Obama didn’t leave fast enough and we should never been there to begin with.
The situation you see now in Iraq, was coming regardless of when we left. It was just a matter of how many American lives we wanted to lose, and how much taxpayers would be willing to pay to keep Iraq out of an all out civil war.
As bad as the relationship often was between Shiites and Sunni in Iraq, they actually got along nervously but reasonably well after we had pacified the country. The Kurds, of course, were essentially independent, have their own militias, and were rarely messed with by anybody after Saddam fell.
Currently, the war in Iraq is not truly internecine. There are two erstwhile empire builders, mostly outside, vying for power over a great deal more than Iraq. The Caliphate-dreaming Sunni Islamists on the one side, versus the “New Persian Empire” on the other.
As I think it was Kissinger who said of the Iran-Iraq War: “It’s too bad they can’t both lose.”
The sad thing is, they had both lost until Obama abandoned the whole Middle East to the empire-builders and their war.
Well the arabs have been in the middle east longer than the american government has existed.
When the soviets couldn’t win in afghanistan I wondered why we thought we could.
I didn’t have a good feeling from the moment we went to war in iraq under the shock and awe campaign. It made it sound like we would go in with do much firepower they would surrender.
I don’t like war. I am sorry for the innocent lives lost in the military and civilian life. I know there were brave iraqis who were hoping for a better day who joined the military or police only to be killed.
I don’t think the campaigns in iraq or afghanistan were well planned or were based on good intelligence.
Which ignores, of course, the ability and will of people like Iraqis to develop a nation if protected from the outside forces that are now tearing it apart. It assumes an inherent inability of peoples (particularly an educated people, which a lot of Iraqis are) to refrain from savagery and govern themselves.
I really thought that kind of thinking went out with “Wogs begin at Calais” and related concepts.
Iraqis are aligned religiously and tribally before their nationally.
The Shiite’s are the majority who were oppressed by Saddam and the Sunni’s prior to the fall. They are religiously aligned with Iran, and religion outweighs everything.
The Sunni’s are now the minority and are being squeezed out of the nations oil revenues.
The Kurds, never got along with either group, but their biggest threat now is from Turkey.
Now, if you believe that US military presence in Iraq would’ve made things better over time, you really don’t understand the culture over there. It was a losing endeavor when Bush sent us in and it was only a matter of time before an all out civil war erupted and would’ve come, even with our presence, except that we would’ve gotten involved in it, which would be worse for us.
Obama was right to get us out of Iraq, but keep in mind, our leaving date was established between the Bush administration and the Iraqi government. Obama merely followed through on that agreement, but he did try to keep a military presence there, which the Iraqi’s refused.
The same is happening in Afghanistan, Obama want’s to keep a significant military presence there, and Karzai is refusing. He’s refusing because he knows it’s only a matter of time before the Taliban regain control and he flees for his life with his treasure. Karzai is doing us Americans a favor by not allowing Obama to keep a military presence there.
Gosh, Obama honored the treaty obligations which Bush signed. Imagine that.
We tried to get around Bush’s requirements to withdraw all of our troops. However, Iraq was unwilling to comply.
I do not blame Bush, and do not blame Obama. The fault lays with the people of Iraq, and their politicians, and perhaps our government for failing to win hearts and minds. The US invasion and occupation was unpopular there, despite the good we accomplished. The vast majority of Iraqis felt their lives were worse because of what we did, and they wanted us gone.
Maybe it was idealistic to think that good would prevail in iraq and afghanistan or that a positive change would take hold.
I believe there were people in iraq and afganistan who wanted hope for something better. For those of us who have been fortunate to live in america with our freedoms we do not comprehend the way of life over there.
I also feel after 9/11 and after so many terrorist attacks around the world our government felt like enough was enough and we needed to respond. The tragedy of what happened on 9/11 and the nature of the attacks using planes filled with innocent people to attack the world trade center and the pentagon and whatever the 4th attack was to be
had to be responded to. The scope of the 9/11 attack was too enormous not to want to try to get the terrorists.
After the U.S. victory over Saddam and the Jihadis in Iraq, and after Iranian agent, Al Sadr, fled to Iran, all truly indigenous parties were quiescent and wanted the U.S. to stay in order to prevent a return of the “caliphate jihadis” and the Iranians. The Sunni tribal leaders denounced the jihadis and aided us in pursuing them. Sistani himself challenged Al Sadr to stop warring on his fellow (and majority) Shiites. When Obama refused to negotiate a status of forces agreement renewal, the Sunnis, Kurds and Shiites begged us to stay. The Kurds even bought U.S. television time to thank us. Remember that? But Obama had made an election promise to end “Bush’s war” (which was already over) refused to negotiate seriously, and pulled out. Obama’s act in doing that was indefensible from many aspects. It opened Iraq up to being a battleground to foreign invaders in a region that affects the whole world. It betrayed those who had helped us. It
alienated other Arab allies, who then realized this country under this leadership is a feckless and flippant ally, and then turned to jihadi “mercenaries” to fight against Iran in Iraq. It gave Iran direct land and air access to Syria and Lebanon.
It betrayed those who fought there, including our allies who shed their blood there too, as contemptuous as liberals were of them. Obama treated their sacrifices as nothing.
And by the way, the Brits destroyed the last WMD in Iraq at Maliki’s request, two summers ago. Check it out. The Canadians had removed and reprocessed the yellow cake before that.
It was right for Bush to strike the Taliban and Al Quaeda in Afghanistan, despite the fact that the Taliban is supported by Pakistan, upon which we depended to give us access.
Bush erred in supposing that one could “nation build” in Af/Pak. He should have gone in, destroyed a lot of stuff, killed as many Taliban and Al Q as possible, then withdrawn, promising to return with worse if America was attacked from there again. And he should have, in leaving, given major arms to the Northern Alliance and the Hazaras. Nation building there was never possible, and he should have known it without our being there for the next 50 years or so. Obama should have known it too, and likely did, but kept it going because he had declared it the “good war” in his 2008 campaign. But he always intended to withdraw without accomplishing anything.
Iraq was an entirely different thing. It was fought for different reasons, and was clearly won. There were plenty of people there who wanted something better, and got it. All significant groups begged us to stay. But Obama had, in his 2008 campaign, declared it the “bad war”, and left them in the lurch. Now it is a battleground between Islamic and largely foreign jihadis who want to build their “caliphate” there, and Iran which wants a new Persian empire sweeping through Iraq, Syria and Lebanon to the Mediterranean.
And the war between those two erstwhile “empire builders” will go on for a long time, and the people of Iraq will pay a very heavy price for Obama’s political posturing. And because of him and his administration, this country will never be trusted in the Arab world again. They cast their lot with us in Iraq and we betrayed them.
I’m sure it does put them at risk. It puts all Iraqis, even the Sunni at risk. They’re well-trained and well-armed foreign fighters for the most part, and think death killing infidels (even imagined ones) earns them martyrdom.
At some point, they will clash directly with the Iranian-backed insurgents and Iranian regulars, and then we’ll see a bloodbath like that in Syria, only worse.
We left when we did because the Iraqi government did not want us there.
Well lets examine what really happened here. This wasn’t Barney Fief vs. the Bloods and Crips. This was two divisions consisting of 30,000 Iraqi soldiers trained and very heavily armed by the United States running from 800 insurgents.
Airstrikes aren’t going to matter if the behavior of Iraq’s military is any indication. Might want to neutralize the fighter jets, tanks, helicopters, etc. that the Iraqi military just handed over to the insurgents though.
I don’t think we ever should have gone to war with Iraq to begin with. It was an unjust war. They were clearly not posing any threat whether imminent or remote to us. We simply never should have gone to war with Iraq!
That said, I will pray that this situation comes under control soon.