Politics, The Iraq War and America’s Lack of Leadership in The World

Whatever you may think about the Iraq war, the fact is that by 2011 Iraq was mollified. The insurgency was defeated at a costly price, and Military experts warned that in order to sustain the peace, the United States would have to maintain a significant presence in Iraq to secure it. All indicators pointed to Iraq eventually slipping back into chaos if the United States did not show the leadership needed, and did what was necessary to ensure that this did not happen.

Prior to obtaining such a hard fought triumph, the Iraq war was a highly charged, hot button political issue. Both the House and the Senate voted for the decision to go into Iraq. As Iraq continued to violate United Nations resolutions for over a dozen years, (the last of which was passed on 8 November 2002, UN Resolution 1441) both Democrats and Republicans in the house and Senate voted overwhelmingly to go in to Iraq.

The loss of support by politicians for the war came after support by the American people started to wane. When it was no longer popular to back the war, politicians who were gung ho about sending America’s Service Men and Women into harm’s way, and who for years prior had called for action against Saddam Hussein suddenly claimed that they were fooled into voting for the war by the administration at the time. For the next few years that followed they did everything in their power to sabotage the war effort and continued to undermine the work of the men and women who were gallantly performing the duties that they were called to do. Service members were wounded, disfigured, scarred, and many died. Today so many who survived walk around wounded on the inside, and they carry internal scars of battle that cannot be seen. They had no agenda, they simply answered their country’s call.

Despite the political wranglings at the time, the continued lack of support, the media propaganda, and constant deluge of calls by those in opposition to count our losses and pull out of Iraq, General David Petraeus (one of the greatest Military minds according to the experts) devised and proposed a plan to lead us to victory. Moveon.org called him General Betray us for daring to believe victory was an option. Then Senator Hillary Clinton famously declared, “the report that you provided us would require a willing suspension of disbelief”.

The thought of victory so disturbed liberals, blinded by their ideology and such a strong desire to rub a lost war in the face of President Bush, that they absolutely refused to consider that a winning strategy was possible. Winning the ideological battle was more important than winning the war. The genius of General Petraeus, the tenacity, bravery, fighting will and commitment of our Military proved liberals wrong however and our Military defeated the insurgency.

Despite the advice of his Generals and Military Experts everywhere however, President Obama decided that it was more important to fulfill his promise to pull out of Iraq, and in 2011; after claiming that the administration failed to negotiate a Status of Forces agreement, he pulled out the troops. The horror of this decision was obvious to any objective observer at the time, but it did not matter. Liberal ideology and   placating the base superseded everything else.

In 2013 as ISIS was rising to prominence and the United States had the opportunity to show leadership confronting the threat that ISIS posed, Mr. Obama derisively dismissed the concerns of the world and infamously referred to ISIS as “the JV team”. Since becoming President our Afghanistan strategy has been a disaster and we have lost more troops in the first four years of his administration than in the previous eight years, and the Taliban has gained resurgence after Mr. Obama confidently proclaimed that “Osama Bin Laden is dead and al Qaeda is on the run”. Many warning signs before the Benghazi tragedy occurred were ignored. Today Libya continues to be a hotbed and safe haven for Jihadists after US Foreign Policy supported the ousting of the strongman Muamar Ghaddafi with no clear strategy to fill the vacuum left as a result. Today the entire Middle East is on fire and there is tumult around the world as a direct result of a waffling American Foreign policy and lack of leadership. Just a day before the horrible Paris attacks President Obama declared that ISIS was contained, and before the San Bernardino attacks he asserted that the US is safe from attack. A day after the Brussels attack he proclaimed that ISIS is no existential threat. His bizarre behavior continues as he does the Tango (both literally and figuratively), seemingly unmoved by calls to show more leadership, and his list of blunders continue.

No one is saying that any administration will have all of the answers to the difficult issues the country inevitably faces, but Mr. Obama’s nonchalance and lack of leadership demonstrates that his overall strategy continues to be based on hope as a course of action. To many observing, his behavior seems to be from a scene directly out of the twilight zone. Americans should be concerned. To the true disciple, Liberal ideology trumps everything.

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