan, Capitalism, China, Domestic Policy, Economy, Foreign Policy, Immigration, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Latin America, Middle East, National Security | Tags: Don't Blame Obama, He Didn't Know, No End of Excuses
He didn’t know that these unaccompanied minors had all sorts of contagious diseases unseen in this country for years. He didn’t know that there were Mara Salvatrucha recruiters among the unaccompanied minors. He didn’t have time to go to the border to spare from his fundraising. He didn’t know there were Americans aboard that Air Malaysian plane that was shot down by Russian separatists in Eastern Ukraine, because he had fundraisers to attend. He didn’t know that the world turmoil hasn’t been this bad since the 1970′s. He was only a kid then, so he didn’t know.
Filed under: Afghanistan, Africa, China, Foreign Policy, Iran, Iraq, Islam, Israel, Latin America, Middle East, National Security, Politics, Russia, The United States | Tags: A World in Turmoil, An Arc Of Instability, The Obama Foreign Policy
A Wall Street Journal’s front page article on Monday said politely “Obama Contends With Arc of Instability Unseen Since 70s.” “A convergence of security crises is playing out around the globe from the Palestinian territories and Iraq to Ukraine and the South Chin Sea, posing a serious challenge to President Barack Obama’s foreign policy and reflecting a world in which U .S. global power seems increasingly tenuous.”
The breadth of global instability now unfolding hasn’t been seen since the late 1970s, U.S. security strategists say, when the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan, revolutionary Islamists took power in Iran, and Southeast Asia was reeling in the wake of the U.S. exit from Vietnam.
In the past month alone, the U.S. has faced twin civil wars in Iraq and Syria, renewed fighting between Israel and the Palestinians, an electoral crisis in Afghanistan and ethnic strife on the edge of Russia, in Ukraine.
Bewildered leftists say that he promised to end the War in Iraq, and wind down the war in Afghanistan and he did. He fulfilled his campaign promises. But there is ending and ending. I don’t know if anyone voted for Obama because he said he would end the War in Iraq. They voted for Hope and Change, and fancy theatrics and a litany of carefully crafted meaningless phrases.
Foreign policy is hard, and the big things may be controlled by the little things like personalities, and ego as well as deep knowledge and understanding of the history and culture of a country. Obama wasn’t much interested in foreign policy. He seems to have had in mind simply being the anti-Bush. Bush made wars, he would make peace. Bush had a muscular presence in the world and emphasized American strength. Obama wanted us to be just a nation among other nations, and let other nations deal with stuff. Obama found his national security briefings boring and quit going.
He yanked our people out of Iraq too abruptly and failed to establish a status of forces agreement to help prepare the Iraqi army for just what is happening now. The countries in Eastern Europe didn’t get their missile defense. Obama said in a May speech at West Point that the Obama foreign policy doctrine, would rely on U.S. leadership, but not troop deployments. Well, we’re not any good at the U.S. leadership business either, it seems.
A few meetings with Obama and Hillary’s “reset button” convinced Putin that nobody was likely to do anything, so he went right ahead to annex Crimea. The allies who had relied on America to prevent Russia’s ambitions lost confidence in American action as well. The Taliban got their leaders back. Obama drew a Red Line in Syria, and then erased it. The Arab Spring was misunderstood from the beginning, and the administration fell for the Muslim Brotherhood’s claim to Egypt. The feckless John Kerry has been trying to solve the problems of the Middle East by forcing Israel to give more land to the Palestinian terrorists. The Chinese, watching our military downsize, have decided to upsize theirs and are vigorously growing their navy and submarine fleet and flexing their muscles in the South China Sea.
And there is the self-declared new Caliphate, now encircling Baghdad, another surprise to the administration, and our negotiations with Iran go on. We want assurances, they are happy to give assurances. We seem unable to learn that deception is a way of life in the Middle East, and expect an agreement to be worked out that will enable them to have all the sanctions lifted.To call it all an “Arc of Instability” is perhaps the understatement of the year. But the stakes have never been higher.
Jonathan Karl lists some of the “instabilities.” Obama, we are told, no longer talks to anyone but Valerie Jarrett and Michelle. We are in the best of hands.
Filed under: Democrat Corruption, Foreign Policy, Intelligence, Iraq, Islam, Middle East, National Security, Politics, Terrorism | Tags: Caliph Ibrahim, The Islamic State, The Obama Administration
ISIS has now renamed itself as the Islamic State. They claim to have established a Caliphate stretching across parts of Iraq and Syria, but their ambitions are far greater. Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of ISIS, pictured above, has renamed himself Caliph Ibrahim, though the viciousness of their advance is more reminiscent of Saddam Hussein. Nine other jihadist groups have declared the “Islamic State” and the “Caliphate” null and void, legally and logically and everybody else better condemn them too.
The movement of ISIS across Iraq has been ferocious, determined and vicious. In only a month they have swarmed from obscurity to being perhaps the most well-funded terrorist group on earth. Some of the officers from Saddam’s army have reportedly joined them. Nobody seems to know how many there are in the ISIS army, but some estimates at the beginning were only about 800 people.
They have captured much of the equipment with which the U.S. enforced the Iraqi army, so they have Humvees, MRAPS , rocket launchers, helicopters and I don’t know what else. Some suggest that they won’t know how to operate or maintain the equipment, but they’ve cleaned out the banks in Mosul and any other town they pass through, and get funding from some wealthy Sunnis who are glad to fund jihadist movements. They are estimated now to have over a billion in finances, so they can probably hire a teacher or two, and if the officers of Saddam’s army have joined up they may have more capability than our state department is assuming.
According to the AP, “Iraq has informed the United Nations that the Islamic State extremist group has taken control of a vast former chemical weapons facility northwest of Baghdad where 2,500 chemical rockets filled with the deadly nerve agent sarin or their remnants were stored along with other chemical warfare agents.” (What? I thought there were no WMD in Iraq?) “Terrorist groups entered the Muthanna site June 11 ans seized weapons and equipment from the protection force guarding the facility.” Secretary Ban Ki-moon “singled out the capture of bunkers 13 and 41 in the sprawling complex, which according to a 2004 U.N. report also contained the toxic agent sodium cyanide, which is a precursor for the chemical warfare agent tabun, and artillery shells contaminated with mustard gas.” Maybe it’s time to start worrying, or at least paying attention.
Why did the Obama Administration ignore all those warnings about ISIS? Eli Lake describes all the warnings. Team Obama was told over and over, that the Iraqi army could not stop a terror group that was ready to pounce. It’s a long, sad tale. It probably has the most to do with Obama’s dogmatic positions. Once he makes up his mind, it set in concrete, and Iraq was the “bad war” that he promised to get out of. Speaking to the foreign press, Ben Rhodes, the White House Deputy National Security Adviser for strategic communication said,”In terms of additional u.S.military action, President Obama again made clear that while he has not ordered any military action, he reserves the right to do so as necessary.”
Obama’s best advisors on Iraq have been saying such military action has been necessary now for months, but Obama is busy with fundraising and golf.
ISIS has begun systematically destroying artifacts and antiquities found in Iraqi museums because they are “against Islam.” They issued a city charter in Mosul and declared that “false idols” would have to be destroyed. For this strain of Sunni Muslim jihadists, representations of the human form or any shrine that might lend itself to idolatry, or any place of worship dedicated to the Shiia faith must be obliterated. If you remember the Taliban blew up the world’s two largest standing Buddhas—one of them 165 feet high . They had been preserved for 1,700 years. ISIS has expressed an intent to destroy the Kaaba, Islam’s holiest site. More than 15 million Muslims visit Mecca every year, and the Kaaba is the direction of Muslim prayer.
That wouldn’t seem to be a good PR move, but I am not a Muslim.
Filed under: Democrat Corruption, Foreign Policy, Iran, Islam, Israel, Middle East, Terrorism, The United States | Tags: Kidnapped Two Weeks Ago, Murdered Israeli Teenagers, National Grief
Three Israeli teenagers were kidnapped over two weeks ago, and murdered by Hamas thugs. One can hardly imagine the grief of a nation. In a remarkably tasteless remark, President Obama urged Israel not to “destabilize the situation,” he warned Israel—not Palestine. Blame the families and friends of murdered kids, but not the murderers. He claimed that “Israelis have the full support and friendship of the United States.” I doubt that many Israelis believe that one.
The sixteen year olds are Eyal Yifrah, Gilad Shaar, and Naftali Fraenkel who is also an American citizen. Our hearts go out to their families, and the Israeli people.
It is President Obama’s radical Mideast policies that have destabilized the entire Middle East. The president’s 2009 Cairo University speech helped to open the door to revolution and upheaval. He came to office with the illusion that all the problems in the Middle East were caused by the “problems between Israel and Palestine.” Obama believed that he could bring the Israelis and the Palestinians to the bargaining table and make a lasting peace agreement between them, and there would be peace in the Middle East, and he would be celebrated as the peacemaker or something like that.
The only flaw in the ointment was that Palestinians had not the slightest interest in peace, and wanted the Israelis all dead and no country of Israel to exist. The Palestinians fire rockets into Israel regularly, kidnap citizens, as they did these three teenagers. They bring up their children to hate Israel, toddlers are given mock suicide vests. The mothers of jihadists who blow themselves up in an effort to kill Israelis celebrate their dead sons as martyrs in a righteous cause.
In 2011, Obama declared out-of-the-blue that Israel should be shrunk back to its indefensible 1967 borders, and warned Israel “the status quo is unsustainable.” He declared “the international community is tired of an endless process that never produces an outcome”, and claimed “the dream of a Jewish and democratic state cannot be fulfilled with permanent occupation.” This is sheer ignorance of both the history of the Middle East and the history of the state of Israel.
The U.S led “peace framework” talks broke down earlier this year. The idea seemed to be that Israel would offer all sorts of concessions to the Palestinian Authority, and then the U.S would dangle releasing convicted Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard before Prime Minister Netanyahu in the hope that he would fold.
The State of Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East. They are the only country that shares our ideas of free markets and free people. The other guys are talking about blowing up Israel, driving Israel into the sea, preparing to attack the United States, declaring a new Caliphate, and trying to smuggle more weapons into Gaza so they can kill more Israelis. One would think our president and our State Department would notice the difference.
Filed under: Capitalism, Economy, Energy, Foreign Policy, Immigration, Immigration, Islam, Law, Middle East, Military, Politics, Terrorism | Tags: Chaos on the Border, Green Energy Policies, Middle East Caliphate
Seems like everything is heating up. There are all these enormous problems that are just coming to our attention, a lapdog media who ignore the problems, and there’s our natural reluctance to stop playing and pay attention. They are collectively going to get a lot worse before they get better, if they do.
— Obama has appointed a man who seems qualified to attempt to fix the problems at the Veterans Administration Health network. Robert McDonald is a former CEO of Proctor and Gamble, so large organizations are nothing new to him. He is a West Point graduate, and served in the military for the required 5 years post graduation. The limited military experience is unusual for the post which is usually filled by a former general or at least a colonel.
The big problems at the VA are 1. unionized employees, 2. a culture that plans to go home around 4:00 and schedules no operations after 2:00 pm and 3. has no way to measure efficiency except by wait-time for appointments. The bigest problem is that it is a big-government 340,000 employee bureaucracy, which may preclude its ever becoming an efficient health care program.
— ISIS , the Islamic State of Iraq and al Sham, has erupted out of the Syrian crisis and swarmed its way across Iraq, executing and beheading opponents, crucifying members of the opposition, or throwing them alive off cliffs. This is the new Middle East caliphate, a religious and political successor to the prophet Mohammed and sovereign over all Muslims. They have stripped banks, captured military equipment and stockpiles, and captured oil fields. The current al Qaeda leader Ayman al Zawahiri once said a new caliphate would signal a turning of world history “against the empire of the United States and the world’s Jewish government.”
A bunch of fanatic thugs, perhaps, but a well-funded and equipped bunch intent on creating an Islamic state as a launching pad for attacking the U.S. homeland, according to a new congressional report. Four analysts at the Congressional Research Service made that assessment relying on intelligence reports and the words of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of ISIS, (ISIL). Wealthy Sunni sheiks in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar have funneled money to the group to help it bring down the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad, and Alawite , an offshoot of Shia Islam. They already have many hundreds of jihadists with Western nation passports. The Russians have sent military advisors to Iraq. This is a crisis of Obama’s own making, and he’s not really prepared to deal with it.
— “President Obama’s recently announced energy and environment policies have been tried in many countries with the same result: abject failure. Yet when critics point this out, explaining that “the U.S. economy will lose millions of jobs and billions of dollars in growth,” Obama simply waves their objections away. Every European economy that has followed the same green agenda has faltered badly. In 2013, Germany built six more coal plants. China and India build four new ones every week, yet Obama can’t wait to shut down the coal industry. He remains deeply concerned about global warming.
Canada gave up on getting approval of the Keystone XL pipeline from Obama, and is building the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline to send their oil to Asia. Major job loss for the U.S. and a major economic loss for the country. Another. Now, inconveniently, scientists and studies are predicting global cooling ahead — Russia’s Pulkova Observatory: ‘We could be in for a cooling period that lasts 200-250 years.’ A new solar theory predicts imminent global cooling. The reason is the dramatic fall in solar radiation that started around 2004. If the temperature on Earth is entirely controlled by solar effects, the cooling will return us to the temperature levels of the 1950s or even the 1920s, undoing the warming of the last 50 or 100 years in nothing flat. A sharp cooling effect is apt to hit in the next five years. There has been no warming at all in the last 17 years. We will need more power to keep us warm, and it’s a remarkably poor time to start shutting down coal plants for no reason. Carbon dioxide is not a pollutant, and has been much higher in the past, and seems to have little, if any, effect on the climate.
— And then there is the crisis on the border. The Obama administration planned ahead for the subsequent flood of illegal children, older teenagers, gang members, Chinese and who knows who else. Homeland Security requested contractors as “escort services” for 65,000 unaccompanied children in January. The government cannot find enough places to put them, seems to have no real intention of returning them. Apparently children who have come across the border can effectively remain in the U.S. for years before they face a risk for deportation. In the meantime the federal government will take care of them?
Obama wants amnesty, and blames the whole surge on Republicans for not “reforming broken immigration laws” that Obama refuses to enforce because he wants amnesty and a flood of Hispanic immigrants. He stubbornly intends to get his way with executive orders.The problems are a direct result of his failure to enforce the borders, forbid the Border Patrol from preventing the influx, and he essentially told the Border Patrol and ICE that they may not do their jobs. This is not going to end well.
Filed under: Afghanistan, Africa, Europe, Foreign Policy, Iran, Iraq, Islam, Middle East, National Security, The United States | Tags: Disengaging From The World, Iraq in Chaos, The Advance of ISIS
No president in my memory has so often referred to himself as “the President of the United States of America”or as “the Commander in Chief,” as if he needs to keep reminding everyone of his importance. Perhaps I’m being unfair. George W. Bush often said of himself “I’m the decider.” That seemed to me to be a humble statement that the troubles of the world landed on his desk and he had to make a difficult decision—whether it turned out well or ill. As I said, perhaps I’m being unfair.
But Bush was right. Decisions have to be made. We may make a decision about Iraq, but as in all conflicts, the other side gets a vote. The Obama administration has admitted that they were blindsided by the ISIS invasion of Iraq and their rapid progress. Obama is accustomed to, well, dithering. He doesn’t like foreign affairs. He likes traveling with an enormous entourage to other countries and making a speech or two, but he came to office convinced that America was a world bully, interfering in other countries, and was no more exceptional than any other country. He has followed a deliberate policy of disengaging from the world and its quarrels.
We called it “the Apology Tour” when Obama made his way around the world bowing to foreign rulers and apologizing for our influence in world affairs. Democrats were offended at the name, but is that really what Democrats believe, that we should fail to assert a positive influence over world events? Or have they remained too enamored with Obama himself to have given it much thought? The world clearly expects more American leadership. Many countries have not done much about raising a military or acquiring major weapons because we were there.
Obama drew a red line that did not faze Assad, turned the Syrian bloodbath over to Vladimir Putin, which undoubtedly led the Russian president to launch his claim on the Crimea and his aggression against Ukraine. Obama frequently cites polls showing American “war weariness,” but just what is meant by that is not clear. America had won the War in Iraq, and Obama just wanted out. As Elliott Abrams said:
So we got out, fully, completely, cleanly—unless you ask about the real world of Iraq instead of the imaginary world of campaign speeches. We could no longer play the role we had played in greasing relations between Kurds, Shia and Sunnis, and in constraining Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s sectarian excesses. The result was an Iraq spinning downward into the kind of Sunni-Shia confrontation we had paid so dearly to stop in 2007 and 2008, and ISIS—the newest moniker for al Qaeda in Iraq—saw its chance, and took it.
So we’re back in Iraq—Obama has sent 300 military advisers. That’s a very small number.
I’m inclined to believe that just as members of a family have trouble getting along, so the natural state of world affairs is not peace and harmony. That doesn’t mean that we must be eternally engaged in war. Weakness invites ambitious nations to act on their ambitions.
Putin has long regarded the collapse of the Soviet Union as a disaster and wants to restore its position as a world power. The Mullahs in Iran are quite clear about their ambitions regarding the Great Satan and the Little Satan. The newly enriched and increasingly dangerous fanatics of ISIS have already warned that they will see us in New York. Germany has said the United States must consider a renewed military intervention. “It’s the Americans’ task to deal with security in Iraq.” The French place the direct cause of the Iraqi implosion on Obama’s decision to back off from air strikes against the Assad regime last August as the fatal step.
Here are some excellent pieces on our current dilemma:
- “The West at its Worst: America is weak, Europe is afraid, and the brutal men in Iraq and Iran all know it.” by John Vinocur, The Wall Street Journal
- “Obama’s World Disorder:” by Victor Davis Hanson, Defining Ideas, The Hoover Institution
- “Revisionist history prevails on Iraq Invasion:” by Victor Davis Hanson, Tribune Content Agency
- “The Man Who Broke the Middle East:” by Elliott Abrams, Politico Magazine
- “Obama’s Foreign-Policy Failures Go Far Beyond Iraq: Retreat abroad and bigger government at home has made the U.S. weaker.” by George Melloan, The Wall Street Journal
Filed under: Foreign Policy, Humor, Iran, Iraq, Middle East, National Security, Politics, Russia, Terrorism, The United States, United Kingdom | Tags: "Yes Minister", Obama's Foreign Policy, Voting 'Present'
This is actually a clip from the British comedy series “Yes, Minister,” but it seems so precisely applicable, and funny, that I couldn’t resist. The comedy that captures accurately the foibles of humanity is always the best, though we like the comedy of the other guy’s foibles better than when our own are exposed.
Filed under: Afghanistan, Africa, Developing Nations, Iran, Iraq, Middle East, Terrorism | Tags: Most Refugees Since WWII, The Jihadi Spring, UN Refugee Agency
At the end of 2013, The United Nations Refugee Agency’s report released last Friday says, 51.2 million people were refugees. For the first time since World War II we have more than 50 million people driven from their homes, all too often in fear for their lives. And the numbers can only be increasing exponentially as Iraqis and Syrians flee to neighboring countries.
Of the 51.2 refugees— 12 million are being cared for by the United Nations aid agencies. 6.3 million of those have been displaced for more than five years. The largest numbers of refugees come from Afghanistan, Somalia and Syria. The exodus from Iraq has just started. The countries harboring the most refugees are Iran, Lebanon and Pakistan. At the time the report was released the greatest numbers came from the Syrian civil war, with more than 2.5 million Syrians fleeing to neighboring countries. Lebanon is only a small country of 4.5 million people— one fourth of those are refugees. They are quickly running out of basic necessities. And the chaos in Iraq only erupted this month. It takes a lot of fear to make you grab a little of your stuff and run.
Filed under: Foreign Policy, Iraq, Islam, Middle East, National Security, Terrorism, The United States | Tags: Fanatics in Action, ISIS Advances in Iraq, Obama Dithers
I just explained about the Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) found in Iraq during the Iraq War. Douglas Hanson explained that the Iraqi Survey Group (ISG) did only a cursory search, neglected information directly under their noses and gave a phony report. The Media chose to emphasize that no WMD were found. Where did you think Assad got the chemical weapons he used on the people of Syria?
Today we have the news that “Iraq Crisis: ISIS jihadists have Seized Saddam Hussein’s Chemical Weapons Stockpile,”reported by the Telegraph in Britain and by the Wall Street Journal (paywall). In their advance to encircle Baghdad, ISIS has been stripping the banks in the cities they have taken. Estimates of how much cash they have captured range up to a billion, but it seems to be a lot. Officials don’t believe that the ‘militants’ will be able to create a functional weapon from the material. I imagine you can buy quite a few scientists and engineers with their new-found wealth.
U.S. officials don’t believe the Sunni militants will be able to create a functional chemical weapon from the material. The weapons stockpiled at the Al Muthanna complex are old, contaminated and hard to move, officials said.
Nonetheless, the capture of the chemical-weapon stockpile by the forces of the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham, known as ISIS or ISIL, the militant group that is seizing territory in the country, has grabbed the attention of the U.S.
Jen Psaki, the State Department spokeswoman who has a graduate degree in empty speech, said “We remain concerned about the seizure of any military site by the ISIL. We do not believe that the complex contains CW materials of military value and it would be very difficult, if not impossible, to safely move the materials.” John Kerry is “concerned,” Hillary is “concerned.” I’d even bet that Obama is “concerned.”
The Muthanna complex is near Lake Tharthar, roughly 45 miles northwest of Baghdad, an area now firmly in control of the Sunni rebels. ISIS has taken control of most of Anbar province as well as Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city.
Filed under: Foreign Policy, Intelligence, Iran, Iraq, Islam, Middle East, National Security, Terrorism, The United States | Tags: Iran Wants U.S. Help In Iraq?, ISIS Too Extreme for al Qaeda?, Nations and Tribes
A speech by Iran’s president Hassan Rouhani said they would help the U.S. confront “terrorist groups” in Iraq and Syria — referring principally to ISIS. According to President Rouhani:
If the Iraqi government asks us for help, we may provide any assistance the Iraqi nation would like us to provide in the fight against terrorism.
All countries need to embark on joint effort regarding terrorism.
At the moment, it’s the government of Iraq and the people of Iraq that are fighting terrorism.
We have not seen the US do anything for now. Any time the Americans start to take action against terrorist groups, we can consider that.
It has been reported that Iran has already sent two battalions of troops into Iraq, but the Iranians deny it. Iraq is not enthusiastic about Iranian troops, they had a very bloody war still in memory. The Ayatollah Sistani has called for the Shiia to volunteer to fight the ISIS, and they are turning out by the thousands.
Can it be that the Iranian leadership is openly calling on the United States to intervene in Iraq?
The aircraft carrier George H.W. Bush has been moved into the Persian Gulf to provide President Obama with “options?”
We have over 5,000 staff in our embassy in Iraq. Some are reportedly moving out and being replaced by members of the military — who do not count as “boots on the ground” but as just shuffling people around.
The situation? Muddled and confusing.
Filed under: Foreign Policy, Iraq, Islam, Middle East, National Security, Terrorism, The United States | Tags: An Uninvolved President, Extremists Advance in Iraq, Memories of Another Time
I don’t know if we have evacuated the embassy yet. It is reportedly our largest and most expensive embassy. It was built to emphasize our friendship for Iraq and that we were there to help, long term. Obama refused to evacuate some 200 contractors at an air base, but the Iraqi Air Force is getting them out.
I am always lost in admiration for Michael Ramirez and his ability to come up with the perfect visual metaphor for the current situation. You can find his editorial cartoons every day at Investors.
Filed under: Foreign Policy, Freedom, History, Intelligence, Iran, Iraq, Middle East, National Security, Politics, Terrorism, The United States | Tags: Disolving Borders, Epic Incompetence, The ISIS Warlord Obama Released
This is apparently what ISIS currently has in mind. (Click to enlarge) For now. This group was formed in Syria and has moved into northern Iraq. The have been called an al Qaeda affiliate, but al Qaeda has rejected them because of their extreme violence. They are shooting and beheading people indiscriminately.
ISIS seeks to impose its vision of a single radical Islamist state stretching from the Mediterranean coast of Syria through modern Iraq, the region of the Islamic Caliphates established in the seventh and eighth centuries. In Iraq, the Kurds have carved out a homeland in the north of the country with the help of the Turks and against the wishes of the Iraqi government, that exports their own oil, runs its own border operations and has organized its own military. Shiite militias from Lebanon have moved into Syria and operated with the Syrian government. Syrian refugees have fled into Lebanon, and Lebanon now has more school age Syrian children than Lebanese children. Borders are dissolving.
When we went to war in Iraq, the Left was furious. The Left hated Bush. They said so. They hated the way he walked. They hated his squint. They hated the way he talked and made endless fun of his mangled words. They hated the way he took charge in the wake of 9/11.
It comes down to this “A substantial part of the Democratic Party, some of its politicians and many of its loudest supporters do not want America to succeed in Iraq. So vitriolic and all-consuming is their hatred for George W.Bush that they skip right over the worthy goals we have been, with some considerable success, seeking there—a democratic government, with guaranteed liberties for all, a vibrant free economy, respect for women—and call this a war for oil, or for Halliburton.
Successes are discounted, setbacks are trumpeted, the level of American casualties is treated as if it were comparable to those in Vietnam or World War II. Allegations of American misdeeds are repeated over and over, the work of reconstruction and aid of American military personnel and civilians is ignored. In all this they have been aided and abetted by large elements of the press.
……………………Michael Barone, Real Clear Politics, June 12, 2006.
That is the press from whom Obama learned about Iraq. And that was his view of Bush’s war. He came to office despising everything Bush, and blaming Bush for everything unpleasant he had to face, oblivious to the fact that every president faces unexpected problems.
Obama lives in a fantasy world of his own making. He is so accustomed to putting whatever comes up into words favorable to himself that he often cannot distinguish between what he said to make himself look good and the actual truth. I cannot imagine, with the need for urgent action so pressing, the president taking off for a trip to Palm Springs and another fundraiser, and a little golf.
The much despised George W. Bush had a video conference with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki once a week and worked at teaching the Prime Minister how to set secularism aside and manage a country. Obama had little contact and was clearly uninterested in anything beyond pulling out as rapidly as possible, so the status of forces agreement was not of particular importance to either party.
Barack Obama pulled out of Iraq because he had no understanding of World War I and World War II, and how just walking away from the first made the second inevitable. Defeat must be complete, and sometimes you have to put a country back together enough for them to become functional. He had no understanding of what a broken country Iraq was under the control of Saddam Hussein. Obama says his foreign policy is “Don’t do stupid s––t.” Sometimes doing nothing, or ignoring the urgency of the moment, is the stupidest thing of all.