Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Reality Check

End times have arrived. The Washington Post has refuted the Clinton/Kaine (and Obama) claim that the reason we left Iraq too soon in 2011, paving the way for ISIL to rise up in Iraq, was that Iraq refused to agree to a status of forces agreement.

This claim has long infuriated me for how misleading it was.

I start with pointing out that Obama ran for election on the promise to get all our troops out of Iraq; and after he pulled out all our troops as president, he boasted that he'd gotten our troops out.

But I am to believe that in between President Obama tried really, really hard to keep our troops in Iraq?

Please. I'm not stupid enough to believe that and I don't believe Democrats are stupid enough to believe it either.

The fact is we didn't try hard to get an agreement, and offered too few troops to be an effective counter to Iranian influence. So the Iraqis would not risk angering Iran for too small of a guarantee.

And for added humor, the president claims that we had to have a SOFA deal that was approved by Iraq's legislative body to be valid rather than an executive agreement.

Mr. "pen and phone" has bypassed our own legislative body routinely and is proud of it. Yet that wasn't enough for a SOFA to defend our hard-won gains in Iraq?

And for bonus humor, we have more troops in Iraq now than what President Obama offered prior to our departure, yet rely on an executive approved agreement with Iraq to protect our troops in Iraq today.

Two Pinocchios doesn't seem enough to me. That it got two tells you how misleading the claim is given the fact checkers often bend over backwards to fit whatever square statement Democrats make into the round hole of truthiness and make all the right assumptions to conclude someone with an R after their name is judged wrong.

UPDATE: Former Secretary of Defense Panetta confirmed the misleading tale being peddled that seeks to avoid blame:

In clear and unequivocal terms, former Defense Secretary and CIA director Leon Panetta confirms precisely what conservative critics, lawmakers, former officials, tactical experts and military officials have said about Iraq: President Obama was advised to keep a stay-behind force and warned about the consequences if he did not. He preferred to keep his campaign pledge to get all the troops out. The White House therefore allowed negotiations to falter for a status of forces agreement and bragged it had gotten all the troops out. Iraq has now collapsed.

And to repeat, the form of guaranteeing the safety of our troops against political prosecution that was unacceptable to President Obama in 2011 is what we have now with about 6,000 troops in Iraq for Iraq War 2.0:

And of course now that Obama may need to re-insert troops he has accepted the very sort of personal representation from Maliki that was available to him in 2011[.]

Oh well. So a few eggs had to be broken? President Obama got a lovely 2012 "responsibly ending our wars" omelet for his reelection campaign. That's what is really important, eh?