Last night VP Nominee Kaine made this assertion:
KAINE: Do you know that we had 175,000 troops deployed in the battlefield in Iraq and Afghanistan? … And instead of 175,000 American troops deployed overseas, we now have 15,000….These are very, very good things.
In Tim Kaine’s world a accomplishment of a American leader is the number of American fighting men and women in harms way?
I supposed that could be true if our enemy had been defeated.
As it stands today they are anything but.
Islamic jihadists control more territory than they did when Obama and Hillary took over. They have continuously attacked us and our interests on our shores and overseas. Not to mention that their attacks have become more effective then when Hillary took over as Secretary of State.
How is this a accomplishment?
Under Obama’s and Hillary’s leadership we retreated and we are now in much more danger worldwide.
Of course Obama and Hillary continue to push the false narrative that they pulled our troops out because the SOFA Bush had signed required them too.
Complete and utter bull.
If the current situation in Iraq can be perceived as avoidable due to the blundering adventurism of Bush 43, then more specifically, the more recent decision on the part of President Obama not to flex our previous influence over Maliki and push harder for a new SoFA is a more direct contribution to the rise of ISIS in Iraq. How can anyone absolve Obama 44 while still blaming Bush 43? Syria’s civil war began during President Obama’s tenure. Al Qaeda in Iraq was defeated by 2009 when President Bush left office. Its remnants gathered new life in the Syrian Civil War. Too little too late, some rebel groups had no choice but to ally themselves with jihadis and Islamists- “the enemy of my enemy is my friend”. ISIS began its excursions and takeover of Iraqi cities in 2014. At the time, President Obama dismissed them as a JV squad. He did not perceive them to be an existential threat to Iraq or the U.S.
Had we successfully kept combat troops in Iraq after 2011, ISIS would never have been able to successfully gain so much traction. Even conceding that there was no way to renegotiate SoFA, there was still a failure of leadership in the President not doing more to help Iraq with early intervention. After all, Bush broke it and he owns it. Apparently it isn’t “we broke it we own it.” Unfortunately, Bush is no longer the decider. President Obama essentially told Iraq, you’re on your own.
Wrodsmith links to this interview of the adviser to U.S. Army Chief of Staff Gen. Raymond Odierno, and Middle East expert, Emma Sky:
In my mind, the biggest mistake made by the Obama administration was actually in 2010, not upholding the election results. It’s a very, very close election. Very close election. To everybody’s surprise, it was actually won by the party called Iraqia [ph] headed by Ayad Allawi, and this party was campaigning on a nonsectarian — no to sectarian platform. People want to get rid of religious parties, people want to put sectarians behind to build an Iraq for all Iraqis. This party won two more votes than Nouri al-Maliki. Maliki couldn’t believe the results. All his advisors have told him that, “You’re going to win. You’re going to win big.” When the results came in, he was just in shock. He blamed the international community for tampering with the results, he demanded a recount, he started to use debuffication to try and disqualify the Iraqian [ph] leaders, and this went on and on and on for months, and there was a big dispute within the US system which I described in the book, between those who wanted to uphold the election results and give the winning block, Iraqia, the right to have first go at trying to form the government, and those who said look, “Maliki, he’s our guy. I belong to that former group that thought give the winning block the right to have first go in trying to form the government. I didn’t think Ayad Allawi was going to be able to do it himself as Prime Minister, but I thought that negotiation was really important.
Gideon Rose: We give it to Maliki, walked away, and he then destroyed Iraq?
Emma Sky: Well, this is kind of what happens. This is when the Iranian steps in. The Iranians — they’re influence had really gone down during the surge. America was seen as the big player. The Iranians saw this opportunity and they tried to get all the Shia together to support Maliki, but the Shia were coming together, but they would not going to have Maliki as prime minister. In the end, the Iranians went to Lebanese Hezbollah and got Lebanese Hezbollah to pressure the Sadrist to support Maliki. Maliki had really gone off to the Sadrists during the surge, and the Sadrists were like, “Over our dead body,” but with Iranian pressure …
Gideon Rose: Quite literally often.
Emma Sky: Quite literally — with Iranian pressure, with Lebanese Hezbollah helping out, they pressure the Sadrists and they said, “Look, support Maliki as prime minister, we will ensure no US troops will remain in Iraq after 2011.” That is what happened. The Iranians brokered the deal, and the price was always going to be no US troops. Maliki, second term, determined to go after all his rivals. First of all, he goes off to the Iraqia leaders, accuses them of terrorism. Then he started to round up masses of Sunni’s, put them in jail. All of these people being held not knowing why they were being held. Sunni starts to feel more alienated, more grievances, which ends up in this mass protests across Iraq, demanding an end to this discrimination. Unfortunately again, Maliki doesn’t respond to those through negotiations. He sends in the security forces and a few of the demonstrators are killed. 50 killed in Hawijah, and it just boils and boils and boils.
Gideon Rose: We’re not there to keep things in order, we’re not pushing Maliki to be nicer, and at that point, then ISIS emerges and takes over the — eventually, the Sunni areas who go with them because they’re disgusted with the Maliki government.
Emma Sky: Exactly.
Ultimately it is a fact that when Hillary took over the helm at State the situation was looking quite good in Iraq. Her decisions contributed to the complete dismantling of the situation in Iraq and led to the rise of ISIS.
How in the world Kaine thinks this is a accomplishment is beyond me.