Below I recount the mounting attacks, death toll and mass graves from the terrorist menace exploding across the world. Most of that is centered around ISIS. But ISIS isn't the only source of terrorism in the world.
In an article in the Washington Post, General David Petraeus says:
PETRAEUS:[I]t is impossible to return to Iraq without a keen sense of opportunities lost. These include the mistakes we, the U.S., made here, and likewise the mistakes the Iraqis themselves have made. This includes the squandering of so much of what we and our coalition and Iraqi partners paid such a heavy cost to achieve.
What has happened in Iraq is a tragedy — for the Iraqi people, for the region and for the entire world. It is tragic foremost because it didn't have to turn out this way. The hard-earned progress of the Surge was sustained for over three years. What transpired after that, starting in late 2011, came about as a result of mistakes and misjudgments whose consequences were predictable. And there is plenty of blame to go around for that.
Yes, those consequences were predictable. President George W. Bush predicted this would happen if we left Iraq too early as Obama insisted. The blame lies entirely with Obama.
BUSH: “I know some in Washington would like us to start leaving Iraq now. To begin withdrawing before our commanders tell us we are ready would be dangerous for Iraq, for the region, and for the United States. It would mean surrendering the future of Iraq to al Qaeda. It would mean that we’d be risking mass killings on a horrific scale. It would mean we’d allow the terrorists to establish a safe haven in Iraq to replace the one they lost in Afghanistan. It would mean increasing the probability that American troops would have to return at some later date to confront an enemy that is even more dangerous.”Petraueus went on to add:
I think Iraq and the coalition forces are making considerable progress against the Islamic State. In fact, I would argue that the foremost threat to Iraq’s long-term stability and the broader regional equilibrium is not the Islamic State; rather, it is Shiite militias, many backed by — and some guided by — Iran.And what is Obama doing about the threat posed by Iran? Nothing. Instead of countering this threat he's making nice with the Iranians for the purpose of signing an agreement that will eventually allow Iran to get a nuclear weapon thus complicating an already difficult situation beyond all imagining.
These militia returned to the streets of Iraq in response to a fatwa by Shia leader Grand Ayatollah Sistani at a moment of extreme danger. And they prevented the Islamic State from continuing its offensive into Baghdad. Nonetheless, they have, in some cases, cleared not only Sunni extremists but also Sunni civilians and committed atrocities against them. Thus, they have, to a degree, been both part of Iraq's salvation but also the most serious threat to the all-important effort of once again getting the Sunni Arab population in Iraq to feel that it has a stake in the success of Iraq rather than a stake in its failure. Longer term, Iranian-backed Shia militia could emerge as the preeminent power in the country, one that is outside the control of the government and instead answerable to Tehran.
Beyond Iraq, I am also profoundly worried about the continuing meltdown of Syria, which is a geopolitical Chernobyl. Until it is capped, it is going to continue to spew radioactive instability and extremist ideology over the entire region.
Any strategy to stabilize the region thus needs to take into account the challenges in both Iraq and Syria. It is not sufficient to say that we’ll figure them out later.
The next president, from either party, will have an incredible mess to clean up. Sadly, it was ALL avoidable. But Obama seems determined to make a messy situation far worse and leave the U.S. and our allies in weaker shape to deal with it. You might almost suspect it planned it that way!
UPDATE: Iran's Leader Declares "Death to America" and he MEANS IT! Over the years Iran's Hezbollah proxy has killed hundreds of Americans. Hundreds more in Iraq. The Iranians laugh at Obama's weakness and stupidity!