WaPo: Wait, didn’t Obama take credit for full Iraq withdrawal in 2011?

posted at 8:01 am on June 20, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

Noah picked up on this change in tone from Barack Obama yesterday, but he wasn’t alone. The Washington Post’s Scott Wilson also noticed that Obama went from bragging about “ending the Iraq war” by pulling out all American troops — which had been an oft-repeated campaign pledge in 2007-8 — to suddenly changing to passive voice yesterday about the lack of American troops in Iraq in a war that everyone now knows is far from over. Wilson recalls that Obama described it very differently in 2011, and in the presidential campaign of 2012 too:

President Obama surprised a few people during a news conference Thursday by claiming that the 2011 decision to withdraw all U.S. forces from Iraq, a politically popular move on the eve of an election year, was made entirely by his Iraqi counterpart. The implication ran counter to a number of claims that Obama has made in the past, most notably during a tight campaign season two years ago, when he suggested that it was his decision to leave Iraq and end an unpopular war. …

In the 2012 campaign’s stretch, Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney met inside the performing arts center of Lynn University for the last of three presidential debates. The race remained close, and in the weeks after the Sept. 11, 2012, attacks on the U.S. diplomatic mission and CIA-run annex in Benghazi, Libya, the Romney team saw foreign policy as an area of potential vulnerability for the incumbent. The debate focused on the issue.

For much of that election year, Obama had included a line of celebration in his standard stump speech, one that among an electorate exhausted by more than a decade of war always drew a rousing applause: “Four years ago, I promised to end the war in Iraq,” Obama proclaimed in Bowling Green, Ohio, in September 2012, and did nearly every day after until the election. “We did.”

In fact, as Wilson recalls, Obama objected when Mitt Romney declared during a debate that both he and Obama would have preferred a status-of-forces agreement (SOFA) that left a residual force in Iraq:

“With regards to Iraq, you and I agreed, I believe, that there should be a status of forces agreement,” Romney told Obama as the two convened on the Lynn University campus in Boca Raton, Fla., that October evening. “That’s not true,” Obama interjected. “Oh, you didn’t want a status of forces agreement?” Romney asked as an argument ensued. “No,” Obama said. “What I would not have done is left 10,000 troops in Iraq that would tie us down. That certainly would not help us in the Middle East.”

Here’s that exchange from the October 2012 debate, for those who need their memories refreshed as much as the President:

It’s true that the issue of immunity had become a sore spot with the Iraqis. Even during the Bush years, the Iraqi government wanted the US to waive immunity, which both the Bush and Obama administrations refused to do, and for very good reasons. The upcoming 2008 election gave Maliki the option of pressing the matter with the next President rather than Bush, which is one reason why the 2008 SOFA didn’t deal with either ending immunity or a long-term residual force.

Obama made it clear from 2007 forward that he didn’t want to stay in Iraq. He won an election in part on that pledge; the economy was certainly the big issue, but the difference between Obama and McCain on Iraq (and interventionism in general) was also a big part of that election. If Obama had been committed to the mission in Iraq, he could have forced Maliki into giving up on the immunity demand. But Obama clearly wasn’t committed to that mission; he opposed it — and got elected by the American people in part because of that opposition. As Dexter Filkins notes, the immunity issue was a welcome lever to fulfill that campaign pledge.

So yes, Obama chose to end the American presence in Iraq. Yesterday’s dodge shows how much the consequences of that decision have changed the way it looks, and Obama wants to run from it. Unfortunately, he’s on the record bragging about that decision so often that the passive voice is laughable now, and a demonstration of Obama’s weakness.


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Wait . . . Obama LIED???

I’m shocked.

myiq2xu on June 20, 2014 at 8:06 AM

He may be on record but you know the lsm won’t bring it up….it’s all bush’s fault in the first place, doncha know

Hillary is on record for blaming the video next to those 4 caskets and no one brings that up

Selective journalism at its best

Shameful

cmsinaz on June 20, 2014 at 8:10 AM

The list just keeps getting longer.

Fast and Furious? Didn’t Know
IRS targeting? Didn’t Know
Bergdahl was a deserter? Didn’t Know
Withdrawal from Iraq? Didn’t Know
Killed Bin Laden? MASTERMIND!!!

ConstantineXI on June 20, 2014 at 8:12 AM

He lies about his golf score.Childish,worthless.

docflash on June 20, 2014 at 8:12 AM

Lies upon lies upon lies upon lies upon lies upon lies upon lies upon lies upon lies upon lies upon lies upon lies upon lies upon lies upon lies upon lies upon lies upon lies upon lies upon lies upon lies upon lies upon lies upon lies upon lies upon lies upon lies upon lies upon lies upon lies upon lies upon lies upon lies upon lies upon lies upon lies upon lies upon lies upon lies upon lies upon lies upon lies upon lies upon lies upon lies upon lies upon lies upon lies upon lies…

Pest on June 20, 2014 at 8:12 AM

Obama is a failure as a leader. However, he is a success as an agent of change. He has fundamentally transformed America…into the antithesis of a strong leader for stability and democracy around the globe, full of far too many government dependents and a gigantic bag of debt to hand off to future generations.

So…Mission Accomplished, Mr. President!

xNavigator on June 20, 2014 at 8:12 AM

So yes, Obama chose to end the American presence in Iraq. Yesterday’s dodge shows how much the consequences of that decision have changed the way it looks, and Obama wants to run from it. Unfortunately, he’s on the record bragging about that decision so often that the passive voice is laughable now, and a demonstration of Obama’s weakness.

HE LIED. We have to start calling him on it explicitly.

King Putt is trying desperately to rewrite history. Maliki also asked for 15-20,000 U.S. troops to remain and train the Iraqi army.

Obama only wanted to leave 5,000. That was the other bone of contention. As you correctly point out, Obama just wanted out no matter what anyone said, and he was expressly told that AQ would attack if we left a power vacuum in Iraq.

dogsoldier on June 20, 2014 at 8:13 AM

He devolved. – MSM

StubbornGreenBurros on June 20, 2014 at 8:15 AM

Brave Obama ran away.
Bravely ran away away.
When danger reared it’s ugly head,
He bravely turned his tail and fled.
Yes, brave Obama turned about
And gallantly he chickened out.
Swiftly taking to his feet,
He beat a very brave retreat.
Bravest of the braaaave, Obama!

DanMan on June 20, 2014 at 8:16 AM

WaPo: Wait, didn’t Obama take credit for full Iraq withdrawal in 2011?

Amazing the short memory of Americans……

Electrongod on June 20, 2014 at 8:17 AM

The msm is gonna have to eat this guy someday and it will be nice watching him getting all po’d.

tim c on June 20, 2014 at 8:18 AM

WaPo: Wait, didn’t Obama take credit for full Iraq withdrawal in 2011?

That was Obama 1.0

We have Obama 2.0…….

More flexible and more arrogant….

Electrongod on June 20, 2014 at 8:18 AM

The RNC needs to make an ad showing the different versions of Obama’s story.

myiq2xu on June 20, 2014 at 8:21 AM

So yes, Obama chose to end the American presence in Iraq. Yesterday’s dodge shows how much the consequences of that decision have changed the way it looks, and Obama wants to run from it. Unfortunately, he’s on the record bragging about that decision so often that the passive voice is laughable now, and a demonstration of Obama’s weakness.

He sure did. He also took credit for the uprising in Syria and was very near publically acknowledging “training” Syrian rebels which ultimately gave rise to ISIS and ISIL, the terrorist groups who overran Iraq.

http://online.wsj.com/articles/obama-close-to-authorizing-military-training-of-syrian-rebels-1401198550

hawkdriver on June 20, 2014 at 8:23 AM

They sure do myiq

cmsinaz on June 20, 2014 at 8:24 AM

Obama’s teleprompter has been programmed by the IT folks at the IRS.

can_con on June 20, 2014 at 8:25 AM

There is not an honest bone in Obama’s body. Integrity isn’t in his vocabulary.

sadatoni on June 20, 2014 at 8:27 AM

Progressive Americans didn’t care about obama starting a war in Syria that has quite literally destroyed an entire country’s infrastructure and killed 200K men, women and children.

What makes anyone think they’ll care about Iraq. To them it will be Bush and Cheney’s fault regardless of how stable it was when he took office.

Liberals only care about war, liberals only feign minor concern for our troops when it’s politically advantageous.

hawkdriver on June 20, 2014 at 8:27 AM

Unfortunately, he’s on the record bragging about that decision so often that the passive voice is laughable now, and a demonstration of Obama’s weakness.

Being “on the record” and having it reported by the media to the general public, (that Obama is two-faced), are two different animals.

The RNC needs to make an ad showing the different versions of Obama’s story.

myiq2xu on June 20, 2014 at 8:21 AM

This!

Rovin on June 20, 2014 at 8:28 AM

+1 HD

cmsinaz on June 20, 2014 at 8:28 AM

This article has a lot more potential if Obamas claims and contradictions were more plainly juxtaposed.

The SOFA argument blurs the fact of how much Obama was convinced complete withdrawal = success at the time.

Obama contradicts himself about Iraq war over. Shows he’s clueless.

Obama lies that Iraq didn’t want SOFA when he plainly opposed it.

jedifinance on June 20, 2014 at 8:29 AM

“Four years ago, I promised to end the war in Iraq,” Obama proclaimed in Bowling Green, Ohio, in September 2012, and did nearly every day after until the election. “We did.”

However, since then, some one hit me in the head with a four-iron and can no longer remember what I said…..(see Hillary, I can use the “lost brain cells” meme too)

Rovin on June 20, 2014 at 8:34 AM

Dear Liar has never been held accountable for any of his actions for his entire life. Why should being president be any different is his thinking.

rbj on June 20, 2014 at 8:35 AM

What’s the over/under on LibFree, EverDisco, or any of the other usual suspects popping into this thread?

TarasBulbous on June 20, 2014 at 8:35 AM

Hard Choices..

Electrongod on June 20, 2014 at 8:35 AM

Obama’s teleprompter has been programmed by the IT folks at the IRS.

can_con on June 20, 2014 at 8:25 AM

Great line. But I think I read something from former or current IT guys at IRS that they’re feeling terrible about being maligned.

After all, those emails are not exclusively stored on Lerner’s c:\desktop

Then again, maybe it’s time for those IT guys to dig into the exchange server and let all hell break loose.

MistyLane on June 20, 2014 at 8:36 AM

TGIF – Fore!

Drained Brain on June 20, 2014 at 8:36 AM

He is a liar and a coward. Example 2,329. Again, he does not need to be re-elected, why can he not finally grow some testicles and say “Yes, I did that.” I will no longer refer to obama as a male. Hence forth, she will be the focus of my scorn.

JAGonzo on June 20, 2014 at 8:38 AM

So Obama took the credit for going out, and now will take credit for going back in. Hey, isn’t that what many men do?

Rix on June 20, 2014 at 8:39 AM

It is laughable that anyone could still believe the media or the GOP will hold Barry to any standard of honesty or integrity. That ship sailed long ago. His dark complexion shields him from any and all criticism and he knows it. Being critical of Affirmative Action Barry is a Donald Sterling level thought crime and in our wussified and rotting culture no one has the balls to call a treasonous duck a duck.

DeweyWins on June 20, 2014 at 8:40 AM

He is a liar and a coward. Example 2,329. Again, he does not need to be re-elected, why can he not finally grow some testicles and say “Yes, I did that.” I will no longer refer to obama as a male. Hence forth, she will be the focus of my scorn.

JAGonzo on June 20, 2014 at 8:38 AM

Obama believes himself to be a perfect and infallible being. Which is of course blasphemous, but then again, Obama the false god believes any criticism of himself to be blasphemous…

ConstantineXI on June 20, 2014 at 8:41 AM

So yes, Obama chose to end the American presence in Iraq. Yesterday’s dodge shows how much the consequences of that decision have changed the way it looks, and Obama wants to run from it. Unfortunately, he’s on the record bragging about that decision so often that the passive voice is laughable now, and a demonstration of Obama’s weakness.

His problem here is his normal bus toss here would be to send out aides to offer up ‘high White House source” attacks against some foreign policy underling for leading him astray. But his foreign policy people proactively have been covering their own keisters on Iraq, getting it out there that they were far less excited about the troop withdrawal than Obama was (and that includes the former Secretary of State, who is already in a tense situation with Team Obama over trying to maintain a uniform front on Benghazi, and will punch back hard if the administration tries to pin any of the current disaster on Hillary).

jon1979 on June 20, 2014 at 8:42 AM

So Obama took the credit for going out, and now will take credit for going back in. Hey, isn’t that what many men do?

Rix on June 20, 2014 at 8:39 AM

Apparently no one who has been with Sandra Fluke has ever been willing to take credit for it either.
(going where no man has gone before is noteworthy, going where practically every man has gone before isn’t even a triviality)

ConstantineXI on June 20, 2014 at 8:44 AM

The implication ran counter to a number of claims that Obama has made in the past…

Nice cover for your boyfriend there, WaPo. I think the phrase you’re looking for is: The president lied.

Rational Thought on June 20, 2014 at 8:44 AM

MistyLane on June 20, 2014 at 8:36 AM

If I can do my little part in pushing those IT folks to come forward I am happy to do it. Those emails are there, whether it be on off-site tapes, backups of blackberry enterprise servers, hard drive caches on digital copiers (if ever printed), properly set up journaling and back-ups on their internal exchange servers. And that is only the sender side. The recipient side has them too.

can_con on June 20, 2014 at 8:46 AM

Hooters. Your days are numbered.

rgeaste on June 20, 2014 at 8:46 AM

a malignant narcissist lies and doesnt remember or care. they will look at that tape and tell you that what they said is not what they said. and believe it. so what. we’ve been living in this thru the looking glass world for 5 years. whats the big deal.

t8stlikchkn on June 20, 2014 at 8:47 AM

Apparently no one who has been with Sandra Fluke has ever been willing to take credit for it either.
(going where no man has gone before is noteworthy, going where practically every man has gone before isn’t even a triviality)

ConstantineXI on June 20, 2014 at 8:44 AM

Have you actually seen that Sandra Sluke fellow? Any guy who manages to steel himself to ride that sow should be either given a medal, or a 100% blindness handicap.

Rix on June 20, 2014 at 8:52 AM

The One neither lies nor obfuscates. He EVOLVES. He’s an evolver, or is it re-evolver? He’s a revolver! He does tend to shoot off his mouth…

vnvet on June 20, 2014 at 8:52 AM

hawkdriver on June 20, 2014 at 8:27 AM

Exactly.

kingsjester on June 20, 2014 at 8:53 AM

two more years of this incompetence will feel like 20…

dpduq on June 20, 2014 at 8:53 AM

If you like our troops you can keep our troops.

Mr. Bingley on June 20, 2014 at 8:54 AM

He sure did. He also took credit for the uprising in Syria and was very near publically acknowledging “training” Syrian rebels which ultimately gave rise to ISIS and ISIL, the terrorist groups who overran Iraq.

hawkdriver on June 20, 2014 at 8:23 AM

And in a few years, when they’re launching a terrorist attack on the U.S., will the MSM give Obama the credit he deserves for that too?

This idiot is their creation, and occupies the White House because of their relentless propaganda operation on his behalf. I just hope the American people remember that, when Obama’s chickens come home to roost (to borrow a phrase from Barry’s hateful, anti-American mentor).

AZCoyote on June 20, 2014 at 8:55 AM

Being a glutton for punishment, I checked out the WaPo website. That piece is buried away and takes awhile to find, captioned with a little “Say What?”

The big news continues to be “Wis. Gov. Walker is suspected in ‘criminal scheme’,” complete with chart.

Oh, and about the missing e-mails and hard drives in the paper that highlighted Watergate?

Crickets.

Drained Brain on June 20, 2014 at 8:56 AM

This may be a fiddly objection, but op-eds in the Washington Post shouldn’t be credited to the Washington Post unless they are actual Washington Post editorials.

PersonFromPorlock on June 20, 2014 at 8:56 AM

Obama has been proven wrong again and again (Especially by Romney)
It’s almost comical when listening to libs TRY and defend him on a daily basis. Obama really does make Nixon look like an alter boy!

Indianatime on June 20, 2014 at 9:03 AM

Ed, if you keep sticking your arm down the memory hole like this, one day it is going to get stuck. What’re you going to do then?

Occams Stubble on June 20, 2014 at 9:04 AM

good lapdogs…they are going with dear leaders revision of this was all maliki’s fault….

cmsinaz on June 20, 2014 at 9:06 AM

The White House never lies to the press. Jay Carney says so.

Roy Rogers on June 20, 2014 at 9:09 AM

Obama was for lying about it before he lied about it.

albill on June 20, 2014 at 9:14 AM

He hasn’t been able to destroy this digital record as in the IRS scandal.

SC.Charlie on June 20, 2014 at 9:20 AM

The truth is that Obama could have had the SOFA agreement he supposedly demanded – with immunity – as long as he also didn’t demand a full parliamentary vote on it. Maliki was not going to bring it up for a vote in parliament because he would not want to lose face for doing so. We have similar SOFA agreements in the region that were created and agreed to in exactly the same fashion (e.g., no parliamentary approval).

gwelf on June 20, 2014 at 9:29 AM

The timeline, once again, for the slower people among us:
(I’m looking at you, WaPo)

In 2009, Bush left office, and Obama was inaugurated.

In 2011, Obama was taking full credit for the victory in Iraq and withdrawing troops.

In 2014, the failures in Iraq are all Bush’s fault.

There Goes the Neighborhood on June 20, 2014 at 10:48 AM

Yet another commentary story about the invasion of Iraq, but still no post on the invasion of AMERICA?????

Gee, Drudge and Breitbart are all over it; wonder why the Hot Air editors continue the news blackout here??

The invasion is the DIRECT result of Obama’s 2012 DACA EO and all the rest of the amnesty talk and pseudo amnesty by states with driving privileges and in-state tuition, etc.

Today’s Drudge top headlines:

Sheriff Joe: Obama’s ‘dumping of illegals intentional’…
Resident suggests housing them in DC…
Boehner: ‘Administration’s own making’…
Hundreds Arrive By Hour…
‘De facto amnesty here’…
WH: ‘Unlawful Migration’…
Frustrated Agents Look For New Jobs…
Rick Perry Unloads…
130,000 minors expected to arrive in coming year…
Miami Public Schools Issue SOS…

‘THEY CAN’T STAY’

fred5678 on June 20, 2014 at 11:08 AM

Must be about time to pivot and focus like a laser again.

KMC1 on June 20, 2014 at 11:18 AM

It just gets better.

The best part is all the Lefties still defend him.

The end will not be pretty.

formwiz on June 20, 2014 at 11:28 AM

“This is how wars end in the 21st century. A total f*cked mess where our enemies are allowed to undo all our hard-won battlefield gains– unopposed.”

“A I have always said this: I am a lying sack of sh*t who believes his own bullsh*t.”

PD Quig on June 20, 2014 at 11:41 AM

I was thinking the other night, everything Obama does is self-referential and then it hit me why he’s still using such an old POS technology ‘smart phone.’

I mean, he names his poor dog “Bo” (get it? B-arack O-bama). Well, of course he’s going to use a Blackberry.

PD Quig on June 20, 2014 at 11:49 AM

True versus False is a Bourgeois concept. The truth is whatever is expedient right now and that can change with events./

Thesaurus for political speak:

Shaded the Truth = “nuanced”

Lied = “Mispoke”

Got caught and can’t deny it = “That is old news”

KW64 on June 20, 2014 at 11:49 AM

obama has the Kenyan life-style in his blood.

You can’t blame him for hating you. He thinks you’re too dumb to catch on to him.

America, you deserve the thug, in full. You brung him, twice.

I hope he gets scabies and those who brung him too.

Schadenfreude on June 20, 2014 at 11:51 AM

Romney Should have been much more aggressive and stopped him in his tracks with:

“You’re going to sit here straight faced, and lie to the American people about your actions?”

So many opportunities, none taken…

stacman on June 20, 2014 at 12:41 PM

Send this pestilent, traitorous, cowhearted, yeasty codpiece to the brig….

DJcool on June 20, 2014 at 5:39 PM