Posts Tagged ‘pull out’

Iraq: Bush’s Victory, Obama’s Despicable Defeat

December 19, 2011

I watched the mainstream media’s news coverage of the last U.S. troops leaving Iraq.  And what a great day for Obama, on their presentation.

After all, didn’t Obama promise that the troops would come home?  And aren’t they in fact coming home?

A couple things are notably absent; first, that the departure of U.S. troops were in fact negotiated under George W. Bush and NOT Barack Obama; and second, that our military commanders are sick that we aren’t leaving a force behind similar to those that stayed behind in postwar Europe, Japan and Korea to protect the gains we fought so hard to attain.

The überliberal Huffington Post presents the Obama narrative this way:

Obama Announces Iraq Troops Will Be Withdrawn By End Of 2011
First Posted: 10/21/11 01:33 PM ET Updated: 10/21/11 05:21 PM ET

WASHINGTON — Fulfilling a long-held campaign promise, President Barack Obama announced Friday that he will pull all U.S. troops out of Iraq by the end of the year, as conditioned by the Status of Forces Agreement with the country.

“As a candidate for president, I pledged to bring the war in Iraq to a responsible end,” Obama said. “So today I can report that, as promised, the rest of our troops in Iraq will come home by the end of the year.”

“After nearly nine years, America’s war in Iraq will be over,” he said.

In confirming his plans for troop withdrawal by the end of 2011, the president fulfilled the most memorable pledge he made in securing the nomination of president from his party. There had been reports the administration had been plotting ways to renegotiate the Status of Forces Agreement with the Iraqi government so as to prolong America’s presence in the country. Those rumors heightened concerns among Democrats who backed Obama in part because of his pledge to end the war in Iraq.

I mean, wow, it sounds like Obama is an amazing leader, doesn’t it?  And it should never occur to anyone that Obama would have pulled out U.S. forces three years ago when he first came into office if his rhetoric had any validity whatsoever.

But buried in the middle of the story is this:

Under an agreement negotiated by the Bush administration in 2008, U.S. troops were due to end their mission in Iraq by the end of 2011. But for much of this year, Obama and his advisers have been trying to find a way to retain some troop presence in the country.

According to people familiar with the negotiations — which were conducted for the Obama administration by some of the same individuals who led the Bush-era process — the main sticking points in recent months were over the precise number of troops that would stay behind, and whether the Iraqi government would agree to provide them with legal immunity.

Experts on the mission in Iraq say that despite the public protestations on all sides, both parties were eager to come to an agreement over a continuing troop presence: the Iraqis because they hoped for help in providing stability, and the Americans because they wanted a futher bulwark against encroachment by Iran.

Which is to say very clearly that 1) why is Obama stupidly taking credit for a withdrawal of forces that he had nothing to do with apart from the fact that he is a man without shame or honor or dignity?  And 2) why is he deceitfully presenting thing pullout as a “win” for America when all we are doing is abandoning nine years of investment of blood and treasure?

I still remember the chutzpah of the Obama administration from this moment when Vice President Biden boasted:

“I am very optimistic about — about Iraq. I mean, this could be one of the great achievements of this administration. You’re going to see 90,000 American troops come marching home by the end of the summer. You’re going to see a stable government in Iraq that is actually moving toward a representative government.”

Again, this is an administration characterized by a profound lack of honesty, or shame, or honor, as the FACTS reveal.

Of the Bush decision to employ a surge of U.S. forces in Iraq that turned the war around and resulted in victory, we have this from Obama:

Obama Web site removes `surge’ from Iraq problem
By NEDRA PICKLER – July 15, 2008

WASHINGTON (AP) — Barack Obama’s aides have removed criticism of President Bush’s increase of troops to Iraq from the campaign Web site, part of an effort to update the Democrat’s written war plan to reflect changing conditions.

Debate over the impact of President Bush’s troop “surge” has been at the center of exchanges this week between Obama and Republican presidential rival John McCain. Obama opposed the war and the surge from the start, while McCain supported both the invasion and the troop increase.

A year and a half after Bush announced he was sending reinforcements to Iraq, it is widely credited with reducing violence there. With most Americans ready to end the war, McCain is using the surge debate to argue he has better judgment and the troops should stay to win the fight. Obama argues the troop increase has not achieved its other goal of fostering a political reconciliation among Iraqi factions.

After Bush delivered a nationally televised address on Jan. 10, 2007, announcing his plan, Obama argued it could make the situation worse by taking pressure off Iraqis to find a political solution to the fighting.

“I am not persuaded that 20,000 additional troops in Iraq is going to solve the sectarian violence there,” the Illinois senator said that night, a month before announcing his presidential bid. “In fact, I think it will do the reverse.”

Obama continued to argue throughout 2007 that the troop increase was a mistake. By the early part of this year, he was acknowledging that it had improved security and reduced violence, but he has stuck by his opposition to the move.

The AP – from which I snagged the article – purged that story from its site.  That is a dilemma I face again and again as leftwing media seem to keep articles that damage conservatives forever and ever, but conveniently lose those articles which paint liberals in a bad light.  It’s just another way the mainstream media demonstrates its naked media bias.  Years ago, conservatives were helpless; now, stories can be preserved even after the leftists purge them.

The fact of the matter is that the United States won the war in Iraq in spite of the idiocy and foolishness of one Barack Hussein Obama; and that Bush demonstrated wisdom and perseverence whereas Obama demonstrated weakness and cowardice.

And to claim credit for the very success he himself vigorously opposed is again an act of dishonesty and dishonor and shamelessness.

Obama tried to claim that the success that “coincidentally” directly accompanied the surge really had nothing to do with the number and courage of our warriors, but merely was the result of an “awakening” of sheiks in Anbar province.  The funny thing about that – apart that it denies American troops any credit whatsoever – was that all the mainstream media stories reporting this “awakening” took place AFTER the Bush surge, and that it was in fact the Bush surge that gave the sheiks the cover and the confidence to rise up against the remnants of Saddam Hussein’s forces.  And that we have faced the same dilemma in Afghanistan; that the locals won’t courageously rise up against terrorism if they don’t believe that America will be around to stand with them.

It’s a helluva lot easier for the oppressed locals to bravely “rise up” if you’ve got thousands of tall, strong and brave American troops coming in to help you.  That’s the bottom damn line that Obama doesn’t understand.

So, the war in Iraq was a huge Bush success – and the very fact that the Obama administration tried to take credit for a war that they did everything possible to undermine when it mattered PROVES that it was a great Bush success.  But what has Obama done with that victory?

He’s turned it into a likely defeat, that’s what:

Key general: Iraq pullout plan a ‘disaster’
Others echo call for strength against Iran
By Rowan Scarborough – The Washington Times
Sunday, October 23, 2011

President Obama’s decision to pull all U.S. forces out of Iraq by Dec. 31 is an “absolute disaster” that puts the burgeoning Arab democracy at risk of an Iranian “strangling,” said an architect of the 2007 troop surge that turned around a losing war.

Retired Army Gen. John M. Keane was at the forefront of persuading President George W. Bush to scuttle a static counterinsurgency strategy and replace it with 30,000 reinforcements and a more activist, street-by-street counterterrorism tactic.

Today, even with that strategy producing a huge drop in daily attacks, Gen. Keane bluntly told The Washington Times that the United States again is losing.

“I think it’s an absolute disaster,” said Gen. Keane, who advised Gen. David H. Petraeus when he was top Iraq commander. “We won the war in Iraq, and we’re now losing the peace.”

U.S. troops will be vacating Iraq at a time when neither Baghdad’s counterterrorism skills nor its abilities to protect against invasion are at levels needed to fully protect the country, say analysts long involved in the nearly nine-year war.

“Forty-four hundred lives lost,” Gen. Keane said. “Tens of thousands of troops wounded. Over a couple hundred thousand Iraqis killed. We liberated 25 million people. There is only one Arab Muslim country that elects its own government, and that is Iraq.

“We should be staying there to strengthen that democracy, to let them get the kind of political gains they need to get and keep the Iranians away from strangling that country. That should be our objective, and we are walking away from that objective.”

This is a sad day for America and not a victory at all.  It’s the day we walked away from 4,000 American dead and $800 billion in treasure to fight.  It’s no different than what we did in Vietnam, when we bloodied ourselves fighting to take a hill from the communists, AND THEN WALKED AWAY FROM THAT SAME DAMN HILL RIGHT AFTER FIGHTING SO HARD TO TAKE THE DAMNED THING.  Only this time instead of the Viet Cong immediately moving in to retake the hill that America had invested the lives of its soldiers taking, it will be Iran immediately moving in to take Iraq away from us.

Because we’re not there to do a damned thing to stop them, are we?

Hillary Clinton “warned” Iran to watch out as our troops pull out:

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on Sunday warned Iran not to miscalculate the U.S. decision to withdraw its troops.

“No one, most particularly Iran, should miscalculate about our continuing commitment to and with the Iraqis going forward,” she said in an interview with CNN from Uzbekistan.

Yeah, that will do it.  A warning from Hillary Clinton has got to be worth at least as much as 100,000 American warriors dug in and ready to fight, right?

Charles Krauthammer sums up the great Bush victory become the miserable Obama defeat as follows:

Obama loses Iraq, as smart power becomes no power
By CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER | Posted: Sunday, November 6, 2011

Barack Obama was a principled opponent of the Iraq War from its beginning. But when he became president in January 2009, he was handed a war that was won. The surge had succeeded. Al-Qaeda in Iraq had been routed, driven to humiliating defeat by an Anbar Awakening of Sunnis fighting side-by-side with the infidel Americans. Even more remarkably, the Shiite militias had been taken down, with American backing, by the forces of Shiite Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. They crushed the Sadr militias from Basra to Sadr City.

Al-Qaeda decimated. A Shiite prime minister taking a decisively nationalist line. Iraqi Sunnis ready to integrate into a new national government. U.S. casualties at their lowest ebb in the entire war. Elections approaching. Obama was left with but a single task: Negotiate a new status-of-forces agreement (SOFA) to reinforce these gains and create a strategic partnership with the Arab world’s only democracy.

He blew it. Negotiations, such as they were, finally collapsed last month. There is no agreement, no partnership. As of Dec. 31, the American military presence in Iraq will be liquidated.

And it’s not as if that deadline snuck up on Obama. He had three years to prepare for it. Everyone involved, Iraqi and American, knew that the 2008 SOFA calling for full U.S. withdrawal was meant to be renegotiated. And all major parties but one (the Sadr faction) had an interest in some residual stabilizing U.S. force, like the postwar deployments in Japan, Germany and Korea.

Three years, two abject failures. The first was the administration’s inability, at the height of American post-surge power, to broker a centrist nationalist coalition governed by the major blocs — one predominantly Shiite (Maliki’s), one predominantly Sunni (Ayad Allawi’s), one Kurdish — that among them won a large majority (69 percent) of seats in the 2010 election.

Vice President Joe Biden was given the job. He failed utterly. The government ended up effectively being run by a narrow sectarian coalition where the balance of power is held by the relatively small (12 percent) Iranian-client Sadr faction.

The second failure was the SOFA itself. The military recommended nearly 20,000 troops, considerably fewer than our 28,500 in Korea, 40,000 in Japan and 54,000 in Germany. The president rejected those proposals, choosing instead a level of 3,000 to 5,000 troops.

A deployment so risibly small would have to expend all its energies simply protecting itself — the fate of our tragic, missionless 1982 Lebanon deployment — with no real capability to train the Iraqis, build their U.S.-equipped air force, mediate ethnic disputes (as we have successfully done, for example, between local Arabs and Kurds), operate surveillance and special-ops bases, and establish the kind of close military-to-military relations that undergird our strongest alliances.

The Obama proposal was an unmistakable signal of unseriousness. It became clear that he simply wanted out, leaving any Iraqi foolish enough to maintain a pro-American orientation exposed to Iranian influence, now unopposed and potentially lethal. Message received. Just this past week, Massoud Barzani, leader of the Kurds— for two decades the staunchest of U.S. allies — visited Tehran to bend a knee to both President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

It didn’t have to be this way. Our friends did not have to be left out in the cold to seek Iranian protection. Three years and a won war had given Obama the opportunity to establish a lasting strategic alliance with the Arab world’s second most important power.

He failed, though he hardly tried very hard. The excuse is Iraqi refusal to grant legal immunity to U.S. forces. But the Bush administration encountered the same problem, and overcame it. Obama had little desire to. Indeed, he portrays the evacuation as a success, the fulfillment of a campaign promise.

But surely the obligation to defend the security and the interests of the nation supersede personal vindication. Obama opposed the war, but when he became commander in chief the terrible price had already been paid in blood and treasure. His obligation was to make something of that sacrifice, to secure the strategic gains that sacrifice had already achieved.

He did not, failing at precisely what this administration so flatters itself for doing so well: diplomacy. After years of allegedly clumsy brutish force, Obama was to usher in an era of not hard power, not soft power, but smart power.

Which turns out in Iraq to be … no power. Years from now we will be asking not “Who lost Iraq?” — that already is clear — but“Why?”

If you don’t think that General Keane – the author of the successful surge that turned Iraq around – doesn’t completely agree with Krauthammer’s assessment, you are almost as big of a fool as Obama.

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Obama’s Message To Taliban Re: Afghanistan: ‘Just Keep Fighting And Wait Us Out And It’ll Be All Yours’

December 2, 2009

I took a nap in front of a television, and dreamed I was being lectured to by this incredibly annoying, pontificating nerd.  When I woke up, Barack Obama was speaking.

In a nationally televised speech, Barack Obama assured the Taliban fighting U.S. troops in Afghanistan that they will have an exit strategy out of a bitter conflict.

“Don’t worry, brave and noble Taliban fighters, your long fight will not be in vain.  We will be here today, but gone tomorrow.  I promise you as a Democrat and a liberal that in 18 months, the ultimate victory will be yours, and then you can invite those al-Qaeda friends of yours to come back.”

Don’t worry, Obama didn’t actually say that, at least not in so many words.  But that is nevertheless the clear outcome of his policy.

I feel sorry for our troops.  They have just been told that they are being committed not to a war that they will be allowed to fight and win, but an abandonment to a lost cause that will end with cutting and running.

From the AP:

As President Barack Obama outlined his plan to send 30,000 extra troops to Afghanistan — while pledging to start bringing them home in 2011 — soldiers, Marines and their families interviewed by The Associated Press felt a tangle of fresh concerns and renewed hopes. Some took in the televised announcement as they played darts in a barroom near their base, while others watched from their living rooms.

“All I ask that man to do, if he is going to send them over there, is not send them over in vain,” said 57-year-old Bill Thomas of Jacksonville, N.C., who watched Obama’s televised speech in his living room, where photos of his three sons in uniform hang over the TV.

One of his sons, 23-year-old Cpl. Michael Thomas, is a Marine based at neighboring Camp Lejeune. He’ll deploy next year to Afghanistan.

An ex-Marine himself, Thomas said he supports Obama’s surge strategy. But he shook his head when the president announced a 2011 transition date to begin pulling out troops.

“If I were the enemy, I would hang back until 2011,” Thomas said. “We have to make sure that we are going go stay until the job is done. It ain’t going to be as easy as he thinks it is.”

Some troops chose to ignore Obama’s promise of a timetable of victory for the Taliban:

The president also began outlining an endgame to the war, saying troops would begin pulling out of Afghanistan in July 2011 — though he did not say when a withdrawal could be completed.

Army 1st Lt. Emily Stahl, who is preparing to deploy from Fort Campbell next spring, said she’s not going to focus on the timetable.

“We have to get the job done,” Stahl, 24, said after watching the speech from her home outside the Army post, where she serves in the 101st Airborne Division. “If we do what we’re supposed to do, the end of the war will come when it comes.”

But whether they ignore it or not, the decision has already been made: another Democrat president has promised to snatch defeat out of the jaws of victory by assuring the enemy of a future American retreat.

Of course, in addition to the decision to commit not to commit, Obama has blessed our soldiers fighting in Afghanistan with the spirit of indecisive dithering:

At the John Hoover Inn, a bar in Evans Mills, N.Y., near Fort Drum, a dozen soldiers watched the speech on a large-screen TV, drinking beer out of red cups. When Obama announced the troop increase, only one cheered, and the rest remained silent. They continued to play darts while the president was speaking.

“I’m just relieved to know where we’re going,” said Spc. Adam Candee, 29, of Chicago.

Theresa McCleod said she worries what Obama’s plans might mean for her husband, a soldier in the 10th Mountain Division at Fort Drum. She said he’s already done a long combat tours in Afghanistan and Iraq, leaving her to care for their three children.

“First he was supposed to be pulling everyone out, and now all the sudden he’s throwing everybody back into Afghanistan and it’s like nobody can really make up their minds,” McCleod said of Obama.

Don’t worry, Theresa.  You’re not the only one who’s confused about what the president is doing.  I mean, Barack Obama is the president, and he doesn’t have a clue what the president is doing.

The Obama administration says it was surprised at the corruption in Afghanistan.  Because, after all, who would ever have thunk that the world’s largest producer of opium and heroin would be corrupt?

In similar news that caught the Obama administration completely off guard, it was revealed that there is something called “sand” on the beach.

McChrystal wanted 80,000 troops, and said that he’d probably be able to make do with 40,000.  Obama not only gave McChrystal the lowball commitment, but then proceeded to actually lowball the lowball commitment.  As it is, General Stanley McChrystal will only receive 3/4 of the minimum number of troops he told his president he would absolutely need.

McChrystal has been sitting on his hands since he had the report ready in August.  You should be able to see why he’s been impatient:

The top U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan warns in an urgent, confidential assessment of the war that he needs more forces within the next year and bluntly states that without them, the eight-year conflict “will likely result in failure,” according to a copy of the 66-page document obtained by The Washington Post.

Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal says emphatically: “Failure to gain the initiative and reverse insurgent momentum in the near-term (next 12 months) — while Afghan security capacity matures — risks an outcome where defeating the insurgency is no longer possible.”

So Obama spends basically four months dithering, only to announce that he will lowball the lowball troop commitment.  It’s going to take several months to get the troops to Afghanistan and get them ready to fight.

There won’t be a whole lot of time left in McChrystal’s “next 12 months” to avoid the “outcome where defeating the insurgency is no longer possible.”

But Obama – the president who thinks of everything – has resolved this otherwise unresolvable dilemma by ensuring that we ultimately abandon the country we’ve been fighting to rid of the Taliban to the very Taliban we’ve been fighting.