McCain gets testy with HuffPo reporter: Obama lost Iraq, my friend

posted at 3:01 pm on June 13, 2014 by Allahpundit

Via the Free Beacon, I’m with DrewM on the blame question — which is not to say that Obama didn’t make things worse than they could have been. Says Drew:

Obama won the 2008 election in no small part because he promised to get the US out of Iraq. John McCain lost in no small part because he famously argued we should stay “100 years” if that’s what it took. The American people made their choice. To now say that having won on getting out of Iraq Obama should have instead turned around and adopted McCain’s losing policy idea is absurd.

This does not absolve Obama from his negligent inaction in the face of the [imminent] threat presented by the still growing ISIS invasion. That’s entirely on Obama and his band of national security incompetents. But the great “loss of Iraq”? That’s on the Iraqis. They were given a chance to build a decent country after Saddam’s removal and they squandered it.

Maliki, more than anyone else, lost Iraq by prioritizing Shiite hegemony over a better functioning state that would have required concessions to the Sunnis and Kurds. Maybe Iyad Allawi, a more secular Shiite who was respected by Sunni powerbrokers, would have done better as prime minister. We’ll never know. As for Obama’s contribution to Iraq’s looming “beyond Thunderdome” era, Dexter Filkins of the New Yorker makes the case:

When the Americans invaded, in March, 2003, they destroyed the Iraqi state—its military, its bureaucracy, its police force, and most everything else that might hold a country together. They spent the next nine years trying to build a state to replace the one they crushed. By 2011, by any reasonable measure, the Americans had made a lot of headway but were not finished with the job. For many months, the Obama and Maliki governments talked about keeping a residual force of American troops in Iraq, who would act largely to train Iraq’s Army and to provide intelligence against Sunni insurgents. (They would almost certainly have been barred from fighting.) Those were important reasons to stay, but the most important went largely unstated: it was to continue to act as a restraint on Maliki’s sectarian impulses, at least until the Iraqi political system was strong enough to contain him on its own. The negotiations between Obama and Maliki fell apart, in no small measure because of a lack of engagement by the White House. Today, many Iraqis, including some close to Maliki, say that a small force of American soldiers—working in non-combat roles—would have provided a crucial stabilizing factor that is now missing from Iraq. Sami al-Askari, a Maliki confidant, told me for my article this spring, “If you had a few hundred here, not even a few thousand, they would be coöperating with you, and they would become your partners.” President Obama wanted the Americans to come home, and Maliki didn’t particularly want them to stay.

The trouble is, as the events of this week show, what the Americans left behind was an Iraqi state that was not able to stand on its own. What we built is now coming apart. This is the real legacy of America’s war in Iraq.

Obama wanted out, true, but that’s partially Maliki’s fault too. He made it easy for him. Remember, one of the White House’s conditions for leaving some troops in place was legal immunity in Iraqi courts for U.S. soldiers stationed there. Maliki refused. The occupation was unpopular and so Iraq’s leadership, moronically, decided it was better to appease popular sentiment by refusing to budge on immunity than to make a deal guaranteeing an American presence just in case, say, thousands of barbarians with heavy weapons came sweeping down from Syria towards Baghdad. Obama could have and should have pushed harder for a rump U.S. force to give Washington leverage in pressuring Malaki on concessions. Go figure that Maliki, prizing his own power more than national stability, resisted. But look: Even if a deal had been made and 1,000 Americans were left in country to help train the Iraqi army, how would that have neutralized ISIS? The genesis of all this is in Syria. Had Maliki made nice with the Sunnis in Iraq, there still would have been a threat from the north; it might have developed more slowly and been resisted more vigorously by Iraqi Sunnis, but slow or not, there was no chance Obama would have sent more U.S. troops to reinforce the thousand already there. It was always the Iraqis’ fight. To blame Obama for the country’s disintegration is to play the old game (usually played by leftists and libertarians vis-a-vis interventions) in which all bad developments abroad are somehow a function of White House policy. Ain’t so.

As for McCain, it’s fine to note O’s role in all this but, as Drew suggests, this guy is uniquely badly suited to be the GOP’s loudest mouthpiece on Iraq. Having the most stalwart interventionist in Congress trumpeting a lost “victory” in a war that devastated the GOP electorally is insane. He went one on one with The One on this issue six years ago and got destroyed for it. And Phil Klein is certainly right, I think, that no matter how bad things get in Iraq over the next few weeks or months, American voters will support Obama’s do-nothing (or do-little) approach to handling it. At one point here, McCain describes ISIS as an “existential threat” — not just to Iraq but to the United States. (Say what?) If he’s serious about that, then presumably he supports any measures necessary, up to and including boots on the ground, in the name of heading it off. Run on that idea this fall and see how it turns out.


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No doubt that Maliki is an Iranian stooge and he has caused great misery to the Iraqi Sunnis and Kurds… However he was not a sectarian Iranian stooge (or at least dared to act like one) when he was PM during our presence in Iraq… Only when we left Iraq under Obama and without leaving any residual force there that he became an openly sectarian Iranian agent very hostile to Iraqi Sunnis and Kurds…

mnjg on June 13, 2014 at 4:12 PM

Meghan McCain would have been a better interviewee. (Who’s she banging these days anyway?

Well if she’s walking down a hallway with those hips? Everyone else in the hall.

/I keed I keed

Irritable Pundit on June 13, 2014 at 4:14 PM

China will step in before Obama is finished the back nine.

can_con on June 13, 2014 at 4:15 PM

This is hilarious coming from someone that allows her emotions to control her decisions.

And it’s especially hilarious that you blame McCain for Obama’s war in Libya.

Tell us all again how we should provide air support for Iran.

blink on June 13, 2014 at 3:34 PM

Are you serious? OMFG! XD. You’re the guy who hijacked a thread about open carry and singlehandedly wrote 300 comments of 500 hundred arguing that carrying an assault weapon to eat fried chicken at a restaurant is an excellent idea.

Sit tight while I suck in the irony if your comment. Don’t move. I am not done. Yeah that’s the spot. Ok go now, I am going to lay on this floor right over there and LMFAO.

coolrepublica on June 13, 2014 at 3:52 PM

You’re the girl who doesn’t get that the guy doesn’t like you. You try so hard and we snicker at you.
We are just not that into you, Sybil. Really.

Cheese Wheel on June 13, 2014 at 4:15 PM

We don’t need to have a dazzling argument a photo will do….here

right2bright on June 13, 2014 at 4:10 PM

And you actually believe she wasn’t voting for her own tribe to get enough power to slaughter the enemy tribe?

sharrukin on June 13, 2014 at 4:16 PM

Like, the artificial peace in Japan and German circa 1946 was never sustainable because American resources were not going to be there forever, Dude. Like, right, man?

blink on June 13, 2014 at 3:28 PM

The Muslims are a different breed.

weedisgood on June 13, 2014 at 3:46 PM

And we’ve done a piss poor job of fighting them. The Rules of Engagement are even worse than in Vietnam, and they were pretty effen bad there! The White House (LBJ) couldn’t keep his mitts off the daily action and let his generals and admirals implement their strategies! This president has no clue what so ever and we get what is happening in Iraq because of his ineptness…..even if it was not the best idea W had.

tomshup on June 13, 2014 at 4:16 PM

After decades of liberals criticizing this practice more and more of them are coming to embrace it. Funny.

What practice and what do liberals have to do with it?

Are you under the impression that democracy can only exist within American culture?

Not just American. A culture that respects individual rights. Islam does not.

The same could have been said about the Japanese and Germans circa 1946.

blink on June 13, 2014 at 4:11 PM

No it couldn’t. Not by anybody that knew history.

sharrukin on June 13, 2014 at 4:20 PM

This is seriously the dumbest thing I’ve ever read by Allahpundit.

How long ago was the US Civil War? Over 100 years ago. And yet we are still struggling with that. Should we have not, then, freed the slaves? Is it President Lincolns fault that problems we have today with civil rights and our inner cities?

Give me a break!

We succeeded in Germany, Japan and South Korea because we stayed there, for decades. For generations.

Anyone who thinks we could change Iraq in 10 years or less is a complete fool. We needed to be there for generations to come. Did Vietnam teach us nothing?

What is happening today in Iraq is as much the fault of President Bush as today’s race issues are the fault of President Lincoln. Which is to say, not their fault at all.

Argue all you’d like that Bush shouldn’t have gone into Iraq or Lincoln shouldn’t have freed the slaves. But you look like a complete moron if you start to argue that they are today responsible for those decisions.

Baggi on June 13, 2014 at 4:23 PM

Are you opposed to ALL overseas military bases? Do you hate the fact that we have bases in Italy, too?? Are you wondering how much longer those bases will exist?

blink on June 13, 2014 at 4:12 PM

I’m opposed to US troops in Islamic hellholes.
How is that hard to understand?

weedisgood on June 13, 2014 at 4:27 PM

The practice of supporting dictators that can provide stability. Liberals shrieked about it for decades.

blink on June 13, 2014 at 4:23 PM

They are still shrieking about it… as are you.

sharrukin on June 13, 2014 at 4:28 PM

If he’s serious about that, then presumably he supports any measures necessary, up to and including boots on the ground, in the name of heading it off. Run on that idea this fall and see how it turns out.

This is why we need to cleanse the Republican Party, because of people like this.

Regardless of whether or not you agree with this stupid statement, do you really want a country where our politicians are so mealy mouthed that they don’t run on what they know is best for this nation, rather than where the political wind is blowing?

I can still remember when Clinton was criticized for this. For sticking his finger in the air and going with the political winds, rather than doing what he knows what’s right.

Here is the thing that Allahpundit and his ilk don’t understand. When you do what’s right, rather than what’s expedient, the American people figure it out, as long as you fight for it. But you have to get out there and fight for it. Make the case.

The Republican party, unlike the Democrat party, follows the polls. The Democrat party changes the polls. They fight for redefining marriage, no matter how unpopular it is. They fight to use drugs and get high, no matter the polls. They fight to kill babies in the womb, not matter what polls say.

Allahpundit would have us look and polls first, then make decisions.

I’d rather we got out there and moved Overtuns Window in our direction, not get pulled around by it.

Baggi on June 13, 2014 at 4:29 PM

Well if she’s walking down a hallway with those hips? Everyone else in the hall.

/I keed I keed

Irritable Pundit on June 13, 2014 at 4:14 PM

LOL! :D

WhatSlushfund on June 13, 2014 at 4:32 PM

500 Million dollars can buy a lot of hurt here. Some people are not ‘bright’ enough to understand from ‘other there’ to here is just a few hours.

gDavid on June 13, 2014 at 4:38 PM

This is seriously the dumbest thing I’ve ever read by Allahpundit.

How long ago was the US Civil War? Over 100 years ago. And yet we are still struggling with that. Should we have not, then, freed the slaves? Is it President Lincolns fault that problems we have today with civil rights and our inner cities?

Give me a break!

We succeeded in Germany, Japan and South Korea because we stayed there, for decades. For generations.

Anyone who thinks we could change Iraq in 10 years or less is a complete fool. We needed to be there for generations to come. Did Vietnam teach us nothing?

What is happening today in Iraq is as much the fault of President Bush as today’s race issues are the fault of President Lincoln. Which is to say, not their fault at all.

Argue all you’d like that Bush shouldn’t have gone into Iraq or Lincoln shouldn’t have freed the slaves. But you look like a complete moron if you start to argue that they are today responsible for those decisions.

Baggi on June 13, 2014 at 4:23 PM


+1000

Very well stated.

PolAgnostic on June 13, 2014 at 4:40 PM

as today’s race issues are the fault of President Lincoln.

Baggi on June 13, 2014 at 4:23 PM

Well, now Lincoln was a Republican so he is automatically a racist.

faraway on June 13, 2014 at 4:46 PM

Yes… Like the Taliban wasn’t a threat to American security in the 1990s? And then one of the Taliban’s guests decided to destroy the World Trade Center and murder thousands of Americans. McCain may be too trigger happy but he is right about this. These Islamic militants must be stopped because they certainly aren’t going to be content to stop with Baghdad.

Illinidiva on June 13, 2014 at 4:54 PM

I’m opposed to US troops in Islamic hellholes.
How is that hard to understand?

weedisgood on June 13, 2014 at 4:27 PM

I have to agree. We can’t prop up people who want to kill us and themselves because of their beliefs. We had no reason to put soldiers on the ground in Iraq. Everyone knew it was going to end like this. Muslims have zero tolerance for anyone but themselves, and divide that by Kurds, Sunnis and Shiites, and what do you have? Why don’t we learn anything? It’s a crime to put our young men and women into a situation we cannot win. Germany, Korea and Japan had a semblance of morality when we fought them. The Arab world has none. They are still to this day jealous of the Jews for what they feel should have been given to them when Abraham had Ishmael, yet the promise was with Isaac. If you think that’s crazy, well isn’t what the Bible says is to happen now happening right before our eyes?

The Arab world is a dung heap yet they kill each other over it and have no morality, outside of Israel. Wonder why.

Deckard BR on June 13, 2014 at 4:56 PM

Are those of you disagreeing with AP here actually arguing that a politician could run for national office on a platform that includes returning ground troops to Iraq? McCain would run on that platform, but would anyone else? Seriously?

MTF on June 13, 2014 at 4:57 PM

I have to agree. We can’t prop up people who want to kill us and themselves because of their beliefs. We had no reason to put soldiers on the ground in Iraq. Everyone knew it was going to end like this. Muslims have zero tolerance for anyone but themselves, and divide that by Kurds, Sunnis and Shiites, and what do you have? Why don’t we learn anything? It’s a crime to put our young men and women into a situation we cannot win. Germany, Korea and Japan had a semblance of morality when we fought them. The Arab world has none. They are still to this day jealous of the Jews for what they feel should have been given to them when Abraham had Ishmael, yet the promise was with Isaac. If you think that’s crazy, well isn’t what the Bible says is to happen now happening right before our eyes?

The Arab world is a dung heap yet they kill each other over it and have no morality, outside of Israel. Wonder why.

Deckard BR on June 13, 2014 at 4:56 PM

Very well said.

weedisgood on June 13, 2014 at 5:02 PM

I’m just making sure that people (and liberals) are clearly acknowledging the policy for what it is.

blink on June 13, 2014 at 5:01 PM

Well I do acknowledge that we need monsters to rule the lands of Islam. Islam is the enemy and the less democracy they have the better for us. They want us dead, or under the banner of Islam, so I do not want their wishes respected at the ballot box.

sharrukin on June 13, 2014 at 5:05 PM

Everyone knew it was going to end like this.

With AlQaeda taking over Iraq?

faraway on June 13, 2014 at 5:08 PM

Obama won the 2008 election in no small part because he promised to get the US out of Iraq. John McCain lost in no small part because he famously argued we should stay “100 years” if that’s what it took. The American people made their choice. To now say that having won on getting out of Iraq Obama should have instead turned around and adopted McCain’s losing policy idea is absurd.

Having convinced enough voters that his policy was the right one doesn’t absolve him for it actually being a disaster.

emz35 on June 13, 2014 at 5:14 PM

Japan had a semblance of morality when we fought them.

Deckard BR on June 13, 2014 at 4:56 PM

Seriously? You must have read the sanitized version of WWII.

Wendya on June 13, 2014 at 5:18 PM

You really mean that you WANT monsters to rule the lands of Islam, but, again, it’s funny that liberals are starting to take this foreign policy position, too.

blink on June 13, 2014 at 5:08 PM

I mean what I said.

If you are trying to make a point you aren’t doing it very well.

Al-Sisi or Mubarak were better than the Muslim Brotherhood.

Qadaffi is better than what we have now in Libya.

Saddam was better than we are now facing in Iraq and the price that was paid for getting it.

Assad is better than will replace him if we overthrow him.

The Shah was better than Khomeini’s Iran.

sharrukin on June 13, 2014 at 5:19 PM

Obama won the 2008 election in no small part because he promised to get the US out of Iraq.

Obama ran on a rainbows and unicorns platform in 2008….vote for me and all your wildest dreams will come true!

His governance his hardly been consistent and – as everyone here knows – he’s got no problem backtracking on a promise if it suits him.

Deafdog on June 13, 2014 at 5:26 PM

Obama inherited a fragile but stable Iraq. What will the next President inherit? Obama’s FUBAR Middle East.

monalisa on June 13, 2014 at 5:37 PM

We don’t NEED monsters ruling Islamic lands. It’s simply better for us if monsters do it.

blink on June 13, 2014 at 5:32 PM

Well…who’s side are you on exactly?

Perhaps that would clear some things up.

Exactly. You want that because it’s BETTER – not because it’s needed.

blink on June 13, 2014 at 5:32 PM

Well no, I suppose we don’t need to survive, or emerge victorious in a clash with Islam, though it is the preferred option as far as I am concerned. The Muslim populations in those nations are a distant second to those concerns.

sharrukin on June 13, 2014 at 5:40 PM

Michael Savage raised a good point as to why we shouldn’t be involved in these muslim vs muslim conflicts in the first place.

Paraphrasing:

Imagine a Protestant vs Catholic armed conflict here in the USA…not real likely, but imagine it anyway. Now allow your imagination to envision the muslims coming to the USA, blowing them all apart to “solve” the situation, say, taking sides with the Protestants.

Then the muslims leave, and the Protestants aren’t up to the job of governing, and the Catholics continue a guerrilla war to gain control.

How do you think this would be tolerated here in the USA?

It’s the same thing in Iraq and the middle east generally, only with Sunni, Shiites, and Baathists. (Probably others too, to a lesser degree).

Bottom line: Religion shouldn’t be part of governance, but it is in the middle east, and we stuck our faces right in the middle of it. Now it’s defaulting to the same old crap that’s been going on for over 800 years because obama abandoned ship thinking his favored sect would rule forever.

Why is anyone surprised at that, and why, knowing obama prefers Shiite muslims, is anyone surprised that this is happening at all?

Lastly, why is this progressive islamist piece of garbage still in office?

Diluculo on June 13, 2014 at 5:55 PM

However, just because this is the preferred option, that doesn’t mean that all other options would fail to keep a country stable. This was my argument with weedisgood.

blink on June 13, 2014 at 5:49 PM

Fair enough.

sharrukin on June 13, 2014 at 5:55 PM

Why are we still arguing about whose fault this is? It’s a simple logic question:

Bush left Ogabi the beginnings of a stable Iraq. Ogabi squandered those beginnings of stability. Maliki needed a watchdog to keep him on the straight and narrow during the next several years of state organization and democracy. Instead of seeing that watch dog stay in Iraq, Ogabi ate it. Thus, it is Ogabi’s fault, and only Ogabi’s fault, that Iraq is in the situation it is in right now.

NOMOBO on June 13, 2014 at 6:01 PM

Why are we still arguing about whose fault this is?

NOMOBO on June 13, 2014 at 6:01 PM

They are both fools.

Obama is in my opinion more malicious than Bush, but they along with Clinton are, and were, totally clueless. Bush with his Peter Pan view of Islam, The Religion Of Peace, and Obama’s groveling delight in Muslim victory. Every venture into the Muslim world, including Obama’s Good War in Afghanistan has turned to dust.

sharrukin on June 13, 2014 at 6:10 PM

People stop comparing Iraq to Japan and Germany….just stop.

(1) The entire Islamic world combined today could not build the Battleship Yamato on their own even if we gave them American tax payer money to do so. Japan and Germany c. 1930s are still light years ahead of most Islamic countries today technologically and educationally.

(2) Japan and Germany were and are not burdened by a majority Islamic population.

(3) Japan and Germany then were mono-ethnic for the most part.

That makes life a lot easier if you want to rebuild a country, bring democracy to the people, and maybe even have a future ally.

William Eaton on June 13, 2014 at 6:23 PM

The occupation was unpopular and so Iraq’s leadership, moronically, decided it was better to appease popular sentiment by refusing to budge on immunity than to make a deal guaranteeing an American presence just in case, say, thousands of barbarians with heavy weapons came sweeping down from Syria towards Baghdad.

AP, I don’t think this is true, or, at least, it’s not the whole story. At the time of the SOF agreement fiasco, per Foreign Policy and Threat Matrix, the Maliki government wanted an agreement, but they wanted it done informally, on the level of an executive agreement, not a formal treaty that would have to go before parliament. Arab Islamic tribal culture simply made it too tough to do formally. As you correctly point out, the occupation was unpopular, but a lot of Iraqi pols (including MPs) wanted a continued American presence, partly for the reasons Filkins states, but also because we were the only brokers many Iraqis trusted.

Maliki is no peach, but I’m convinced Obama deliberately bungled those negotiations, setting conditions that would make them fail. We’ll never know now if leaving a residual force to mentor the Iraqis would have prevented this disaster, but O didn’t even try.

irishspy on June 13, 2014 at 6:31 PM

Ahh how cute, Allah sticking p for his buddy Obama.

The Notorious G.O.P on June 13, 2014 at 6:38 PM

At one point here, McCain describes ISIS as an “existential threat” — not just to Iraq but to the United States. (Say what?)

It might not be now..strangely enough, turns out that the French Muslim who shot/killed 4 people at the Jewish Museum in Belgium a few weeks ago, is a jihadist who fought with/for ISIS in Syria…so, you never know when ISIS is goming to a to a town near you :)…though to be sho, it’s more likely that they get to europe first…

jimver on June 13, 2014 at 6:42 PM

As far as Bush Jr’s involvement and culpability in this goes, he does have some I agree. Bush should not have gone into Iraq to drive to Baghdad in the first place. I contend that the only reason he did so was because his DADDY wanted him to and didn’t get the chance because daddy Bush lied and was denied a second term.

Bush Jr. screwed us, but left the makings for something that COULD work, but ogabe effed it up big time, and Maliki was absolutely no help in the matter.

Bottom line, we don’t belong there. We need to let them settle their fairy tale islam garbage religious crap on their own, only intervening if Israel is threatened.

Which may happen anyway, being that Iran in so involved. We have the tools, they are called NUCLEAR WARHEADS. Let it be known that we can, and will use them. Maybe we need to do some more “testing” to drive the point home.

Diluculo on June 13, 2014 at 6:45 PM

Oh please. Just because the challenges were different doesn’t mean that the comparison is unfair.

blink on June 13, 2014 at 6:54 PM

1,400 years say otherwise. They were ruled by the west for your desired 100 years and none of it stuck. That isn’t true with Japan and they were never occupied. Japan chose progress, and the lands of Islam chose to go back in time when given independence.

sharrukin on June 13, 2014 at 7:02 PM

McLame leaves a stain in his shorts trying to muster up a believable outrage. Story at 11.

Diluculo on June 13, 2014 at 7:12 PM

Love watching Liberals attack other Liberals. Should have had all of the RINO Liberals who work at MSNBC join him. You know, his daughter Meaghan McCain, Abby Huntsman, the one Bush girl, and Chelsea Clinton. Yep, ol’ Juan “Z-Visa” fits right in with that crowd. All AMNESTY SHILLS……

Realdemocrat1 on June 13, 2014 at 8:05 PM

sharrukin on June 13, 2014 at 5:19 PM

Hard to argue with any of this. Especially when you take into account the context of those times and who our bigger fish that needed frying was. The alternatives(from within) and most of their neighbors were all too cozy with the Soviets.

anuts on June 13, 2014 at 8:39 PM

I would like to thank AZ Republican’s for saddling us with John McCain and Jan Brewer. You seem to be pretty informed voters.

Mr. Arrogant on June 13, 2014 at 8:52 PM

I get a kick out of the term “HUFFPO reporter”, it made me laugh. they arent really reporters, theyre hacks, in my opinion. they post more Kim Kardashian and look at this starlet without makeup going to the gym “stories” than the daily mail! and the reason they do that is because their base (democrats) cant get enough of that drivel (check how many clicks the stories get if you dont believe me). they must have lost a ton of views since Alec Baldwin stopped assaulting photographers (for now, anyway).

scalleywag on June 13, 2014 at 10:29 PM

This is seriously the dumbest thing I’ve ever read by Allahpundit.

How long ago was the US Civil War? Over 100 years ago. And yet we are still struggling with that. Should we have not, then, freed the slaves? Is it President Lincolns fault that problems we have today with civil rights and our inner cities?

Give me a break!

We succeeded in Germany, Japan and South Korea because we stayed there, for decades. For generations.

Anyone who thinks we could change Iraq in 10 years or less is a complete fool. We needed to be there for generations to come. Did Vietnam teach us nothing?

What is happening today in Iraq is as much the fault of President Bush as today’s race issues are the fault of President Lincoln. Which is to say, not their fault at all.

Argue all you’d like that Bush shouldn’t have gone into Iraq or Lincoln shouldn’t have freed the slaves. But you look like a complete moron if you start to argue that they are today responsible for those decisions.

Baggi on June 13, 2014 at 4:23 PM

+1000

Very well stated.

Add me to the “Here Here!”
Allah…it felt like I was reading some completely out of touch, crazy liberal blog when reading this article. You know…it’s not always just about the politics…it’s ultimately about what is right…

Obama made the decision to leave–and yes there was the snag you listed–but if Obama wanted for our trips to stay, they would have negotiated and the troops would have stayed. Yes, Maliki bears some responsibility…but the lionshare falls on our “non-engagement” President. He obviously didn’t care enough about Iraq’s welfare, and he doesn’t even now, or he would be doing more about it. I wouldn’t be surprised if he eventually agrees to have some perfunctory air strikes just so he can say he tried to do everything he could. But that is just window dressing. This is Obama’s fault. Not Bush’s or the Boogie Man’s–Obama’s

ilvgsus on June 13, 2014 at 10:31 PM

This is separate from the issue that weedisgood was arguing. He was claiming that a standing force couldn’t have provided enough stabilization long enough for democracy to take root in Iraq and/or he was claiming that it would have required occupation forever. He was wrong about that.

blink on June 13, 2014 at 5:06 PM

No, he wasn’t. The people in Islamic hellholes like Iraq do not want a democracy. They do not want freedom. They want Islamic rule. Unless and until that changes, no amount of military presence can change it for them. Sure, we could station troops there and force the society to behave the way we want. But the moment we withdraw, it will crumble back into what it was. Just as we are seeing now.

If you want to make Iraq a stable democracy, plan to keep our troops there for the next several hundred years.

Shump on June 13, 2014 at 10:50 PM

Anyone who thinks we could change Iraq in 10 years or less is a complete fool. We needed to be there for generations to come. Did Vietnam teach us nothing?

What is happening today in Iraq is as much the fault of President Bush as today’s race issues are the fault of President Lincoln. Which is to say, not their fault at all.

Argue all you’d like that Bush shouldn’t have gone into Iraq or Lincoln shouldn’t have freed the slaves. But you look like a complete moron if you start to argue that they are today responsible for those decisions.

Baggi on June 13, 2014 at 4:23 PM

I don’t think we could change either Iraq or Germany in 10 years. The difference is that I think Germany could eventually be changed, as it was, with our help, because the German people wanted to change. The people of Iraq want their third world Islamic totalitarian state. They may have not been too thrilled with Saddam Hussein, but they don’t want democracy either. Staying there 40 years or 400 years won’t make any difference unless the people want a change. And that’s why we shouldn’t have gone in then, and shouldn’t go back now.

Shump on June 13, 2014 at 10:52 PM

Japan chose progress, and the lands of Islam chose to go back in time when given independence.

sharrukin on June 13, 2014 at 7:02 PM

Hmm? Japan didn’t choose to have the black ships come. We forced progress onto them, which eventually was a good thing.

Good Solid B-Plus on June 14, 2014 at 12:27 AM

Shump on June 13, 2014 at 10:52 PM

Iraq may not become a Germany but it certainly could have become a Turkey. Apparently, the so called libertarian isolationists argument depends on an utterly reductive argument about Islam. But Islamic governments were always not so brutal. There were founts of stable states, backed by secular militaries, like Turkey, Iran under Khomeini or Egypt. They might not have been ideal but they are much preferable to Taliban or ISIS.

Leaving ISIS in charge and letting it build a caliphate is not an option. Already, Baghdadi has issued a direct threat to the United States. Even if you build a Shyamalan like Village and bury your heads in the sand, you are not going to escape them. Use this opportunity to crush them and you might have the beginnings of a stable peace.

promachus on June 14, 2014 at 12:43 AM

As far as Bush Jr’s involvement and culpability in this goes, he does have some I agree. Bush should not have gone into Iraq to drive to Baghdad in the first place. I contend that the only reason he did so was because his DADDY wanted him to and didn’t get the chance because daddy Bush lied and was denied a second term.

Diluculo on June 13, 2014 at 6:45 PM

First of all, it wasn’t Bush who sent cruise missiles into Baghdad in retaliation for Saddam trying to kill Bush’s DADDY. It was Democrat pResident Bill Clinton, who also left DADDY’s son 9/11.

That assassination attempt was one of the 12 reasons in the Resolution that Clinton’s wife OK’d the use of War in Iraq. She did so based on the info her husband’s intel people gave her.

F- #1

As for Bush’s DADDY lying, I assume you’re referring to the “No New Taxes” brouhaha? Just remember that Clinton promised the same thing just months later after he was safely erected.

Clinton also had the assistance of a Democrat Media that didn’t report the economic recovery’s beginning 18 months before he was elected. They kept it a secret.

F- #2

Del Dolemonte on June 14, 2014 at 12:43 AM

promachus on June 14, 2014 at 12:43 AM

I meant Iran under Shah.

promachus on June 14, 2014 at 12:45 AM

sharrukin on June 13, 2014 at 7:02 PM

Good point!

Islam seems to work hard to move both their lands and other lands to a more miserable existence. Whether it is the correct interpretation of their religion or not, it seems like too many Islamists view murder, oppression, and strife as their goal in life.

Things will only change when their world has toilets, electricity, and food for all of their people.

landlines on June 14, 2014 at 1:00 AM

The idea that somehow Iraq was ‘won’ is the biggest myth going around.
First of all the country was a sh#thole. It wasn’t a prize to begin with.
Secondly, the artificial peace was never sustainable because American resources were not going to be there forever. (Ron Paul warned us about this).
Thirdly, The issue here is Islam. The religion is inherently violent.
How do you win a war fought on a false premise?

weedisgood on June 13, 2014 at 3:09 PM

Thank you so much for explaining the source of your ignorance.

There Goes the Neighborhood on June 14, 2014 at 2:02 AM

Having the most stalwart interventionist in Congress trumpeting a lost “victory” in a war that devastated the GOP electorally is insane. He went one on one with The One on this issue six years ago and got destroyed for it.

Most polls had McCain tied or ahead of obozo in early September and then the market crash came. McCain made several errors relating to that and his lead vanished for good. Despite the public opposition to Iraq at that time he was winning until his economic short comings were exposed.

Flange on June 13, 2014 at 3:14 PM

You’re absolutely right. Good luck overcoming the meme, though.

There Goes the Neighborhood on June 14, 2014 at 2:03 AM

This post is really off the mark. I take strong issue with the stupid idea that if a financial crisis in the months preceding an election (unfairly and ironically given the actual source of the crisis) tanks the Republicans across the board, that means the American people must have supported all policies of the winner of the election and the loser should just go home and stop fighting for the opposing view. Or implying that Obama did the right thing by going in the general direction of his campaign pledge. Obama was wrong, anyone who voted for him because of his Iraq position was wrong, and the reason we are here today, regardless of Maliki’s failures, is because of Obama’s failed policy of withdrawal.

Frankly, Iraq was part of the discussion but was not a major issue in the 2008 election, because by then the surge and the Anbar Awakening had pacified Iraq and it looked like a success. Yes, Obama was spouting liberal nonsense about bringing all troops home in 90 days. Yes, McCain was saying we should leave a residual force to stabilize the country long term. But the 2008 election was all about the financial crisis and Sarah Palin’s clothes, not some referendum on Iraq policy.

Given that we invaded Iraq in 2003 (with Democrat support), the only responsible thing to do was to win the war and leave a residual force just like we had done in numerous other countries after the end of previous wars, exactly as McCain says here. (note, I normally cannot stand McCain, but he has been right on the money on Iraq for the last 8 years).

We should have air support and drones blanketing the areas where ISIS is located, and we should have loyal Iraqi’s on the ground pinpointing ISIS and we should be raining down drone attacks whenever they flinch. See how far they can get then. That would at least stop their advance and allow Baghdad to regroup.

willamettevalley on June 14, 2014 at 4:39 AM

From the beginning, Mr. Obama had no desire to keep stabilizing forces in Iraq and he let us know it at every opportunity. We had already made a commitment and significant sacrifices to that nation. Did that matter to the president? The answer is no and as is his modus operandi, personal politics won the day over the nations leadership.

We had ample opportunity, leverage and warning that negotiating a SOFA permitting continued institution building, including support for the ISF was critical to Iraq’s future. But the president ignored those assessments so he could claim “mission accomplished” and start the political parade. From that point on the predicted outcome we see today became only a matter of when, not if.

It is curious how the president made perhaps dozens of statements regarding Iraq since his campaign. Ditto, vice president Biden whom he put in charge of the victory parade. Yet the media seems to be having a hard time finding that footage.

To complete the folly, we now have Nero fiddling as Rome burns. But, rest assured, the part-time president will get back to us, He will promptly let us know what he’s decided at 10:00 Monday morning. After a weekend of golf and some political calculus.

Marcus Traianus on June 14, 2014 at 6:10 AM

So you are advocating putting US troops in a Muslim country for how long?
How long should America be in Iraq?
weedisgood on June 13, 2014 at 4:11 PM

I think what we ought to do is give money and weapons to ISIS. Then have them meet with Edward Snowden so he can give them some intelligence. Then, we can have the INS issue them green cards and fly them in to the US, show them where the Sears towers and other US landmarks are, and then train them on how to properly plant explosives

Brock Robamney on June 14, 2014 at 6:59 AM

By the way, /sarc for those who thought I was serious

Brock Robamney on June 14, 2014 at 7:01 AM

Al Maliki purged his army of competent officers. He did everything he could to make it easy for “his majesty” to leave Iraq. Now, that he’s facing disaster, he wants us to come back. I wonder if he expects us to fight with or against the Iranians? Nah, Al Maliki is even a bigger jerk than the moron we have in the White House (I didn’t think that possible but it is!). He made his decision three years ago and reaffirmed it by refusing to do a status of forces treaty. Suck it up, Buster! You earned this!

Boats48 on June 14, 2014 at 7:04 AM

Boats48 on June 14, 2014 at 7:04 AM

We should have carpet bombed the terrorists to the 7th century and then left the Iraqi government sort the rest out

Brock Robamney on June 14, 2014 at 7:31 AM

weedisgood on June 13, 2014 at 4:11 PM

Like, man, do you even know what SOFA stand for, Dude?

blink on June 13, 2014 at 4:13 PM

Of course he does blink. It’s the place he stashes his bong under and takes naps on.

Bmore on June 14, 2014 at 8:53 AM

The scariest thing is that I see that folks at Hotair and other places think that Obama won his elections based on policy differences with MaCain and Romney..

My goodness, if you still think like that, please, I beg you, do not be a political consultant to any good conservative candidates.

Obama won based on his mastery of the most superficial aspects of pop culture, social media and PR.

For those of you that think that presidential elections hinge materially on substantive policy positions…really, get a clue

georgealbert on June 14, 2014 at 9:28 AM

Iraq has to stand on it’s own.We can’t force it.

gerrym51 on June 14, 2014 at 10:36 AM

Judge_Dredd on June 13, 2014 at 3:05 PM

When I saw that happen I knew we had lost the Presidency.

kozanne on June 14, 2014 at 10:58 AM

Every day allahpundit sounds more like a democrat. I think it would be inconsistent of McCain to not advocate for miss intervention, when one: he supported that idea from the start, and two: just cutting and running was obviously the wrong policy. No matter how much you hate it, nation building takes time, decades of it.

Dr Snooze on June 14, 2014 at 11:34 AM

Well, now Lincoln was a Republican so he is automatically a racist.

faraway on June 13, 2014 at 4:46 PM

Well the only reason that Lincoln freed the slaves was so his Republican party could spend the next 150 years keeping the black man down. Duh.

Spliff Menendez on June 14, 2014 at 2:26 PM

Obama fiddles around while Iraq burns.

DougInVA on June 14, 2014 at 8:14 PM

A lisping guy, a bleached blond, and a crank having a “conversation”: I feel a whole lot better now.

Sherman1864 on June 14, 2014 at 11:35 PM

McCain doesn’t have to apologize for the mans confusion, libtardism is always confusing.

kregg on June 15, 2014 at 7:33 AM

Y’know, when McCain gets pissed off and focused I like that guy. Took both lickspittles out to the woodshed and didn’t let them weasel word their way to changing the discussion.

MarkT on June 15, 2014 at 9:21 AM

“1,400 years say otherwise.”

sharrukin on June 13, 2014 at 7:02 PM

“Nonsense. Again, the same type of claims were made circa 1946.”

blink on June 14, 2014 at 9:54 AM

Good call out Blink!
Reminds me of an English campaign general/admiral (not sure which) who while in India said something along the lines of, “Good god, what are they doing to that poor women!”
The man next to him answered, “In our country it is a tradition to burn the wife with her husband when he dies.”
The Englishman replied, “In our country it is our tradition to hang any man do does such a thing.”
Again I paraphrase. None the less, the centuries old practice ended immediately and they never went back to it.

kregg on June 15, 2014 at 12:47 PM

At one point here, McCain describes ISIS as an “existential threat” — not just to Iraq but to the United States. (Say what?) If he’s serious about that, then presumably he supports any measures necessary, up to and including boots on the ground, in the name of heading it off. Run on that idea this fall and see how it turns out.

Of course he believes it, and he is right to believe it because it’s true.

Make a decision based on politics instead of security? That’s what Obama is doing. Pass. I won’t sacrifice my children so that you can have tax cuts. The borders are wide open. If children can come across by the tens of thousands, you think radical Islamists can’t? They already have. It’s been documented that Somali Muslim radicals have crossed in Texas.

I agree with Judge Jeanine. Not if, but when there is another 9/11 because of ISIS having almost half a billion dollars and being on a murderous rampage, you’ll look back on this post with regret.

gocatholic on June 15, 2014 at 3:42 PM

He’s so mavericky…

Galtian on June 16, 2014 at 1:16 PM

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