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Obama’s abandonment of Iraq and the fall of Mosul

Obama’s abandonment of Iraq and the fall of Mosul

And so it has all come to pass.

As soon as Obama was elected it became a foregone conclusion that this would be the result in Iraq—that the country would be taken over by the worst forces in the area. Since then, it’s been a slow denouement:

Insurgents seized control early Tuesday of most of the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, including the provincial government headquarters, offering a powerful demonstration of the mounting threat posed by extremists to Iraq’s teetering stability.

Fighters with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), an al-Qaeda offshoot, overran the entire western bank of the city overnight after Iraqi soldiers and police apparently fled their posts, in some instances discarding their uniforms as they sought to escape the advance of the militants…

The collapse of government forces in Mosul echoed the takeover earlier this year of the town of Fallujah in western Anbar province, where U.S. troops fought some of their fiercest battles of the Iraq war…

The Iraqi government is asking for international and/or US help, “by virtue of the Joint Cooperation agreement between the two countries.” But that horse left the barn a long time ago.

As a result of Obama’s decisions regarding the Iraq pullout, there are not even any residual US forces left in the country, as remain in so many other places where Americans have fought and died:

In order to land an effective fighting force to defend Baghdad and retake Mosul, we would need to commit tens of thousands of troops and a large amount of materiel in a big hurry. Logistically speaking, that would be a feat worthy of George S. Patton and the Battle of the Bulge in order for us to get to Baghdad before ISIS does, especially with Iraqi security forces collapsing.

Politically speaking, it’s a dead letter.

David French at National Review thinks Obama’s policy on Iraq demonstrates his foolishness rather than his knavishness:

At the heart of the Obama administration’s folly is a set of unshakeable convictions — gained through long-term exposure to the total nonsense that passes for foreign-policy analysis in America-hating quarters of elite academia — that jihadist rage is ultimately grounded in a series of legitimate complaints against America and Israel (rather than in its own dedication to Islamic supremacy), that concessions improve relations, and that the right kind of tone and respect for Islam will soothe hurt feelings and build bridges of trust. In reality, the jihadist mindset can be summed up in eight simple words: “Give them nothing, but take from them everything.”

I beg to differ, although it makes sense because Obama is both a narcissist and a man who used to present himself as a liberal, and liberals do actually believe that sort of thing. But Obama really doesn’t care all that much about making peace there, although that would be a nice feather in his cap, too.

What else might be motivating Obama’s Iraq policy? He was and still is eager to (1) placate his base, which has always been against the war in Iraq (2) reduce and then eliminate America’s influence in the region and around the world (3) undo the work and efforts of his predecessor George Bush and his enemies the Republicans; and (4) reduce and then eliminate trust in America around the world (which is related to #2 but not exactly the same).

Whether Obama actually cares about the fate of Iraq and the Iraqis depends on whether he’s trying to promote the jihadi cause around the world. Certainly it seems so more and more, especially after the release of the Taliban Five, which threatens to help complete the same job in Afghanistan.

But perhaps he’s mostly indifferent to the jihadi cause, and his policies could just be a subset of his wanting to take America down a peg or two—or three or four or more. Perhaps he doesn’t really give a hoot what happens to the Iraqis or the Afghans either way, and the pullout was done to advance his other aforementioned political and geopolitical purposes.

At any rate, this is certainly true:

This [the takeover of Mosul] is the reason why it made sense to keep American forces in Iraq as a back-up to Iraqi security forces, but that option is all but dead now. Unless Iraq finds some deep well of nationalistic strength and repels ISIS on its own, the only democratic Arab republic may be very short-lived indeed.

Whatever Obama’s true motivations, by the time he got elected the public’s sentiment on Iraq had reached the point that it would have taken resolve on the part of a US president to stay there. Bush had that resolve. Obama not only did not have it, he had the opposite: a strong resolve to leave.

And so it has all come to pass.

[Neo-neocon is a writer with degrees in law and family therapy, who blogs at neo-neocon.]


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And all Pres. ScamWOW had to do in Iraq is let it coast to a stop, relying on the trajectory set by the Bush administration.

Instead, he pooed the scrooch on the issue of a retained force of American military that could support the Iraqis.

And now lots of people will die or live under the tyranny of Islamist brutes.

I am sick.

    Paul in reply to Ragspierre. | June 11, 2014 at 7:21 pm

    The other thing he did by cutting and running in Iraq, and now preparing to do the same in Afghanistan, is lose a tremendous amount of leverage on Iran. Look at a map… we had them in a pincers before and now nothing. Gee, I wonder if that effects our diplomatic efforts. Progs never get the fact that military power and diplomatic power exist along the same continuum.

Juba Doobai! | June 10, 2014 at 5:39 pm

Obama is actively supporting the jihadist cause with the end goal of destroying the USA. In his view, the people in Iraq are Muslims, let them live under the caliphate. That is what you see emerging from his efforts in Libya, Syria, Iran, and his attempts in Egypt. On our borders, we are flooded with young people, and we don’t know how many of them have been trained by Hamas and Hezbollah, both of whom have footholds in the Muslim Trisngle of South America, in Venezuela, Guyana, Panama, and Mexico. What looks like chaos at home and abroad, is deliberate action with a specific goal.

We cannot afford two more years of Obama unchecked. We know what he told Putin. We still don’t know what he told the Muslim Brotherhood during secret meetings with them, but we are seeing it play out.

Henry Hawkins | June 10, 2014 at 5:52 pm

What Obama has his sights on is the American defense budget. Reduce American forces, spend that money domestically.

    C. Lashown in reply to Henry Hawkins. | June 10, 2014 at 6:05 pm

    Yes, but that’s only a minor part of his goals (IMHO). After he leaves office, assuming he cannot figure out a way to stay in office for a 3rd term, there is his appointment to the United Nations waiting. Control & Power, those are his drugs of choice.

      moonmoth in reply to C. Lashown. | June 10, 2014 at 7:46 pm

      It’s important to note that there’s no such thing as a “third term” for a President. The POTUS is allowed only two terms. After that, he’s ipso facto a usurper who’s attempting a coup.

    Valerie in reply to Henry Hawkins. | June 10, 2014 at 6:19 pm

    Keep your eye on the Democratic Party. They are the ones who gave us this cluster*ck, and they are the ones who benefit from all that domestic spending.

    Yes! Imagine how many government union voters he can buy with all that money!

It is beyond doubt that Obama wants an Islamist Middle-East and North Africa.

Humphrey's Executor | June 10, 2014 at 7:23 pm

One silver lining to this: it’s a set back for Iran.


If you’re going to do it, you have to do it right:

“Lo, in the fullness of time, it came to pass that President ScamWOW’s polices of Peace and Tranquility through dialog had their expected and desired effect: A more dangerous Middle East, a weakened United States of America and a more threatened Israel.”

Accidentally downclicked it — sorry. A great piece. How sad. Why were our soldiers dying?

Send Hitlarly, she kicked butt in Libya, she even said so