The Myth of George Bush’s “Go it Alone” Policy & Cowboy Diplomacy

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John Kerry once referred to the nations who George Bush built into Coalition partners for Operation Iraqi Freedom as the “Coalition of the coerced and the bribed” and “window dressing”.

Marc Thiessen in yesterday’s WaPo on “I was against it before I was for it” John “Global Test” Kerry:

When John Kerry ran for president in 2004, he dismissed the allies fighting alongside the United States in Iraq as a “trumped-up, so-called coalition of the bribed, the coerced, the bought and the extorted.”

Now, as secretary of state, Kerry is going hat-in-hand to many of the same nations he insulted, asking them to join a U.S.-led coalition in Iraq.

No wonder he’s having so much trouble.

As Kerry lobbies potential coalition partners at the U.N. General Assembly meeting in New York this week, it is worth recalling how he offended the 30-plus nations that sent ground troops to fight alongside us in Iraq — including the United Kingdom, Italy, Poland, Ukraine, the Netherlands, Australia, Romania, South Korea, Japan, Denmark, Bulgaria, Thailand, El Salvador, Hungary, Singapore, Norway, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Mongolia, Latvia, Portugal, the Czech Republic, Lithuania, Slovakia, Albania, New Zealand, Tonga, Estonia, Kazakhstan, Macedonia, Moldova, Spain, the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, Honduras, the Philippines, Armenia and Bosnia-Herzegovina — plus the many others who supported the mission with basing, overflight and other crucialassistance.

Kerry dismissed as “window dressing” the sacrifice of those nations, including the 14 coalition countries who by then had seen their soldiers die on the battlefield in Iraq. His cavalier comments prompted the president of Poland (a country that led Multinational Division in Central-South Iraq and lost 23 soldiers in battle) to declare, “It’s sad that a Senator with twenty years of experience does not appreciate Polish sacrifice . . . I don’t think it’s a question of ignorance. . . . It’s immoral not to see this involvement we undertook.”

Kerry mocked the contributions of smaller nations, declaring “When they talk about a coalition, that’s the phoniest thing I ever heard. You’ve got 500 troops here, 500 troops there.” Never mind he’s now working for a president who just used a prime-time address to announce that he is deploying — wait for it — 475 troops to Iraq (but insists they will not have a “combat role”).

Newsbusters’ Clay Waters in 2011 pointed out how NYT’s reporter Mark Landler wrote:

“Mr. Obama made much of his commitment to a multilateral foreign policy, in contrast to President George W. Bush’s unilateral invasion of Iraq,” wrote Landler.

That, his advisers say, grew out of a conviction the United States needed to work with others and forge consensus to restore its moral standing.

I suppose if France, Russia, China, and Germany had supported OIF, that would have qualified as “multinational”. The governments of these same countries didn’t oppose OIF due to any moral high ground or belief that Saddam was not a wmd threat to the world. These countries opposed due to their own vested, selfish, self-interests (France with oil contracts, food-for-oil scandal…and guess which countries were the ones who really armed Saddam and undermined sanctions).

Or perhaps the “go it alone” fallacy is the idea that George W. Bush needed to go to the UN one more time to authorize a vote for war, with the UN’s blessings. The UN should have thanked the U.S. for finally enforcing a 16 + 1 UNSCRs issued over a decade of deceit and defiance on the part of Saddam. (Note the U.S. did not cite the legality of invasion on 1441, but from the combined effect of Resolutions 678, 687 and 1441).

It is an insult to the 31 other nations who did contribute to a multinational force that ousted Saddam Hussein from power, to make the false claim that America “went it alone” under the leadership of George W. Bush. These countries supported the war effort, contributing what they could afford. You can’t realistically expect countries without the economic and military power of the U.S. to sacrifice blood and treasure equally. The U.S. is a hyperpower. These other nations are not. This is why the U.S., more or less, is forced into the role of “policeman of the world”. Many Americans may not like it, but that is the responsibility of the world’s sole hyperpower. To non-intervene and exercise a muscular foreign policy is to allow chaos and instability to fester.

Dick Cheney:

How would Senator Kerry describe Great Britain, coerced or bribed? Or Italy, which recently lost 19 citizens killed by terrorists in Najaf, was Italy’s contribution just window dressing?

If such dismissive terms are the vernacular of the golden age of diplomacy Senator Kerry promises we are left to wonder which nations would care to join any future coalition. He speaks as if only those who openly oppose America’s objectives have a chance of earning his respect.

Senator Kerry’s characterization of our good allies is ungrateful to nations that have withstood danger, hardship and insult for standing with America in the cause of freedom.

NYTimes’ Mark Landler made the same error in perpetuating the falsehood that George W. Bush was a unilateralist. Hot Air points out that it took the NYTimes only TWO WEEKS to note and correct the error:

It seems that the Paper of Record had no record of the broad coalition built by George W. Bush for the 2003 invasion of Iraq, including ground troops from more than a dozen nations, when it attempted to explain the difference between the approaches of Bush and Barack Obama on war in Iraq and now Syria. On September 11, the Mark Landler article included this curious sentence: “Unlike Mr. Bush in the Iraq war, Mr. Obama has sought to surround the United States with partners.” Two days later, the Gray Lady issued a correction on a photo credit, but it took the layers of fact-checkers and editors another ten days to issue this correction. Since the NYT puts corrections behind a pay wall (!!), I’ll just use the screen shot (via Daniel Halper):


In the New York Times’ defense, they weren’t the only news agency with short memories. Our colleagues at Twitchy caught Josh Lederman of the Associated Press trying out the same line last night:


In fact, as others informed Lederman, three of the five Arab nations included in the coalition for last night’s strikes were part of the 2003 coalition, too. Also, Bush got a vote from Congress authorizing the action, something Obama has thus far not bothered to try. Lederman deleted the tweet rather than issuing a correction, and has not commented on this assertion since.

But seriously, how difficult is it to research this basic fact — especially given the White House insistence since late August that Obama intended to build a “broad coalition” in response to ISIS?

The difference between George W. Bush and Barack H. Obama is this: The former behaved as a leader of the free world. The latter wishes to reduce America’s role from the status of leadership to one of equality with other nations.

Now…does any Obama defender wish to dispell the “Lead from Behind” reputation that our current PotUS has earned, and call it a myth and a fallacy?

12 Responses to “The Myth of George Bush’s “Go it Alone” Policy & Cowboy Diplomacy”

  1. 2


    @old+guy:He wouldn’t be good at it. The wind would blow through his ears.

    Word- Spot on as usual. Glad to see how you pointed out the leftist lies in the NYT’s etc. Those outlets didn’t make a mistake, they flat out lied and knew what they were doing. They, along with other media outlets including conservative ones, lie every time they make the claim that there was no WMD found in Iraq. The evidence has been posted here multiple times from the several hundred shells and canisters containing mustard and sarin gas that were supposed to have been destroyed after the Gulf War that were found to the recent revealing of the stockpiles of chemical munitions that were left at the Al Muthanna complex. There is also still plenty of classified material on the subject as well that we may never hear about. Regardless, for these people to say there was no WMD in Iraq is an absolute lie.

    There was also plenty of self interest as you point out with regards to the aforementioned countries not joining the coalition. They all had dirty hands supporting Saddam, be it the Oil for Food Program scandal (France along with the UN) or the assistance with his WMD program (Russia). The anti-Saddam Iraqis despised both the French and the UN and for good reason. So Bush actually accomplished a lot with his coalition given that he had multiple nations, the UN, and the American left all trying to undermine him and our mission over there.

    As for Kerry, the Iraqis whom we worked with on OIF 1 were very concerned that if Kerry won the election the U.S. would cut and run and leave them to hang out and dry much like Obama did. The bottom line with the war is that we won. We beat both Saddam’s military and a stubborn insurgency that included AQ and its affiliates. AQ was on the run back to Afghanistan whereby plans were in place to surge the troops there to finish them off but starting in 2009 the military didn’t get the type of cooperation General Petraeus got in Iraq. Throughout history many a major powers have lost wars against insurgencies. Unfortunately the left wants to abandon our hard earned victory in Iraq. It’s a good thing they weren’t in power after WWII or Korea. The Cold War would have turned out differently had we abandoned West Germany and South Korea.

  2. 3




    There was also plenty of self interest as you point out with regards to the aforementioned countries not joining the coalition. They all had dirty hands supporting Saddam, be it the Oil for Food Program scandal (France along with the UN) or the assistance with his WMD program (Russia).

    When our military invaded Iraq in the first Gulf War, they didn’t contend with F-15s; they did not fight against M16s in the hands of Saddam’s army. There weren’t Abrams or Patton tanks with Iraqi markings. There weren’t American missiles. What Saddam’s army was equipped with, were Soviet vehicles (including MIGs), Chinese small-arms, French high-tech weapons like special missiles and Mirage fighter planes; and chemical weapons from chemical plants built by West Germany.

    During the Iran-Iraq War, France had helped Saddam build a nuclear reactor at Osirik, capable of producing weapons-grade uranium.

    Who armed Saddam? The U.S. accounted for 1%, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.

    Facts on Who Benefits From Keeping Saddam Hussein In Power

    On another current event topic….


    by leaving town before the president started operations, lawmakers may have done serious harm to their own institution, Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) argued in an interview with The Huffington Post. Not only had they diminished the standing of Congress with respect to the executive branch, they also may have given unintended consent to a Dick Cheney-like vision of presidential war powers.

    “[Congress has] sort of allowed the Cheney pre-emptive war doctrine to exist by another name,” Kaine said. “In this instance, they allowed the president to say, ‘ISIL [the Islamic State] is the bad guys, and I can go after them even though there has been testimony that they pose no imminent threat of attack on the United States.’ If the president just gets to do this without Congress, then we will be embracing the Cheney pre-emptive war doctrine, which I think is just brutally wrong.”

    Um….Bush/Cheney did go to Congress to get (and received) approval for their “pre-emptive war”.

  3. 5


    @Wordsmith:Amazing how all those countries and the UN (slimeballs to the max) violated the UN Resolutions and propped him up getting rich in the process. Of course they were going to be against the war because it was in their own self interest but there were, and still are, dumb know-it-alls in this country that can’t figure that out. One of the folks I served with on my second tour (he served on OIF 1 as well) went to work in Iraq with the follow on group to the ISG. He told me some interesting things. I would have liked to have gotten that person to post his experiences here but unfortunately he died from brain cancer last year due to exposure to some of Saddam’s nuclear “stuff” on OIF 1 that was buried near the Iranian border.

    Um….Bush/Cheney did go to Congress to get (and received) approval for their “pre-emptive war”.

    It makes you wonder if these people suffer from BDS, early on set Alzheimer’s, or are just plain flat out liars.

  4. 6


    Why is the hyperpartisan hypocrisy of the left – including these hack “journalists” surprising? The leftists asshats that still shriek about Bush’s “illegitimate” wars – despite bipartisan congressional authorization for war, 3 dozen other countries sending troops on the ground, and UN authorization – are clucking like the pompous chickenhawks they are as Obama is engaging in war without either congressional or UN authorization, and a pathetic number of allies, most of whom are doing nothing more than letting us use their airbases.

    Anybody heard from that skank Sheehan? Or the nasty trolls from Code Pink? And where are the leftist democrat (but I repeat myself) hemorrhoids (dang it, threepeating myself) like Jim McDermott, flying to visit the leaders of ISIS to give them aid and comfort in the form of anti-US propaganda like he did with Saddam?

    Yet another egregious example of the utterly contemptible dishonesty inherent in the leftist.

  5. 7


    So 95% of the KIA in Iraq came from 2 countries and the other 5 % came from the other. 30+ countries of the coalition
    The Iraq war was a stupid idea and you can’t fix stupid, thanks for reminding us

  6. 10



    Your post shows the defining ignorance and hypocrisy of the left.

    Americans – those of us who believe in “Duty, Honor, Country”, don’t have a problem with the use of military force against the savage jihadists. We have a problem with the contemptible hypocrisy and the abject ignorance of this half-hearted, insanely stupid “no boots on the ground”, lack of Congressionally approved, purely election manipulating, piss poor strategy in which the leftist buffoon is engaging.

    It is heartening -despite the fact it has taken 6 years of incompetent policies – that Reuters/IPSOS polling reports Obama’s approval is down to 35%. Maybe the electorate is finally realizing just how pathetically asinine Obama is.

  7. 11


    The difference between George W. Bush and Barack H. Obama is this: The former behaved as a leader of the free world.

    Another difference is that Bush had to actually be concerned with being held responsible for his actions. Obama, as is shown by the examples provided, never has and acts like it. Bush knew that if he went to war without bipartisan support, it would develop into a partisan attack… which, of course, it did anyway. Obama knows no matter what he screws up, the media will expain it away.

    What is so difficult to get used to (though the left has no problem accepting it) is these politicians just saying whatever appears to be something that will resonate with the particular crowd they face without regard to the veracity of fact or being held accountable for it later. How often have we heard Obama’s “you can keep your doctor… PERIOD” lie written off as “that’s just things politicians say”? I have heard it often, as it is the last-ditch defense of that lie and the only explanation available. For the left, the “ends justifies the means” left, lying is just a fact of life, a necessary not-so-evil. Those uttering the lies seem to never imagine someone would actually BELIEVE it and take it seriously; it’s just what they have to say to get what they want at that particular time.

    So Kerry was just riffing, coming up with whatever he could to denigrate Bush so that he, in comparison, would seem better. Yet, these guys wonder why they have such a credibility problem in the world and such trouble getting anyone to believe and join them.


    So 95% of the KIA in Iraq came from 2 countries and the other 5 % came from the other. 30+ countries of the coalition

    The time is quickly approaching when we will get to compare that to Obama’s Grand Alliance. You can bet very soon, the effort of the partners he has collected will be compared to what we are doing. Get prepared, John.

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