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Thursday, June 12, 2014

#Iraq Collapse Looms As Obama Hands Hard-won American Victory to Al Queda

Foresight and leadership is all it would have taken to forestall this disaster. Obama has neither!

On a recent foreign trip aboard Air Force One Obama responded to critics of his foreign policy by saying his doctrine was "don't do stupid shit."  Yet, wherever we look these days all we see is one foreign policy disaster after another. The looming collapse in Iraq is just the latest.

Obama was elected on the promise that he would end the war in Iraq. Instead, all he did was end U.S. involvement. He pulled all U.S. troops out and basically left Iraq to fend for itself. When George W. Bush left office Iraq was stable and at peace. Can Obama say that today? Obama refused to do the hard work of negotiating a change in the Status of Forces Agreement with Iraq that might have allowed residual non combat U.S. forces to remain to bolster the Iraqi government. We see the result.

In December 2011 Obama had his "mission accomplished" moment at Fort Bragg, North Carolina where he claimed he had ended the war "responsibly" and that "we’re leaving behind a sovereign, stable and self-reliant Iraq, with a representative government that was elected by its people. " Prior to that Vice President Biden called Iraq one of Obama's "greatest achievements." In campaign 2012 Obama claimed he had "Al Queda on the run." Got that right. A.Q. is running straight for Baghdad! Thanks O!

A regrouped Al Queda surging to victory in Iraq.

Today, hundreds of thousands are fleeing the terrorist plague that struck at Iraq's second largest city, Mosul. The plague continues and is heading south toward Baghdad. Mass beheadings are the fate for many left behind.

This Didn't Have to Happen

Under George W. Bush Al Queda had retreated into Syria and kept a low profile until the civil war in that country began. Their brutal tactics allowed them to take larger areas of territory. All of this was known in Washington. Robert Ford, our Ambassador to Syria resigned recently because of the inaction of the Obama Administration and their inability to respond to the threat. He writes in the New York Times:
In February, I resigned as the American ambassador to Syria, after 30 years’ foreign service in Africa and the Middle East. As the situation in Syria deteriorated, I found it ever harder to justify our policy. It was time for me to leave.
Al Qaeda offshoots that joined the war now pose a potential threat to our security, as the directors of national intelligence and the Federal Bureau of Investigation have warned. These extremists enjoy a sanctuary from which they may mount attacks against Europe or the United States.

Americans can be proud that we have provided over $2 billion in humanitarian aid to help Syrian refugees. But this is treating symptoms, not the disease. We must have a strategy that deals with both Mr. Assad and the jihadists.
Sadly, there is no strategy to deal with the problem. Obama operates in a world where the politics of the moment is his sole consideration. His desire to avoid doing "stupid shit" seems to have paralyzed any kind of effective action even if he knew what that was. He's surrounded by people like National Security Adviser Susan Rice who's own judgement has been repeatedly called into question over the Benghazi video claim and more recently with her assessment that Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl served with "honor and distinction" and thus justified releasing the top five generals of the Taliban from Guantanamo.

And if you think this shock in Iraq has jolted Obama into action, think again. On Wednesday he told an online forum at the White House that "The world is less violent than it has ever been." As the full scope of the Iraq crisis broke on Thursday Obama said he was considering options to help Iraq but he didn't have any specifics. No doubt he'll give another speech and declare problem solved as he did with Syria.

Obama has no strategy for dealing with this mess. No plan at all. Not even a clue. He's taken a hard-won victory in Iraq and thrown it into the dust. The sacrifice of our fallen soldiers and veterans be damned. The result will be more death and destruction. That blood is on Obama's hands!

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