It's like the people of the Middle East aren't aware at all of the president's 2009 outreach speech to the Islamic in Cairo!
Before he won the Nobel Peace Prize, Obama won the peacenik vote. When he ran for president in 2008, he was the one aiming to "turn the page" on America's failed foreign policy. He criticized the Iraq War as a distraction from the real business in Afghanistan. And yet, Obama is going to hand his successor more foreign policy disasters than he inherited.
Ah, a glimmer of thought by the author after 7 years of the numbing balms of hope and change convinced so many people that the problems of the Middle East were the fault of Bush 43 who infected a bastion of peace eager to COEXIST despite our influence.
But just a glimmer. The hope remains strong in this one:
President Obama certainly inherited a mess. President George W. Bush's surge in Iraq had left the United States an honorable-looking exit strategy, but Bush's signature on a Status of Forces agreement [NOTE: SOFA] with the Iraqi government had also guaranteed the departure of U.S. forces before real political reconciliation had happened in Iraq.
Under Bush 43, we won on the battlefield. There was no "mess" to pass along. A victory was passed along. The Obama administration boasted about the success of Iraq to justify their campaign slogan of "responsibly ending" our wars.
Perhaps an executive summary of the war should be reviewed before writing.
What really gets me is the author blaming Bush 43 for failing to get a long-term SOFA when the anti-Iraq War left bitterly complained about even the 3-year deal--which everyone assumed was an interim deal to buy time for a new administration to negotiate a new one to protect our battlefield victory by building rule of law in Iraq.
To believe this fantasy of passing the buck to Bush you have to believe some amazing things, as I note at the end of this post:
I know the president's defenders blame the Iraqis for the lack of a SOFA to remain after 2011. But to say this you have to believe that the president tried very hard to negotiate a deal to stay in Iraq prior to our 2011 withdrawal when he promised to get our troops out of Iraq when he ran for the presidency in 2008 and when he boasted of getting our troops out of Iraq in the 2012 re-election campaign. Please don't insult my intelligence by making that particular defense.
It's sad that even a glimmer of thought is progress. But I'll take the realization that being the anti-Bush allowed more problems to fester and explode.
And in that spirit, I'm at least comforted that President Obama launched Iraq War 2.0 to defend what we gained in the Iraq War rather than walk away and let Iraq fall.
Once ISIL is defeated in Iraq, we must remain to inculcate rule of law in Iraq to support the development of real democracy to keep Iraq from becoming vulnerable again to jihadi penetration (and to reject Iranian influence, too).
Victory in Iraq is still within our reach.
But never forget that this is just one front in the war against jihadi control of Islam. Further, military actions--however necessary--are just treating the symptoms to keep the jihadis at bay from us until Islam can defeat the threat from within.
And remember that ruthlessly focusing on destroying jihadis doesn't radicalize Moslems in our society--it protects our Moslem neighbors from being radicalized and prevents even more from being cowed into silence from fear of drawing the ire of Islamists.
I've said it before and I'll say it again, Leftists who stand against going after jihadis because it really targets Moslems in general implicitly bolster the jihadi argument that Islamists speak for all Moslems.
Going after and defeating the jihadis is the most pro-Moslem thing we can do.