Sometimes my mind just boggles at how ridiculous the American media and political discourse can be. A perfect example is the current attempt to turn the inevitable — yes, inevitable — violence in Iraq into a political weapon to use against President Obama. This begins with Fox News actually crediting President Bush with anticipating the surge in sectarian violence there after our troops left.
“In 2007, President George W. Bush pretty much laid this out as it is happening,” Fox anchor Martha MacCallum said, playing videos of Bush warning that violence could resurface should American troops withdraw. After the clips, Andy Card, Bush’s former chief-of-staff, popped up to reinforce narrative.
Not mentioned: the Status of Forces Agreement that Bush signed requiring the withdrawal of American troops by the end of 2011. Also not mentioned: the fact that President Obama actually tried to talk the Iraqi government into changing the SOFA to allow some additional American troops to stay beyond that deadline. The Iraqis refused to do so. They wanted our troops out of there. So how anyone who isn’t absolutely blinded by partisan prejudice could possibly blame this on Obama is beyond me. He followed the legal requirements of the agreement that Bush signed.
To make things worse, now some of the people who bungled the war in Iraq so gloriously, like Paul Wolfowitz, are once again writing op-eds and pontificating on how to fix the problem they created. Why the hell would anyone listen to anything that Bill Kristol or John McCain have to say about this after being utterly wrong on every single thing that has happened up to this point?
My first thought when this latest round of violence from ISIS began was pure sarcasm: Gee, who could have anticipated such a thing happening? I mean, other than virtually everyone who wasn’t cheerleading for the invasion of Iraq in 2003? This was absolutely inevitable. There were only two possible outcomes: we were going to have to stay forever or, once we left, the old religious and tribal divisions were going to come to the surface and explode in violence. Hell, that happened while our troops were there immediately following the invasion. How could anyone possibly have believed that this wouldn’t become far worse when their only opposition was an inept Iraqi military?
No, this was inevitable. And it was inevitable from the moment we invaded in 2003.