The latest element of Bush’s Iraq strategy to make a comeback will drive the left nuts

posted at 9:21 am on July 1, 2014 by Noah Rothman

On Monday, the Obama administration announced that 200 more American troops were headed to Baghdad to support U.S. embassy officials and support staff. The Department of Defense revealed that at least 100 U.S. troops were to be shifted forward to provide additional support to Iraqi security forces. What remains of Iraq may not, however, be Iraq for long; the Kurdish north of the country is preparing to seek its independence – a development which would have been destabilizing to the region 10 years ago, but is now welcomed by benefactor states like Turkey.

President Barack Obama’s signature foreign policy achievement, the withdrawal of American military commitments to Iraq, has collapsed. It is a catastrophic and ongoing defeat for Obama’s doctrine of retrenchment. The public voted for withdrawal and Obama’s ability to achieve that was one of the few remaining examples of his administration’s competence. As Iraq implodes, cynicism has returned with a vengeance and Obama’s plummeting job approval rating reflects that.

With the stage set, the latest news out of that chronically unstable nation must be driving Obama’s supporters insane.

Ahmed Chalabi, a name widely circulated in the Bush era prior to the 2003 invasion as a likely successor to Saddam Hussein’s government, is back in the news. While Chalabi’s Iraqi National Congress has only one seat in that country’s parliament – the one he occupies – his name is again being floated as a potential replacement for Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

“Iraq’s political parties held round-the-clock meetings the past three days to try to agree on the shape of a new government in time to convene Parliament on Tuesday and being choosing new leaders,” The New York Times reported on Tuesday. “Mr. Chalabi’s name was one of the two being prominently mentioned to replace the incumbent prime minister, Nuri Kamal al-Maliki.”

The left vehemently opposed Chalabi’s ascension to power in Iraq and blames him for swaying the Bush administration toward supporting the invasion in the first place. But that was more than a decade ago, so it’s all water under the bridge, right? Maybe the lede in the Times’ story offers some clues:

He took millions of dollars from the C.I.A., founded and was accused of defrauding the second-biggest bank in Jordan and sold the Bush administration a bill of goods on weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

… guess not.

The left-leaning press has been building a case against Chalabi since the Clinton administration. An exhaustive 2004 report by Salon’s John Dizard details how the Iraqi exile conned the Bush administration into pursuing his lifelong dream of returning to Iraq as a figure of authority.

Chalabi appears to have recognized that the neocons, while ruthless, realistic and effective in bureaucratic politics, were remarkably ignorant about the situation in Iraq, and willing to buy a fantasy of how the country’s politics worked. So he sold it to them.

A helpful timeline in Mother Jones magazine shows how Chalabi had been agitating for the overthrow of Hussein’s government since the mid-1990s. Each time, offering a half-baked plan that would not require much more than a financial commitment from the United States.

MoJo also reported that the famous 2001 footage of Iraqi military officials training Arab fighters to hijack airlines was a “bogus Chalabi plant.”

“But still,” wrote former MoJo reporter Aram Roston in 2008, “Chalabi’s allegations about Saddam’s role in training hijackers had found their way into the White House press office as it made the case for war.”

The transcript of an interview Chalabi gave PBS in 2003 shows why he fell out of favor. The inability of American forces to uncover massive stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction dealt his credibility what many believed was a fatal blow. The press never forgave him, and the figures of authority in today’s center-left movement were weaned on anti-Chalabi exposés.

In the pantheon of figures the left regards as personally responsible for The Tragedy of Tragedies that was the Iraq War, Chalabi occupies a position as condemnable as that of Dick Cheney or Donald Rumsfeld. His rehabilitation would represent yet another rebuke of the Obama administration’s efforts to reverse Bush’s footprint on geopolitics. And it would drive the left positively insane.


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It is a catastrophic and ongoing defeat for Obama’s doctrine of retrenchment.

Or as we call it, “Tuesday”

trubble on July 1, 2014 at 9:29 AM

And it would drive the left positively insane.

They already are insane. But a a psychotic meltdown would be enjoyable to watch. I’ll make the popcorn. Bring beer.

rbj on July 1, 2014 at 9:29 AM

Gee, so glad I got to take a ‘tour’ of the country while it was still there …

/smh

M240H on July 1, 2014 at 9:31 AM

On Monday, the Obama administration announced that 200 more American troops were headed to Baghdad to support U.S. embassy officials and support staff.

There are now 750 military personnel in Baghdad “supporting embassy officials” That seems like an awful lot and is over twice the number that was initially announced.

My guess is that they see the day when they will have to evacuate and are getting ready.

Happy Nomad on July 1, 2014 at 9:32 AM

And it would drive the left positively insane.

The horse has already left the barn on that one . Yesterday pretty much took the cake but never sell libtards short as they keep going deeper over the cliff.

Southernblogger on July 1, 2014 at 9:34 AM

We should have nuked Iraq then, and still should now. It’s the only way to be sure.

oscarwilde on July 1, 2014 at 9:36 AM

Let’s put this in perspective……

Over 2400 Iraqis were killed in June. What is expected of all those military personnel that have been snuck into the country is unclear but I’m guessing it isn’t answering the phone at the embassy.

Happy Nomad on July 1, 2014 at 9:38 AM

There was this article in Slate the other day (our headlines) that blamed the entire mess in Iraq on climate change. It’s just so damn hot over there – and dry. That’s why these jihadists act the way they do.

TarheelBen on July 1, 2014 at 9:39 AM

Obama wants a Sunni as President…besides the one in the White House.

albill on July 1, 2014 at 9:41 AM

At this point, I think the best policy for all of the muslim nations is simply to declare Exterminatus, and begin orbital bombardment.

Can’t do any worse than what President mom-jeans has in mind. Which is likely another strongly-worded letter sent from the golf course.

TKindred on July 1, 2014 at 9:42 AM

Heh poor lefties

cmsinaz on July 1, 2014 at 9:45 AM

Special Ops forces in Libya weren’t initially revealed or counted either. Apparently Special Ops don’t wear boots or don’t ever put them on the ground.

rhombus on July 1, 2014 at 9:46 AM

Just a little cut and paste blast from the past so y’all can share this with your friends on the 4th:

Mm, mmm, mm!
Barack Hussein Obama

He said that all must lend a hand
To make this country strong again
Mmm, mmm, mm!
Barack Hussein Obama

He said we must be fair today
Equal work means equal pay
Mmm, mmm, mm!
Barack Hussein Obama

He said that we must take a stand
To make sure everyone gets a chance
Mmm, mmm, mm!
Barack Hussein Obama

He said red, yellow, black or white
All are equal in his sight
Mmm, mmm, mm!
Barack Hussein Obama

Yes!
Mmm, mmm, mm
Barack Hussein Obama

Hello, Mr. President we honor you today!
For all your great accomplishments, we all doth say “hooray!”

Hooray, Mr. President! You’re number one!
The first black American to lead this great nation!

Hooray, Mr. President we honor your great plans
To make this country’s economy number one again!

Hooray Mr. President, we’re really proud of you!
And we stand for all Americans under the great Red, White, and Blue!

So continue —- Mr. President we know you’ll do the trick
So here’s a hearty hip-hooray —-

Hip, hip hooray!
Hip, hip hooray!
Hip, hip hooray!

Isn’t he just dreamy????

bimmcorp on July 1, 2014 at 9:47 AM

bimmcorp on July 1, 2014 at 9:47 AM

Wouldn’t you like to speak with the teachers that penned those words today? I would love to sit and chat with those harpies right about now.

D-fusit on July 1, 2014 at 9:54 AM

Barack Hussein Obama

bimmcorp on July 1, 2014 at 9:47 AM

I recall in 2008 it was considered a “smear” to use his middle name. Pretty incredible. In Ohio, Bill Cunningham was introducing John McCain at a campaign event. Cunningham made a reference to “Barack Hussein Obama.” The media went crazy. Headline coverage on the cable stations. Everybody denounced Cunningham including John McCain. McCain said that anybody who used Obama’s middle name would be fired immediately. Now – tell me this country hasn’t gone insane.

TarheelBen on July 1, 2014 at 9:54 AM

Or as we call it, “Tuesday”

trubble

good chuckle! thanks!

Ms. Contrarian Scientist on July 1, 2014 at 9:54 AM

bimmcorp on July 1, 2014 at 9:47 AM

He said red, yellow, black or white
All are equal in his sight
Mmm, mmm, mm!
Barack Hussein Obama

Not many people still think of the rat-eared wonder as Christ returned. The glowing and gushing “Welcome Mr. President” thread from HA on the day of his inaugural comes off as tawdry after five years of reality.

Happy Nomad on July 1, 2014 at 9:56 AM

Now – tell me this country hasn’t gone insane.

TarheelBen on July 1, 2014 at 9:54 AM

I came to that conclusion when it was declared that golf and Chicago were dog whistles for racism.

Happy Nomad on July 1, 2014 at 9:57 AM

Eh, who cares about Mother Jones?

dforston on July 1, 2014 at 9:59 AM

I came to that conclusion when it was declared that golf and Chicago were dog whistles for racism.

Happy Nomad on July 1, 2014 at 9:57 AM

:) Yeah, at the 2012 Republican Convention:

CHRIS MATTHEWS: They keep saying Chicago. You hear that? They keep saying Chicago. I think there’s something ETHNIC about it.

BLACK PANEL MEMBER: Yeah, there’s a lot of black people in Chicago.

TarheelBen on July 1, 2014 at 10:02 AM

Other than a couple of network broadcasts the MSM are largely ignoring this latest addition of “boots on the ground.”

Of course, they gave LBJ a pass as he increased the number of “advisers” in Vietnam too. That’s the way it works when a Dem is president.

Drained Brain on July 1, 2014 at 10:03 AM

He said red, yellow, black or white
All are equal in his sight
Mmm, mmm, mm!
Barack Hussein Obama

Except if you are the Washington Redskins, eh Barky??

bimmcorp on July 1, 2014 at 10:05 AM

The Obama Doctrine – Premature De-escalation – Has proven to be a colossal failure.

Buckshots on July 1, 2014 at 10:08 AM

Guess what, you fail to govern someone else will step into the vacuum and do the job you neglected.
 
Sorry that gives you a sad.
 
Tlaloc on June 30, 2014 at 6:33 PM

rogerb on July 1, 2014 at 10:13 AM

I hope those guys have made their own arrangements for the trip home.

He said red, yellow, black or white
All are equal in his sight
Mmm, mmm, mm!
Barack Hussein Obama

bimmcorp on July 1, 2014 at 9:47 AM

I thought it was Christ that did that.

(oh, yeah, he IS the Messiah now)

formwiz on July 1, 2014 at 10:13 AM

First, he said no troops. Now there are troops. Whether you agree or not, the guy makes yet another grand pronouncement and then has to backtrack or lie when turns out his grand pronouncement was ill-conceived.

Naked Emperor on July 1, 2014 at 10:16 AM

Nice Blaze/Upworthy headline…

Critic2029 on July 1, 2014 at 10:16 AM

Get every American out of Iraq and Afghanistan. Let the Sunny’s battle it out with the Shiites. Encourage Iran to get involved, Russia too. Hell, encourage all the countries over there to have at it. In the meantime our crack intelligence agencies can keep a keen eye on any threats to us then take appropriate action to prevent it.

Jackson on July 1, 2014 at 10:24 AM

The inability of American forces to uncover massive stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction dealt his credibility what many believed was a fatal blow.

Mmmm…. Right. See, also, Syria circa 2013 and 2014,

No stockpiles. Gotcha. Couldn’t have had anything to do with the 2-3 YEARS of debate and discussion leading up to the invasion, could it ?

Nah.

The utter lack of critical thinking on the left really does shock and amaze me.

deadrody on July 1, 2014 at 10:28 AM

The utter lack of critical thinking on the left really does shock and amaze me.

deadrody on July 1, 2014 at 10:28 AM

Yep. That is the real ‘shock & awe’…

bimmcorp on July 1, 2014 at 10:35 AM

…And it would drive the left positively insane.

This is NOT a “drive”…it is a short PUTT!!

landlines on July 1, 2014 at 10:39 AM

Chalabi will drive them nuts. I could tell you 5 books’ worth of stories.

Must be hell to be a leftist fascist thug these days. The islamists watch you like hawks.

Schadenfreude on July 1, 2014 at 10:40 AM

President Barack Obama’s signature foreign policy achievement, the withdrawal of American military commitments to Iraq, has collapsed.

Huh?

The withdrawal was largely achieved by the Bush Administration. Mr. Obama’s job was to secure the peace by negotiating a simple continuation of the SOFA. The same type of SOFA his predecessor negotiated and his military commanders, in reports still available today, recommended him to undertake.

Not only did the president fail then, but the results were predicted. He, once again, placed politics above the well being of our country and our personal security.

Now, not only has the threat grown, but it is better financed, has access to vast stretches of territory and advanced weapons.

If you don’t believe that makes the world a more dangerous place for our families, welcome to the cult. There is some nice refreshing Kool-Aid on the table under the sign that reads “No blood for oil”.

Marcus Traianus on July 1, 2014 at 10:45 AM

It would make them much MORE insane.

Fixed.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on July 1, 2014 at 10:46 AM

So basically the GOP strategy to attack Obama on Iraq is, “Bush was right!”

I am sure this is some plan to set the stage for their dream candidate…Jeb! Can’t get Jeb in the White House if you cannot rehabilitate the GWB’s strategic “genius”. There are 10,000 things you can attack Obama on, but to try to hurt Obama by bringing up the ghosts of Bush’s Iraq Strategy is just idiotic. It is like a replay of the McCain campaign strategy all over again.

Our enemies are waging war against each other…that is a good thing. Rejoice and be happy.

William Eaton on July 1, 2014 at 10:47 AM

Wow, another typically ignorant and under-researched foreign policy post at Hot Air.

There is a reason Chalabi’s name is once again being floated – he’s acceptable to Iran, the real rulers of Iraq. Now that their previous puppet, Maliki, is toxic, they need a new boy in charge who will do what he’s told.

Chalabi is Shia. He’s suspected of being an Iranian agent, although that story disappeared real fast, for obvious reasons. Fox News reported that the U.S. government had “rock solid” evidence that Chalabi had passed state secrets to the Iranians. He’s also a criminal of monumental proportions, and the U.S. Army raided his villa in 2004.

Chalabi is a scumbag. I don’t care if Mother Jones hates him or not. In a well-ordered world he would have been taken out and shot a long time ago.

Joseph K on July 1, 2014 at 11:25 AM

While Chalabi’s Iraqi National Congress has only one seat in that country’s parliament – the one he occupies – his name is again being floated as a potential replacement for Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

This guy ain’t a friend of anyone in the west.

He also isn’t capable fo holding much of anything together.

1992 – Is sentenced in absentia by a Jordanian court to 22 years in prison with hard labor for bank fraud.

August 2003 – After a car bomb kills 17 at the Jordanian embassy in Baghdad, the Jordanian government accuses Chalabi of being involved.

August 2009 – U.S. military intelligence links Chalabi to Shiite terrorists responsible for a 2007 attack on seven Marines and to ties with Iran.

June 7, 2011 – Chalabi calls on the United States to fully withdraw from Iraq.

“When we hear that some members of the opposition are in touch with Hezbollah or with shady figures like the Iraqi Ahmed Chalabi, of whom we think he is acting on behalf of Iran, then this worries us,” said a French intelligence official.

Ahmad Chalabi, the Iraqi leader and former ally of the Bush administration, disclosed to an Iranian official that the United States had broken the secret communications code of Iran’s intelligence service, betraying one of Washington’s most valuable sources of information about Iran, according to United States intelligence officials.

The Bush administration, citing national security concerns, asked The New York Times and other news organizations not to publish details of the case.

The administration withdrew its request on Tuesday, saying information about the code-breaking was starting to appear in news accounts.

sharrukin on July 1, 2014 at 11:25 AM

Hip, hip hooray!
Hip, hip hooray!
Hip, hip hooray!

bimmcorp on July 1, 2014 at 9:47 AM

Shouldn’t it be—

Hip, hop hooray!

Palerider1861 on July 1, 2014 at 12:10 PM

…so when JugEars said ‘no boots on the ground’ was that like ‘if you like your plan’?

JugEarsButtHurt on July 1, 2014 at 12:17 PM

The inability of American forces to uncover massive stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction dealt his credibility what many believed was a fatal blow.

American forces did find 180 tons of yellowcake (uranium ore), and removed it from Iraq. If Saddam had remained in power these last 11 years, he might have enriched it to make a nuclear bomb.

Of course, the lefty press (everyone except Fox News) were silent about that little trifle, because it would have destroyed their meme that “Iraq didn’t really have WMD, Bush went to war for no good reason”.

George W. Bush’s major mistake was not the invasion of Iraq, but his failure to use his bully pulpit during his second term to tell the truth about Iraq to counteract the lies from the press and Democrats (but I repeat myself).

Steve Z on July 1, 2014 at 12:18 PM

And it would drive the left positively insane.

No need to drive; it’s just a short walk.

flyovermark on July 1, 2014 at 12:34 PM

…so when JugEars said ‘no boots on the ground’ was that like ‘if you like your plan’?

JugEarsButtHurt on July 1, 2014 at 12:17 PM

These aren’t boot boots.

The real shocker to me is that Obama lied again. SHOCKING!!

jukin3 on July 1, 2014 at 12:41 PM

Embrace the suck lefties you are the idiots that voted for it…..

crosshugger on July 1, 2014 at 2:02 PM

Face it lefties, your boy sucks…..

crosshugger on July 1, 2014 at 2:02 PM

The public voted for withdrawal and Obama’s ability to achieve that was one of the few remaining examples of his administration’s competence.

Really?

The Bush administration set up the whole withdrawal before Obama was ever inaugurated. Obama screwed up the withdrawal badly, and had to just pull them all out at once. It was a perfect example of his incompetence.

There Goes the Neighborhood on July 1, 2014 at 4:20 PM

Apparently Special Ops don’t wear boots or don’t ever put them on the ground.

rhombus on July 1, 2014 at 9:46 AM

No, no boots. They’re all from West Virginia or Arkansas.

Quartermaster on July 1, 2014 at 7:51 PM

WTF the last person should be Chalibi who is a weakling. Alawi should be our guy he is a Shite secularist who was able to garner enough support from both Sunnis and Kurds along with enough moderate MODERATE Shia to beat Maliki in the previous election by a nose. Sadly at the time the great O was concentrated on running away and to hell with our gains. He didn’t use our influence to support the rule of law and legitimate transfer of power that was demanded. Maliki just claimed he won formed a gov and told the Sunni, Kurd, and moderates to get bent while the US under O concentrated on birth control for college students. Iran smiled and now we are were we are.

C-Low on July 1, 2014 at 10:18 PM