Friends in Iraq (Thoughts and Comments) [Guest Post]

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kurdistanmap

I have finally been able to contact several friends in Iraq. One is a retired military officer who actually married a Kurdish lady and now works for the Kurdish government. Some of the other friends are Shia living in the Sunni Triangle. I will relate their thoughts and experiences here as they happen.

Recently here at FA, some of our leftist commenters have supported the current administration’s failure to sign a Status of Forces agreement, Biden’s end all solution of dividing Iraq into 3 parts and the condemnation of the previous administration’s removing Saddam from power.

First, here is briefly what has happened to date. Six divisions of the Iraqi Army collapsed and abandoned their posts and equipment across the north in the face of ISIS . The ISIS force is comprised of former Ba’athists (From Syria and Saddam’s Party) and some of the Sunni tribal militias. The current government run by Maliki has continued to extract pay back from the Saddam’s Sunnis by diminishing their role in the new Iraq government. The increase in violence since US forces left is those Sunni activists using terrorism to force the Shia government run by Maliki into provide them some rightful concessions. The Kurds participated in the Iraqi government, but have maintained a high level of autonomy.

After the Arabs ran, the Kurds moved in and filled those voids left by the Iraqi Army across the disputed territories that are mostly Kurdish to include Kirkuk and other places. The Kurds are now defending a 1,050 km frontier opposite of ISIS – or IS – as they are now called. They are in daily combat operations in some places with IS, especially south and west of Kirkuk and in some locations west of Mosul. The Kurdish frontier with the rest of Iraq is only 15 km wide and has no roads. So the Kurdish area of Iraq is effectively cut off from the south and military and supply support.

Maliki continues to withhold financial and other from the KRG (since the start of the year) and has cut off cargo flights to the Kurdish cities. He is still trying to block Kurdish oil sales that further prevents the Kurds from funding the defense of Iraq. As a result of the Maliki lack of support for Kurdish Iraq, the Kurds are scheduling a referendum in the disputed territories to get them resolved and are scheduling a referendum for independence. Right now, the Kurds are the only viable combat force in Iraq and they lack the sophisticated equipment the US allocated to the Iraqi Government.

Sunni Triangle

My Shia Friends live in villages in the south-east part of the Sunni Triangle. Many of their rural villages are interspaced with Sunni villages. (Villages in Iraq are primarily family orientated within a tribe.) They get along with their Sunni neighbors, but are continuously threatened by radical Sunnis from the Western Iraqi tribes. In 2007, I received a call from one Sheikh who had warning from his Sunni neighbors that a group of radical Sunnis from Ramadi were going to attack his village that evening. These are farmers with little or no experience in war fighting. By tradition, the Sheikh lives in a walled compound. I recommended that he gather his extended family (most of the village) into his compound and deploy the men on the roof tops of his buildings. He did and successfully fended off the attack.

This new threat from ISIS has actually surrounded them. Because they are rural and the ISIS concentration is to capture significant towns and cities to create media frenzy, they have not been bothered too much. They do risk their lives when they must go to Baghdad for supplies or to deliver their farm products.

Every politician who wants the different entities in Iraq to determine their own future and boundaries ignore centuries of history. It is not about Sunni vs Shia or Kurds vs Arabs. The Kurds are Sunni, but not Sunni Arabs. Some of the Sunnis use to be Shia. Past rulers moved various tribes all over Iraq to make population control more manageable. Their current homes are now their homes. The Kurds are a fierce people who will never forget their roots. They want their tribal lands back. (See map of the proposed Kurdistan. Proposed by Kurds.) Most of the known oil reserves are in Shia and Kurdish areas. When someone like VP Biden makes a statement to split Iraq into 3 parts, they are ignorant of the history of the area and the situation on the ground.

When we went into Iraq in 2003, US and Coalition troops were welcomed as liberators by the Shia and the Kurds. General Petraeus was successful in bringing the Sunni tribes on board. A lack of experience by a community organizer successfully destroyed a fragile government through neglect and for political gain. Now, Iraq is going to be the proving and training ground for generations of terrorists.

Randy recently retired from the Army with the rank of Colonel. His military specialty was environmental science and civil affairs. Randy has completed his doctorate of management and has become involved in local politics.

37 Responses to “Friends in Iraq (Thoughts and Comments) [Guest Post]”

  1. 1

    Nanny G

    Your point:

    Maliki continues to withhold financial and other from the KRG (since the start of the year) and has cut off cargo flights to the Kurdish cities. He is still trying to block Kurdish oil sales that further prevents the Kurds from funding the defense of Iraq.

    Reminded me of an Iraqi interview of Maliki a few weeks ago.
    He called the Kurds part of the problem and almost called them terrorists.
    Iran certainly doesn’t want to see oil money going to Kurds.
    It looks like the Kurds are friendless.
    On their own as regards keeping armed and defending against IS.

    The IS (Islamic State, as ISIS now calls itself) has been using their koran to justify ethnic clensing.
    The Christians are gone from Mosul.
    But somehow Maliki looks upon things based on oil money instead of on how quickly IS will kill or force conversion on all its enemies.
    Would IS allow ”apostates” (as they consider both Maliki and the Iranians) to convert to the ”right” form of Islam?
    Or would they kill them before they got the chance?

  2. 2

    Greg

    It wasn’t “the community organizer” who organized the invasion, occupation, and the terms and timetable for withdrawal that led to the current situation, despite having been warned by the U.S. intelligence community beforehand what would most likely happen.

    What they warned of is what we’re now seeing.

  3. 3

    Randy

    @Greg: As usual you missed the point Greg. The community organizer left them in the lurch before normality could be established. They love President Bush. If you remember, Saddam was using poison gas on the Kurds before the US intervened. I think it is much easier writing for a 2nd grade class than writing for you to understand.

  4. 4

    Randy

    I hope to relate to you readers what information I get from my friends in the Kurdish area and the Sunni Triangle on a weekly basis if it is of interest to you FA readers.

  5. 5

    another vet

    @Randy: Hopefully all those we worked with are doing well. This isn’t a very good time to be an ally of the U.S. No one knows where they stand with this administration. This administration was warned in advance about the imminent threat posed by IS by the CIA, DIA, military intelligence, the president of Kurdistan, and the Iraqi government but they ignored it. I guess Angela Merkel is a bigger threat.

  6. 6

    Bill

    @Greg: It wasn’t the community orgainizer that won the war, either. It also wasn’t the communitiy orgainzer that supported the means to win the war. It was, however, the inept, incompetent, inexperienced community orgainzer that squandered a victory and hope won with the blood of the American military.

    Too bad fundraising can’t win a war or protect a victory.

  7. 9

    Randy

    Right now, if the US doesn’t support the Kurds, Iraq and Baghdad will be lost. With the Shia in the south and the Kurds in the north, it is possible the ISIS can roll them up one at a time with all of the captured arms. Anyone who ever read “Red Storm Rising” by Tom Clancy could have predicted this. By the way, Clancy indicated that a plane full of fuel could wipe out most of the US government in a book written during the Clinton Administration.

  8. 10

    Greg

    @Randy, #3:

    I think it is much easier writing for a 2nd grade class than writing for you to understand.

    I understand the simple historical fact that everything mentioned in post #2 took place before Barack Obama took office, and that the provisions of the Status of Forces Agreement finalized during the last month before he was sworn in precluded any possibility of unilateral alteration. It essentially gave the final say for any extension of the U.S. military presence in Iraq to Nouri al-Maliki. It effectively tied the next U.S. president’s hands.

    People can argue the pros and cons of the Bush administration’s decisions and actions regarding Iraq as much as they wish. That’s an academic exercise at this point. Trying to assign all blame for what has now happened to the current administration is another matter, however. It’s a distortion of historical reality that sets the nation up for future geopolitical errors.

  9. 11

    Bill

    @Greg: Well, while our forces were in Iraq, conditions were stable, Obama failed to secure a status of forces agreement, he was more concerned with scoring grandstand points by pulling out than with national security, he abandoned Iraq, the situation went to shit.

    You do the math.

  10. 12

    ilovebeeswarzone

    RANDY
    YES IT WOULD BE INTERESTING TO HAVE NEWS FROM IRAK,
    WE ARE CONNECTED WITH IRAK WITH THE BLOOD SHED IN THEIR COUNTRY,
    SCREAMING TO NOT BE FORGOTTEN, WE WON’T EVER,
    i use to follow the KURD’S stories, in the start of the battle,
    how braved they where, how the young COMMANDER had won the hearth of the journalists FROM HERE ,
    who saw highly intelligence and wisdom in him,
    he fell in a trap from the other in those who hated the KURDS, HE WAS KILLED,
    i remember hearing of the SADDAM HUSSAIN POISONNING TO SO MANY KURDS,
    they lay down side by side young and old, it was so sad to see,
    YES I HOPE THEY GET WHAT BELONG TO THEM, THEY ARE A BRAVE AND GOOD NATION,
    THEY WOULD HAVE NEVER ALLOWED THE ISISS KILLERS, IF THEY HAVE HAD THE POWER,
    MALIKI IS A FOOL TO DISTANCE WITH THOSE KURDS, THEY ARE AN ANCIENT NATION OF WARRIORS, KNOWN,
    BY HISTORY FAR BACK
    AND MALIKI WOULD HAVE HAD TRUE ALLYS WITH THEM, NO MATTER THE COST OF GIVING THEM THEIR OIL.HIS LIFE IS NOW ON A SHAKY GROUND, HE IS THE FOOL WHO TREMBLE WHEN IT’S TOO LATE, HE ALREADY IS DEFEATED,
    HE WAITED TOO LONG TO MAKE HIS MOVE, HE ALSO MADE TOO MANY ENNEMIES BY LEADING LIKE A selfish DICTATOR,
    JUST LIKE ANY OTHER FOOL WHO DO IT, IS SURE TO LOOZE HIS BEST ABLE CITIZENS,
    AND WHO IS LEFT TO FOLLOW ARE THE SAME AS HIM FOOLS,
    TOO COWARDS TO SAVE HIS ASS,
    THEY PERISH ALL TOGETHER,
    BYE,

  11. 13

    ilovebeeswarzone

    Randy
    I JUST HAD AN IDEA,
    THE POPE IN ROME IS VERY RICH,
    he could buy an army of warriors to battle with the isiss
    to save the CHRISTIANS from IRAK DEATH,
    that POPE has a moral interest AND OBLIGATION, in saving a people who come from generations of when JESUS lived,
    HE HAS A MORAL OBLIGATION, to join their cause and of all CHRISTIANS, ANY EFFORTS TO SAVE THEM,
    HE MUST DO IT, STARTING NOW, IT’S HIS TURN TO DO IT,
    HE IS CLOSE TO THOSE CHRISTIANS,

  12. 14

    Skookum

    Outstanding, Randy, for the first time, I feel like I have been properly briefed on the situation in Iraq. It is unfortunate, our so-called journalists or propagandists for Jarrett’s sock puppet have even less of a grasp of the situation than Biden.

    A weekly report is a great idea.

  13. 15

    ilovebeeswarzone

    RANDY
    watch GENERAL AMOS on FOX TELLING TO OBAMA his piece,
    COLONEL NORTH SAID IT’S TIME SOMEBODY TELL THE TRUTH,
    IT’S FINISH, BUT IT WILL COME BACK IN LATER REPEAT,

  14. 16

    ilovebeeswarzone

    Greg
    on your 10,
    do you believe that there cannot be any change made at any time in the WAR,
    YOU ARE ONE OF A FEW WHO CAN BELIEVE IT,
    AND WHAT DO YOU MAKE OF THE MULTIPLE CHANGES MADE BY OBAMA IN AFGHANISTAN,
    ON EVRYONE OF THE TACTICS OF WAR, ON ALL THE ROE OF THAT WAR, ON THE NAME WAR ITSELF,
    THAT’S WHY SO MANY MORE WHERE KILLED AND BLOWN UP, BECAUSE THE RULES WHERE CHANGE,
    IT TOOK A THOUSAND MORE THAN WITH BUSH,

  15. 17

    Nanny G

    Another day, another jihadist edict.
    People used to say that female genital mutilation is a non-Muslim practice.
    No.
    ISIS in Iraq have ordered that all women between the ages of 11 and 46 undergo female genital mutilation.
    So, apparently, those women who had not been covering, had not been staying home, but going to school and had not been under some man’s thumb had also been capable of enjoying sex.
    That has to stop when you have pirates, looters, rapists and murderers running the land.
    The Isis edict could affect nearly four million women and girls in and around the northern Iraqi city of Mosul.
    More at BBC:
    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-28466434

  16. 18

    ilovebeeswarzone

    those must be defeated forever , there should not be NO MERCY
    UNTIL THEY ARE ELIMINATED FROM THE HUMAN RACE,
    THEY DON’T FIT IN WITH THE HUMAN NOR WITH THE WILD ANIMALS
    NOR WITH THE RODENT NOR WITH THE SNAKES OR ANY LIVING BEING OF ANY SIZE AND SHAPE,
    THEY ARE FROM A MUTATION ISSUE FROM THE DEBT OF THE EARTH, THEY SUCCEDED TO CLIME UP TO TORTURE THE HUMANS

  17. 20

    Randy

    This is information I got from my Kurdish friends. It was not the Arab Muslims who defeated the Christian Crusaders. It was a Kurdish general, Salah al-Din, who had to defeat the Arab Muslims, consolidate his forces in order to defeat the Christians. The Kurds are a fierce people who do not cut and run. Here is a brief history of Salah al-Din. http://www.history.com/topics/saladin If we want peace in the middle-east, we should ally ourselves with the Kurds.

  18. 21

    another vet

    @Randy: If only this administration was as good at blunting the spread of AQ and its affiliates as it is at lying, snubbing the Constitution, fundraisers, photo ops, and keeping appearances on The View and late night talk shows, it wouldn’t have come to this.

  19. 23

    ilovebeeswarzone

    Randy
    THANK YOU FOR THE HISTORY OF A PROUD NATION,
    DID YOU HEAR ABOUT A IRAK REPLACEMENT OF LEADER , I THOUGHT IT WAS MALIKIN PRESIDENT,
    CORRECT ME IF I’M WRONG THE NEW LEADER IS A KURD,
    IT ROLL AT FOX YESTERDAY, I COULD NOT FOLLOW THE WHOLE THING,
    WAITING FOR YOU NOW TO CLEAR THAT ONE,
    BYE

  20. 24

    James Raider

    @Randy: #4
    Well done, Randy, and thank you for the much needed input even if some it is anecdotal. Anecdotal is often more valuable and insightful than the broad brush strokes we too often receive from a mostly incompetent media.

    Keep it coming. Eyes on the ground, as it were, are invaluable.

    This powder keg affects us directly, and will influence all of our futures in some way. All insight is welcome.

    BTW, anyone who says, “it’s none of our business, it doesn’t affect us, let them kill one another, who cares, . . . . . “ — is a complete idiot, . . . IMHO. Or is a narcissist leading what is still the greatest Nation on earth.

  21. 25

    Randy

    I just got off the phone with an Iraqi in Balad Iraq. The media is reporting that ISIS has Balad Air Force Base under siege and it should fall by the end of the month. That is rubbish! The media is reporting most anything they want. That small Shia area of the Sunni Triangle that includes Balad, Dujayl and some other small towns between Balad and Taji are not being attacked. ISIS is assaulting the western towns on their way to Baghdad. This small island has the potential to fall if our president continues to manufacture refugees in Honduras and other SA or CA countries and attend fund raisers instead tending to business.

  22. 26

    James Raider

    @Randy: #25
    I watched my 5 year old granddaughter apply more diligence and attention to a lemonade stand she set-up, than this President seems to apply to his job.

    A President should be 100% focused on leading the Nation — 100% and when a Nation is in Crisis, within a whole world in Crisis, a President of the United States should have NO time for fund raising and golf holidays. Ask any entrepreneur how much time he or she has to spare for the golf course.

    Only an idiot would NOT be embarrassed by the phlegmy performance we are witnessing in the Oval Office.

  23. 27

    Wordsmith

    editor

    @Randy:

    I hope to relate to you readers what information I get from my friends in the Kurdish area and the Sunni Triangle on a weekly basis if it is of interest to you FA readers.

    Yes, please. 🙂

  24. 28

    Wordsmith

    editor

    @Greg:

    It wasn’t “the community organizer” who organized the invasion, occupation, and the terms and timetable for withdrawal that led to the current situation, despite having been warned by the U.S. intelligence community beforehand what would most likely happen.

    I don’t quite understand how you keep clinging to this narrative that President Obama was a helpless bystander and could do nothing to renegotiate the SoFA signed in 2008 when that is exactly what the succeeding administration was supposed to do! And from Bush on down to others even then warned of the current situation happening should we have a premature withdrawal of forces.

    I looked back at some past FA mentions by Mata on SoFA. Interesting to look back upon.

    Mata’s June 2008 post

    MataHarley’s post in Nov 2008

    February of 2009:

    AP bimbo writers give Obama credit for Bush/Iraq SOFA

    Haven’t you also been crediting Obama with “ending the Iraq War” when it suited you? And now wanting to give credit back to Bush when it is no longer convenient?

    In a 2009 post I linked to Mata and Kori Schake pointing out:

    But, of course, as the SOFA implicitly states, the US may have to re’escalate if necessary. As stated in Article 27 (1):

    1. In the event of any external or internal threat or aggression against Iraq that would violate its sovereignty, political independence, or territorial integrity, waters, airspace, its democratic system or its elected institutions, and upon request by the Government of Iraq, the Parties shall immediately initiate strategic deliberations and, as may be mutually agreed, the United States shall take appropriate measures, including diplomatic, economic, or military measures, or any other measure, to deter such a threat.

    Also, Kori Schake (note, a number of links I use today come from former foreign policy makers from the “loyal opposition”, blogging at Shadow Government) writes:

    It leaves room for renegotiation of the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) to keep a Korea-style U.S. long-term presence without requiring the Iraqi parliamentarians to agree to it concurrent with the SOFA itself. And it outlines sensible military missions and adequate forces to achieve them.

    We supporters of the surge need to acknowledge that many in the military advocated this drawdown — not least the Service Chiefs, who are worried about the strain on U.S. forces from six years of continuous warfare. But we should all also be worried about committing to this timeline. The problem with establishing timelines rather than objectives is that the enemy accounts for them as well.

    Max Boot linked in a most wanted in Oct 2011:

    Friday afternoon is a traditional time to bury bad news, so at 12:49 p.m. on Oct. 21 President Obama strode into the White House briefing room to “report that, as promised, the rest of our troops in Iraq will come home by the end of the year—after nearly nine years, America’s war in Iraq will be over.” He acted as though this represented a triumph, but it was really a defeat. The U.S. had tried to extend the presence of our troops past Dec. 31. Why did we fail?

    The popular explanation is that the Iraqis refused to provide legal immunity for U.S. troops if they are accused of breaking Iraq’s laws. Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki himself said: “When the Americans asked for immunity, the Iraqi side answered that it was not possible. The discussions over the number of trainers and the place of training stopped. Now that the issue of immunity was decided and that no immunity to be given, the withdrawal has started.”

    But Mr. Maliki and other Iraqi political figures expressed exactly the same reservations about immunity in 2008 during the negotiation of the last Status of Forces Agreement. Indeed those concerns were more acute at the time because there were so many more U.S. personnel in Iraq—nearly 150,000, compared with fewer than 50,000 today. So why was it possible for the Bush administration to reach a deal with the Iraqis but not for the Obama administration?

    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.

    A post I did in 2012, lamenting the annoying way Obama liked to take credit for being the one to bring the troops home (not Bush, as per SoFA, as you now want to hand credit/blame back over to Bush).

    Marc Thiessen’s WaPo today:

    From Europe to the Middle East, we have seen how disaster follows U.S. retreat and disengagement from the world. But the one area where President Obama seemed to be leaning forward was drone strikes. He personally approved terrorist “kill lists” and has taken out many hundreds of terrorists with drones in Pakistan, Yemen and East Africa.

    So why, when Iraqi officials began pleading with him one year ago to strike Islamic State terrorists with drones, did Obama repeatedly refuse — standing by while terrorists overran the country?

    House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce made the stunning revelation in a congressional hearing last week that Iraq had been urgently requesting drone support against the Islamic State since August 2013 and that those requests were repeatedly turned down.

    Obama officials have publicly claimed that Iraq requested air support only in May of this year, after Islamic State had already taken Fallujah and was marching on Mosul. That is untrue. And it is Royce’s version of events that is borne out by the public record. On Aug. 17, 2013, in a little-noticed story entitled “Iraq Open to U.S. Drone Strikes on Terrorists,” Bloomberg News reported that Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari was in Washington “seeking U.S. advisers, air surveillance or even drone strikes” and that “the top Iraqi diplomat’s comments are the first time he has publicly raised the possibility of working with the U.S. on anti-terrorist drone strikes.”

    That was a year ago.

  25. 29

    Randy

    @Wordsmith: I try to restrain my self from commenting on the vast ignorance that Greg continues to display. He obviously lacks the ability to reason, only parrot propaganda. As I have said on other posts, Reagan is to blame for people like Greg and his leftie buddies. It was under Reagan that congress passed a law that prevented involuntary commitment of anyone over 18 years of age with out a court order.

  26. 30

    ilovebeeswarzone

    Wordsmith
    i always like you coming here with a packpack full of goodies,
    you never miss YET,
    BYE
    WHERE IS MATA? SHE WOULD HAVE A LOT TO SAY ON THE SUBJECT, AND THERE IS SO MANY MORE,
    BEST TO YOU MATA

  27. 31

    ilovebeeswarzone

    LET’S LEAVE NETANYAHU FINISH TO DESTROY THE MULTIPLE TUNNELS,
    BEFORE HE TURN THEM LOSE, HE IS JUST STARTING,
    THOSE GUYS DIGGED THEM JUST UNDER THE ISRAELIANS BEDROOMS AND KITCHEN,
    DOES ANYONE WOULD LIKE TO HAVE EARS ON THEIR CONVERSATION,
    FROM UNDERNEAT THEIR FEET????????????
    NO ONE I KNOW,

  28. 32

    Greg

    @Wordsmith, #28:

    I’m not clinging to anything. I’ve explained my thinking on that on multiple occasions and in considerable detail. It hasn’t changed and it’s unlikely that it will do so.

    The fact that the Bush administration’s S.O.F.A. left a theoretical possibility for renegotiation of the withdrawal timetable doesn’t change the fact that the likelihood of any successful renegotiation actually happening was remote in the extreme, given the political climate in Iraq. Blame for one of the worst geopolitical screw ups in the history of the United States can’t be pinned on Obama simply because he failed to pull so unlikely a rabbit out of the hat that the Bush administration handed him.

    The Bush administration was warned before the war was undertaken that the outcome we’re now seeing was very likely, once occupying forces left. They went ahead with their invasion plans anyway, and then they went ahead and finalized a timetable for withdrawal less than one month before the administration that would have to deal with the consequences took office.

    Those are the facts, like them or not.

    It’s interesting that a suggestion that drones might have averted a large-scale military uprising is coming from the same quarter that has been so critical of their use and effectiveness in the past. Apparently they would have become effective if the Iraqi government, which previously made it untenable for U.S. forces to stay, had prepared the hit list.

  29. 33

    Bill

    @Greg:

    The fact that the Bush administration’s S.O.F.A. left a theoretical possibility for renegotiation of the withdrawal timetable doesn’t change the fact that the likelihood of any successful renegotiation actually happening was remote in the extreme, given the political climate in Iraq.

    Finally. You confess to the reality that the withdrawal agreement was contingent on the situation on the ground. So, then we get to this situation being placed in the hands of the next administration. Iraq was stable. Obama ignored it, more interested in getting out than national security. He ignored the warnings and requests for support. He ignored the advice of all his generals. Obama, the great warlord, knows best.

    The disaster in Iraq is on Obama. Just like the disaster with the support for moderate rebels in Syria is a disaster, the take-down of Qaddafi is a disaster, the support for the wrong forces in Egypt was a disaster and the Obama/Kerry peace plan/cease fire efforts in Israel, with their open support for the wrong politics, is yet another disaster.

    Remember, Iraq was stabilized when Bush left and when the troops were pulled out. That disaster is Obama’s.

  30. 34

    ilovebeeswarzone

    Bill
    yes
    and remember shortly after OBAMA has won,
    we have a post of 2009 , 2010, telling that OBAMA had let in ,
    200 FAMILY FROM HAMAS COUNTRY, WITH LODGE AND MONEY AND ALL THEIR FAMILY,
    WHICH ARE NUMEROUS,
    NO WANDER THEY BECAME A STRONG VOICE AGAINST ISRAEL,
    NOW AS TIME PASS, THEY MUST HAVE TRIPLE IN NUMBERS,
    ENOUGH TO YELL WITH OTHER ARABS, NO TO THE QUESTION ON THE DEMOCRATIC MEETING,
    DO YOU WANT GOD INTO OUR PARTICIPATION ? NO THREE TIMES,
    IT REMINDED ME HOW FAST THEY MUSLIMS, HAVE MULTIPLYE SINCE OBAMA TOOK OVER,
    AND STILL GROWING AND IN THE GOVERNMENT NOW,
    THEY HAVE A STRONG INFLUENCE ON THE TOP LEADER,
    THEIR MONEY TALK WITH THEM,

  31. 35

    Greg

    @Bill, #33:

    Finally. You confess to the reality that the withdrawal agreement was contingent on the situation on the ground. So, then we get to this situation being placed in the hands of the next administration.

    There’s also a theoretical possibility that a majority of readers here may wake up tomorrow morning, turn on the news, have an epiphany, and instantaneously transform into democrats. That said, I’d quickly accept a $100 wager at 100 to 1 odds that it isn’t going to happen. My 100 bucks would be perfectly safe, theoretical possibility notwithstanding. The person betting against me would be out one dollar.

    That’s the sort of situation the Obama administration inherited. That’s what the terms of the S.O.F.A. did. No unilateral revision could be made. Successful renegotiation depended on the Iraqi attitude about U.S. troops remaining longer doing a 180-degree turn before the deadlines were reached. That simply wasn’t going to happen. It didn’t happen. No one at the time seriously expected that it would.

    Remember, Iraq was stabilized when Bush left and when the troops were pulled out. That disaster is Obama’s.

    The only reason Iraq was “stabilized” was because 50,000 U.S. troops were still present. The terms of the agreement that the Bush administration finalized a month before Obama took office required that they clear out by October 21, 2011. The results of such a withdrawal were so predictable that they’d been clearly spelled out by U.S. intelligence before we ever put the first boot on the ground.

    Why was an agreement that placed such constraints on the next president finalized only weeks before Bush & Company scurried off into the sunset? They could have left that all up to their successor, leaving him in a far stronger negotiating position.

  32. 36

    Bill

    Greg, the irrefutable fact remains (irrefutable with facts, anyway) that Bush left a stable situation in Iraq, the war won, and a mechanism for leaving a security force there. Further, the military leadership strongly recommended leaving 30,000 US troops there, something I am sure these men were smart enough to realize if it was impossible or not.

    Obama took over, concerned himself with what would gain him the most points with his left-wing base and skedaddled. Iraq collapsed. End of story. Blaming Bush for every failure of Obama no longer has any value.

  33. 37

    ilovebeeswarzone

    Bill
    he blame BUSH BEFORE HE BECAME PRESIDENT,
    after he took the PRESIDENCY, and still now as he is getting ready to leave,
    BYE

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