Monday, August 02, 2010

Victory in Iraq

The "stupid war" is over. Obama will today be heralding the fact that all combat troops are set to be out of harm's way by the end of the month -- as he planned and promised. Forget the fact that Bush set all this up with the Iraqi government before leaving.

Political calculations:
Obama, by taking full responsibility for the pullout (and Bush none) will soon own the consequences. If Izzat and the boys decide to re-energize AQ in Iraq it will be hard for Obama to return 100 percent of the blame to Bush (although he'll most certainly try) after taking the draw-down champagne for himself. So today, in a way, represents Obama's "mission accomplished" flag on the carrier.

Obama will also try to take full credit for any successes from here forward, making sure he credits 'US troops' and not Bush/Cheney. As the New York Times points out, Obama has never fully acknowledged the success of the surge yet if things remain stable going forward it'll be much harder to overlook when the architect of the surge (and the man who once betrayed the left) remains pivotal to success in Afghanistan.

National implications:
Americans need to hope and pray the Iraqis can form a government and maintain peace and security. It's in our vital interests, and those of the free world, to have progress in this region and pull it away from a terrorist breeding ground. That goes without saying of course, but it's worth considering a middle east with Saddam still in the middle of it and the effect on the stability of the free world. Obama rarely opines about the demise of the Butcher.

Regional implications:
Unless America's ultimate goal was chaos in the region to help balance the powers, one would think a stable independent Iraq would continue to put pressure on surrounding Arab and Persian powers to reform. In the meantime, should Iraq become a client state of the Iranian Mullahs all bets are off, but the Mullahs have to first get past al-Douri and the Baathists--and to some extent Iyad Allawi and his coalition, who no doubt have the backing of Saudi Arabia or other Arab states who want no part of any absolute Persian control in Baghdad.


Sam Huntington said...

The enemy is bidings its time. This is typical of leftists, you know. They know it is time to back off, lick their wounds, rebuild their following ... the Americans will leave soon and then they'll strike again. We will have accomplished nothing.

Good move, Obama and the twits in Congress. Good move.

Debbie said...

It has been what, eight months so far and no government is fully formed. Two rivals still can't work out who is going to lead and how. This does not look good, but perhaps it is the Iraqi way now to slack along and delay decisions. It is to the country's detriment that this is allowed to happen. I don't mean WE should force them to organize, that's up to them. Perhaps we have given all that we should.

However, all that we have given will be in vain if the troops are pulled out too soon. There are good things happening in Iraq, although we don't hear much about them.

Let Obama take credit and I hope things go well, more power to him in this case. But if things turn to crap, it will be all on him.

Remember the wise words of Harry S. Truman:

"Never kick a wet turd on a hot day." heh

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