Free Markets, Free People

Trying to rewrite history … again

Even the Washington Post has a problem swallowing the latest Obama attempt at rewriting history (with the usual motive of passing off the blame to someone or something else).  As usual, Obama is trying to have it both ways while waving away his culpability in the problems and deaths now taking place in Iraq:

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.

His remarks, coming as an Islamist insurgency seizes territory across northern Iraq and threatens the central government, recalled key moments in his reelection race when he called his opponent hopelessly out of step with Middle East realities for wanting to keep U.S. forces in the still-fragile country America had invaded nearly a decade earlier.

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.”

For Obama, who four years earlier had distinguished himself from Democratic rival Hillary Rodham Clinton through his opposition to the war in Iraq, the fact he had withdrawn all U.S. forces from the country was a problem solved and a political chip to be cashed in come November.

It was also a way to once again draw contrasts with Romney, who criticized Obama for failing to secure a so-called status of forces agreement with the Iraqi government. The agreement would have granted immunity from Iraqi prosecution to all U.S. troops in country after 2011. Reaching such a deal — a political risk for Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki — would have allowed a contingent of several thousand U.S. troops to remain, largely to help with training and specific counter-terrorism operations.

“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.”

On Thursday, Obama addressed reporters in the White House Briefing Room about Iraq’s latest crisis. “Do you wish you had left a residual force in Iraq? Any regrets about that decision in 2011?” a reporter asked. “Well, keep in mind that wasn’t a decision made by me,” Obama said. “That was a decision made by the Iraqi government.”

While the last statement is technically true, it’s because the Obama administration had engineered it to be that way.  They knew full well how all of our other Status of Forces Agreements were done and deliberately included conditions and a step that was unnecessary that all but guaranteed rejection by the Iraqi government.

Here’s a little history of the time (written in October of 2011):

Quite simply it was a matter of will: President Bush really wanted to get a deal done, whereas Mr. Obama did not. Mr. Bush spoke weekly with Mr. Maliki by video teleconference. Mr. Obama had not spoken with Mr. Maliki for months before calling him in late October to announce the end of negotiations. Mr. Obama and his senior aides did not even bother to meet with Iraqi officials at the United Nations General Assembly in September.

The administration didn’t even open talks on renewing the Status of Forces Agreement until this summer, a few months before U.S. troops would have to start shuttering their remaining bases to pull out by Dec. 31. The previous agreement, in 2008, took a year to negotiate.

The recent negotiations were jinxed from the start by the insistence of State Department and Pentagon lawyers that any immunity provisions be ratified by the Iraqi parliament—something that the U.S. hadn’t insisted on in 2008 and that would be almost impossible to get today. In many other countries, including throughout the Arab world, U.S. personnel operate under a Memorandum of Understanding that doesn’t require parliamentary ratification. Why not in Iraq? Mr. Obama could have chosen to override the lawyers’ excessive demands, but he didn’t.

He also undercut his own negotiating team by regularly bragging—in political speeches delivered while talks were ongoing—of his plans to “end” the “war in Iraq.” Even more damaging was his August decision to commit only 3,000 to 5,000 troops to a possible mission in Iraq post-2011. This was far below the number judged necessary by our military commanders. They had asked for nearly 20,000 personnel to carry out counterterrorist operations, support American diplomats, and provide training and support to the Iraqi security forces. That figure was whittled down by Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, to 10,000, which they judged to be the absolute minimum needed.

The Iraqis knew about these estimates: U.S. military commanders had communicated them directly to Iraqi leaders. Prime Minister Maliki was said (by those who had talked to him) to privately support such a troop commitment, and almost all Iraqi political leaders—representing every major faction except for the rabidly anti-American Sadrists—assented on Aug. 2 to opening negotiations on that basis.

When the White House then said it would consent to no more than 5,000 troops—a number that may not even have been able to adequately defend itself, much less carry out other missions—the Iraqis understandably figured that the U.S. wasn’t serious about a continued commitment. Iraqi political leaders may have been willing to risk a domestic backlash to support a substantial commitment of 10,000 or more troops. They were not willing to stick their necks out for such a puny force. Hence the breakdown of talks.

So the talks on SOFA broke down giving Obama a reason to “end the war” and to blame the breakdown on Iraq and Iraq’s government.  Perfect.

And now we see the result.  He has someone to blame the problem on even as the history of how and why what happened happened seems to be lost in the mist.  This was a deliberately staged and engineered outcome.  By making an unacceptable offer and requiring other than the leadership of Iraq to endorse the deal, they knew it would fail.  And that means the usual … another of our allies thrown under the bus.  Yes, Maliki isn’t any bargain.  And yes, he’s done as poor a job with Iraq as Obama has done in America.  But there are two people that should be under the bus, and we all know who the second one is.

Don’t let him rewrite this bit of history to his advantage.


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31 Responses to Trying to rewrite history … again

  • Yes, Maliki isn’t any bargain.  And yes, he’s done as poor a job with Iraq as Obama has done in America.
    And, according to people who spent time in Iraq dealing with their government on the highest levels, we had a hand in keeping Malki and his buds in line.  Which was CENTRAL to keeping the whole deal working. When Baracula (who does NOT deal with people, but simply tells people and then walks away) “ended teh war”, he gave all that leverage up.  This was discussed at the time by several people, but they were ignored, too.

    • Oh no man, Bush’s fault.   Saw it several times in the last couple days.
      Ignore the feckless foreign policy disasters that belong completely to THIS administration, anything that ever happens in Iraq for the foreseeable future will be the fault of George W. Bush.

      • I watched Mars Attacks again last night.  I could not help but notice the parallels between the reaction of the administration in that farce and the farce of a regime who calls Ft. Hood’s massacre a “work-place incident”.  Plus, the press secretary was right out of our current, sad experience.
        Sooooo much magical thinking.  So much narcissism…

      • … but you have to understand that “This Administration” has done nothing

        • Doing nothing is doing something.    People just need to learn to see that not chosing is chosing, and not doing is a form of doing.
          However, in THIS case, where you have an asshat Sec State who thinks we should select representatives based on their gender identity and sexual preferences…..
          Good lord, what the flock ever happened to selecting people who did a good job?

          • With the Collective, that is not even a consideration.  Else, how do you explain a Hagel and a Kerry?
            Or a nominee for Ambassador to Norway who pretty much literally knows nothing about…
            1. statecraft, or…
            2. Norway
            BUT who was a BIG bundler for Baracula.

          • Yes, extended government paid vacation for some asshat who kicked in a bundle of samolians.
            One would think there might be someone from, oh, I don’t know, State (preferably who has had a sex change, or prefers having relations with someone of their own sex) who might, I don’t know, understand state crafty things, maybe is descended from immigrants from that country, maybe even speaks the native language!
            Crazy I know.
            After all, we should be hiring based on gender, gender preference, sexual preference and skin color because you’re always sure to get the best candidates that way.

  • So your saying that Pres**ent Obama, himself, has now said that he is a “gutless coward” in the face of the Iraqi desire to “end the war.”

  • This is what obama and the wimp liberal democrats get for not arresting  bush cheney and their running  neo-con dogs for war crimes and treason! There is no statue of limitations on treason arrest them all right now!

  • Maybe I never followed Iraqi politics closely enough, or maybe the stories I read were not in depth enough, but I never recall hearing about how horrible Maliki was. Like trying to send tanks against the Kurds. I may have shut off following Iraq closely after the surge worked, because you just assume that once the crazy violence is finally tamped down, all sides would act rationally.
    The Shia had effective control, but they couldn’t throw a few bones to the Sunnis to keep everyone happy?
    Even without that, how hard is it to run an oppressive regime?
    Someone else also mentioned something about Iraq, though, they said even Saddam Hussein lost control of parts of his country for periods of time. He had to gas the Kurds because they revolted. Its not obvious that if Saddam remained in power that after Saddam’s death there would not have been a civil war.
    This is troubling in so many ways.
    It means Afghanistan might not last very long once we leave.
    It also means a nuclear power like Pakistan could also fall quickly, if the conditions were right.
    Or is it some function of a state not existing long enough?

  • Dec-2011

    However at the  same time, the U.S. Pentagon has about 40,000 uniformed military fores throughout this Persian Gulf region (and outlying areas). These incude the ground combat unit that was the last force out of Iraq. This posture is called “over the horizon” — meaning the armies have been moved “out of country” but are within striking distance. They are not visible (i.e. they are over the horizon where they aren’t formally counted), but they are really “in theater” and able to reenter iraq in various ways. In the case of this combat unit they are literally just across the border in Kuwait (an arbitrary border drawn in the sand). Such troops were no where near the Persian gulf for most of the last century. Since Jimmy Carter, there has been a steady intrusion of U.S. navies, bases, aircraft and nuclear weapons into the Persian Gulf.

    Even “over the horizon” is a sham, but Obama’s word is his bond .. junk bonds

    • …they are really “in theater” and able to reenter Iraq in various ways.
      Ah, but the fly in THAT ointment is that you have to have someone with the sand to give the order to “reenter Iraq”.  You could have all the military force in the world massed on the border, and it would never make any difference.
      This is something ISIS, Putin, Iran, the ChiCOMS, and even the NORKS have clearly understood.  The U.S. under Obama is impotent.  Worldwide.

      • A Polish news magazine said on Sunday it had obtained a secret recording of Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski, in contention for a senior European Union job, saying that Poland’s relationship with the United States was worthless.

  • ” Don’t let him rewrite this bit of history to his advantage. ”
    – – – – – – –

    Well, technically OBummer doesn’t get to write the history of his administration. But it’s certain that the newspaper articles and opinion columns that will be researched by historians of the future (as they try to analyze what went wrong during President Heal-The-Earth’s tenure) will present only the Prog/ Dem/ Lib viewpoint.

    We *DO* need some legal means of holding our MFMSM’s feet to the fire; but I can’t for the life of me figure out what it might be. Sigh.

    • I do.  There will be a point where all falls apart including the rule of law and its all over.  I’m going to give some people their just reward and start of those folks.   So if they choose to keep it up, they better be right (not morally pie in the sky correct, but correct in a real & practical sense) it better not collapse for their sake.

        That suggests another…less sanguinary…way to bring our outlaw gang in Washington to heel.

        • I’m talking beyond Obama.  Our Journalist threw off the shackles of Integrity a long time ago.  They certainly aren’t going back on after they leave.  Progess to their goal may slow down but it won’t stop.  They want a Socialist or Communist Paradise.  Part of that strategy is to risk/encourage collapse before getting there.  Some to remove the US as an obstacle to world communism.  Some as the ‘process’ to usher in Communism.  They really believe there is a required step of going ‘capitalist’ for a time and having it fail.  Some probably don’t realize the goal is to break the the place. 

          Once they break the place, they’re just going to have a mess.  Their Communist paradise will not appear it will just be a sea of disorganized butcherous chaos.  I’ll be able to do anything I want.  Pity for them. 

  • Lately, Bill Clinton has become convinced that Obama won’t endorse Hillary in 2016. During a gathering at Whitehaven, guests overheard Bill talking to his daughter Chelsea about whether the president would back Joe Biden.
    “Recently, I’ve been hearing a different scenario from state committeemen,” Clinton said. “They say he’s looking for a candidate who’s just like him. Someone relatively unknown. Someone with a fresh face.
    “He’s convinced himself he’s been a brilliant president, and wants to clone himself — to find his Mini-Me.”

    “He’s hunting for someone to succeed him, and he believes the American people don’t want to vote for someone who’s been around for a long time. He thinks that your mother and I are what he calls ‘so 20th century.’ He’s looking for ­another Barack Obama.”

    That is from a book excerpt on PowerLine.  Gobsmacking…

    Well, you cannot fault the Poles for getting it.  Obama has been using our allies as a urinal for about six years now.

  • Young Rand is showing a disturbing likeness to his crazy father…


  • I predict unobfucatable boots on the ground by October for many of the reasons Bush I gave.  The circle of hypocrisy will be complete. 

    • Bush II, rather.

      • Hey!  Look at it this way, maybe they’ll start putting up billboard photos of American troops on the Abu Ghrab expressway with the slogan “Do you miss us yet? in Baghdadi Arabic.

    Oh, sure.  THAT is a high priority just now…!!!  You’d have to say these people are MORONS…or just HATE America.
    I vote for the latter.

    • Yeah, because we were going to use 3 300 to 500 KT devices on North Korea or Iran (Libya and Iraq USED to be targets, not so much any more)
      “In its 2010 Nuclear Posture Review, the Obama administration said “deMIRVing” the weapons would “enhance the stability of the nuclear balance by reducing the incentives for either side to strike first.”
      Does anyone think we were seriously going to MIRV North Korea?
      Our deMIRVing isn’t going to reduce some splodedopes incentive to pop a 5kt device somewhere in the Continental US.

  • So the government has now done to the health care market what they long ago did for higher education … create a perfect market for the seller. 
    Until ObamaDoesn’tCare, only colleges had the advantage of being able to examine your finances to see exactly how far they could reasonably be able to push you into debt. 
    Now the health care industry can too.

  • free markets are an illusion as long as their is government ,its job is to curtail freedom, you should know this. I have three bumper stickers for you :IRAQ ARABIC FOR VIETNAM 2. DEPORT REPUBLICANS NOT THE CHILDREN 3. Obama now 2016 Mrs Clinton then are first latina democrat president.