Obama now owns the Iraq war. Unlike the economy, he didn’t blame Bush for the bad situation in Iraq. He never admitted that there was a bad situation in Iraq. He triumphantly claimed that he had gotten American troops out of Iraq just like he promised. So this is now his legacy. Conservatives have four years in which to ponder what has happened in Iraq, and whether or not the original “humble” foreign policy that Bush promised in his 2000 campaign might contain some wisdom that should never have been discarded.
Yesterday, while there were different numbers from different news outlets at first, it looks like between seventeen and twenty people were killed in bombings all over Iraq. Many more were wounded. The blasts were spread out from Kirkuk, a city about 180 miles north of Baghdad, where Arabs, Kurds and Turks struggle for control, down to downtown Baghdad during rush hour, to Hillah, a city about 59 miles south of Baghdad. The bombs are ascribed to “insurgents.” They haven’t self-identified yet but, as the Wall Street Journal notes, “suicide car bombings are a favorite tactic of Sunni militant groups such as al Qaeda.”
It is Ironic, in a horrible and homicidal way, that allegations of a connection between Saddam Hussein’s secular dictatorship, and the Saudi-originated Al Qaeda (remember, most of the 9-11 hijackers were Saudi) were part of the justification for instituting “regime change.” Now, we all know that Al Qaeda is there, fighting the Shiite religious regime that we used American blood to set up. How much blood? Wikipedia:
“As of May 29, 2012, according to the U.S. Department of Defense casualty website, there were 4,409 total deaths (including both killed in action and non-hostile) and 31,928 wounded in action (WIA) as a result of Operation Iraqi Freedom. As a part of Operation New Dawn, which was initiated on September 1, 2010, there were 66 total deaths (including KIA and non-hostile) and 301 WIA”
And Obama was lying when he bragged about getting the troops out. As Romney pointed out in the final debate, he actually tried to keep them in. So for Obama, almost 4500 dead soldiers were not enough. As much as I hate the chaos the Iraqis are dealing with, it is not worth American lives to make the situation better (and they would probably make the situation worse).
But we should learn a lesson from what has happened. Sadly, none of our politicians want us to learn anything, least of all President Obama. Because of our actions, there are now enough terrorists in Iraq to not only wreak havoc there, but also to go to Syria. As was recently mentioned in the conservative newspaper, Human Events, “Last winter, American counterterrorism officials said Sunni militants with ties to al Qaeda in Iraq moved into Syria to exploit the political turmoil.”
These Sunni terrorists who are going to Syria and bombing the Shiite regime we established would never be there if we hadn’t invaded. I have no idea if the waning years of the Hussein regime would be worse than what they have now. But, in case you missed it, the Iraqi nation is still ruled by a government that uses secret prisons and torture. That wasn’t worth the lives of American soldiers. And none of it made the United States or the world safer from terrorism.
It is time to re-think the entire strategy. Let us not be fooled by the anti-war ranting of the Bush years. Now that Democrats are in power, we see they have no problems with all the things they used as an excuse to bash Bush and the Republicans. Obama may not be pro-American. But he is certainly pro-War, or at least pro-supporting-terrorists to destroy regimes and pro-drone.
Conservatives might now consider finding a real home on the other side of that issue—a home that fits well with small government, economic freedom, and the rule of law.