President O-Irony

Hot Air, taking another look at the “bungled” negotiations that will prevent the U.S. from having any presence in Iraq, after December 31.

They link to this piece by McClatchy News, in which it is suggested that neither the president nor the vice-president got involved with negotiations, instead allowing State Department lawyers to break down the options for them. Allahpundit asks: How much of that was due to “bungling” and how much was due to Obama’s and Biden’s studious disinterest?

A major complication was the insistence by the Obama administration that the accord go before the Iraqi parliament, something that in the end Iraqi politicians decided was impossible. But whether that restriction was necessary is an open question. Many status-of-forces agreements are signed at the executive level only, particularly in countries without elected legislatures.

But the White House turned the issue over to the State Department’s legal affairs office, reporters in Baghdad were told on Saturday. The lawyers gave a variety of options, but Obama chose the most stringent, approval by Iraq’s legislature of a new agreement, citing as precedent that the Iraqi parliament had approved the 2008 agreement, reporters were told.

Emphasis mine. Allah writes:

In other words, they could have tried to negotiate with Maliki and Talabani directly rather than go through the Iraqi parliament, where the Sadrists had extra leverage. Whether they would have gotten anywhere on immunity with them given the political risk in Iraq of extending the U.S. occupation is unclear, but apparently the White House wasn’t eager to find out. An Obama spokesman insists that the story’s “totally wrong” and that The One and Biden were “engaged” with Iraqi leaders all along, but an Iraqi government spokesman didn’t deny the lack of contact when asked by McClatchy. Any theories on why the White House would have chosen a path of, shall we say, benign neglect on extending our troop presence? Maybe this data point from the new Times poll can help:

You’ll want to read the rest of Allah’s analysis, but what struck me was the profound irony of a president who constantly “jokes” that he wishes he could govern by himself, without having to deal with congress — a president who is currently planning to make as many runs around the legislative branch as he possibly can — insisting that the Iraqi leadership do what he what he doesn’t wish to do himself: work with the legislative branch.

I mean, the House has passed 15 jobs bills.
Is it really true that only Obama’s is the Precious? The One Bill to Rule Them All? He can’t work with all of these ideas to come up with something everyone can agree on?

But no, I suppose he can’t. Not if his entire re-election hinges on the “they want everyone out of work, breathing dirty air” line.

Related:
Paul Ryan speaking out on class warfare

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • Doc

    Democrats have insisted that Iraq would be a Bush failure, so they must ensure that it comes to pass.

    Regarding Obama’s jobs bill being the only one that counts, this is how Obama’s Palace Guard, the corporate media, see it. They view Republicans as greater threats to this country than Islamist terror.

  • Dan C

    Paul Ryan promotes the functional form of relativism with the common use of “prudential judgement” in his talk. I think this needs to be clarified: that one is permitted the use of “prudential judgement” on matters of war, for example, does not negate that absolutes in the course of Truth and Right exist on this matter, nor does it absolve one who may have multiple vices of willful ignorance (such as a politican’s desire to get re-elected by his constituents so he will not embrace or consider alternative points of view) in his preparation for such a decision.

    In short, absolute right and wrong exists on matters of economic justice and war and peace, just as much as with abortion. One should be very prayerful that one considers the framework from which one makes these decisions. I think one important lesson to take from these Vatican documents is that the perspective of the weak and the poor (one’s preferential option for the poor) is the proper perspective.

    In light of this, the conservative has to manage what “limited government” means, considering the a PCJP paper describing that limited government in third world contexts, in the face of our Western uber-goliath corporations, crumble and fold, protecting the poor not a wit.

    In a second context, with the discussion points of OWS with regard to income and wealth disparity, the growth and power of these Goliath-like corporations in our lives, is the African social context the political trajectory for our future? While conservatives are fretting about “collectivism” in a political and economic arrangement that is currently the direct opposite of this, is the real future more like El Salvador of 1978?

    Conservatives have had their challenge on economics. The economic and “job’s bills” proposed are of “limited government” philosophy, all of them, and the Vatican has taken a different tack.

    No more short cuts. The oft-derided liberation theology of the left has been replaced by Acton Institute’s profit-friendly theology. It has been treated with a very different respect, yet its consequences for the planet are now increasingly attacked by the Vatican, Weigel’s multiple defenses of libertarian-disposed theology not-withstanding. There are some questions to be answered.

    So yes-if the 15 bills presented passed by the House are all cookie-cutter Republican bills promoting tax cuts, limiting direct government assistance, and just handing businesses a less regulatory and more pro-profit environment, then, yes, I can see why they would be honestly rejected.

    [Doubtless you'll likewise see why if Obama's jobs bill is a "cookie-cutter tax-and spend" bill it can be honestly rejected, as well? My point was to wondering why none of this can be shuffled together -- you know, the way grown ups compromise on ideas and pick out the best of both worlds and try to make it work? Both Obama and the GOP simply say "no" to each other. They cancel each other out. But the president is supposed to lead. When his own party won't pass his jobs bill in the Senate, then a grownup president will not simply castigate the other side for not working with him, he'll think about some sort of compromise -- or he will if he is serious about leading, finding solutions and including the side he says he keeps trying to work with. He can't pin it all on the GOP when his own party is balking, but he's not budging, sorry. -admin]

  • Dan C

    Doc, conservatives rightly called liberals out on similar anti-Bush hyperbole, even when the Bush-era law enforcement targetted Catholic Workers for surveillance operations. Obama, to his shame, is a remorseless warrior who is competently doing what Cheney, Bush, and their gang did not in countries dominated by Islam. I do not know what he hopes to gain by leaving Iraq, but I am not disappointed. I stand with others that indicate it is a disaster to continue this horrid operation. Suggesting Obama and the media regard Republicans with the same fear as the militants of Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, and on and on is ridiculous. The media, led by the NYTimes, promoted the Bush Iraq War without shame or apology, even still.

    Obama should be criticzed for his amoral excess and many do this, despite conservative blogosphere ignorance of the pacifist left’s continued protest of American wars.

  • http://jscafenette.com/ Manny

    It is absolutely insane that we pull completely out of Iraq. We achieved European and far east stability with American military presence over generations. With the middle east a lit match away from a fireball and with Iranian presence and projected power, we need to stay there.

    As to ironies, I found it quite ironic that Obama, the president who ran on achieving peace, the man who got the Nobel Peace prize for just being himself, has whacked more people than a mafia kingpin. It’s amazing (actually humorous) to watch the Liberals who voted for him twist themselves into pretzels to justify the Lybian War, the execution style killing of Gaddafi, and all the terrorist killings. Apparently to the Liberals it was immoral to waterboard but it’s quite compassionate to execute people without a trial.

  • http://workingonmyrewrite.blogspot.com/ bob c

    elizabeth, the link to the Boehner page is the ironic thing, right

    you point to “sources” for reporting on our President, then echoing Boehner spin

    sad indeed

  • Greta

    Dan C. I assume you are talking about the note or white paper put out by the small social justice group at the Vatican. This does not hold any real weight in the Catholic Church teaching and certainly does not stand near the teaching on abortion or marriage between one man and one woman. Those as Pope Benedict has stated are non negotiable issues for Catholics to believe.

    There has never been a country in the history of the world that has been able to sustain the liberal philosphy which some see as socialist of taking from the rich as defined by the state and using big government programs, defined those who would get those funds. I have yet to have a single person point out the gospel of taking from the rich and having Rome set up big government programs for the poor. If that is what he intended in his discussions of the poor, by no discussion of big government solutions. After all, it was about a close to a one world government in his midst as you could find and certainly more so than today. He was not screaming for Rome to strip Herod and others with riches and to redistribut the wealth to the poor. In the USSR, the leadership took everything possible from the people and they lived a very nice life. Greed floursihed in every socialist state and the poor never did prosper.

    In America, we have dumped trillions in waged based social programs starting with FDR and ramped to the max by the Great Society war on poverty and we have at least as much poverty today and have a hundred times the size of government and regulations as compared to 1960. It is no surprise that as this war on poverty ramped up, the cost of healthcare skyrocketed, lawsuits against business’s multiplied, moral values declined, and families were attacked as never before. No society has thrived that did not have a strong support of the family unit and the inherent desire to have the kids live a better life. Now our society kills 4000 innocent babies each and every day to the tune of 54 million dead in the worlds largest legal government approved holocaust making the Nazi party look like amatures. There is no surprise that the party that supported slavery, lynching, fought civil rights laws, and went to war to keep slaves is also the part of abortion and special rights for gays.

    Want jobs, cut back on all the frivolous lawsuites, cut back on idiotic regulatons that rather than protect us, cost us jobs, cut government in total by about 50%, modify the socialist programs like social security and mediare so they are not a drain on our entire economy and at the same time fix the real issues of healthcare cost starting with the repeal of obamacare and all the non healthcare crap thrown in this monstrosity.

    As to the wars, those started to go south when the people put Obama and the democrats in charge. they are lost now on their watch. At the same time, Obama and his horrible understanding of foreign policy have given us the arab revolts which will lead to massive worldwide problems with terrorism for another generation. Obama desire to see us all paying $7-8 per gallon of gas and to see our overall utility cost skyrocket to be able to set up green scandal ridden handouts to his buddies is a scandal the media wants to ignore at the peril of the American people.

  • Kara

    Okay, feel free to correct me if I’m wrong. But. Did President Bush not sign an agreement during his last term in office, saying the US would pull all the troops from Iraq by the end of December 2011? http://www.cnsnews.com/node/40337

    If that’s the case, and it would certainly appear to be the case, I don’t understand why people are blaming President Obama for pulling the troops out, saying it’s too soon, etc. – unless of course those folks are just seeing current events through the lens they prefer.

    [You're correct that the agreement was to pull out by year's end. But with a minimal presence and bases, which would be to our strategic advantage, should we need to reenter the region. Now, we will not have the bases. -admin]

  • Paula Sanchini

    Does the Iraq war constitute a just war, in your opinion? In that case, having no presence there would be a bungle. On the other hand it could just be right thing to do.

    [The point is basically moot. The Iraq war is essentially "over" and has been for a very long time. The issue now is whether we remain available to help what we hope will be a longtime Arab ally as they build their government. It's not so much about "war" anymore as in "peacekeeping." Some might argue that, given the loss of life involved in the war -- whether one calls it just or unjust -- an able and available peacekeeping force reserved in readiness would be a moral thing to do. This is after all why we maintain milbases in Europe and Asia, too. -admin]

  • Leonard Campbell

    Elizabeth, Stick with bungling up theology. Passing along the hot air of popular rhetoric without presenting the needs of the people and what the essence of Holy Communion is about only continues a sad commentary on the role of faith in any moral debate. The US put itself in an untenable position when it went into Iraq, and now Iraq is demanding the US exist in an untenable position if it stays. This President did run with the promise to be out of there in 4 years, President Bush set the wheels in motion, so to castigate this President for doing it is quite disingenuous. The essence of Holy Communion is peace, and I hope that is what will be desired.

    [Actually, I am NOT "castigating the president" -- if you read Allah's analysis, as I urged all to do, you'll see that he presents several arguments favoring the reasonable pulling out from Iraq. The only one that is untenable is to do it for the sake of polls. I'm merely observing in this post that the president who is constantly "joking" about governing apart from the constitution or with the legislative branch is insisting that another government do exactly that. That's just an observation of irony. That I have dared to observe it seems to be offensive. Can't help that. -admin]

  • Doc

    I don’t mind us leaving Iraq, as long as we go through Damascus on the way out and grab Assad while we’re passing through. Now that would wound Iran, who’s entire foreign policy has been exporting terrorism since 1979.

  • Will

    We are blessed to be pulling out of Iraq. We could stay one hundred more years and there could still be a mess when we left. These people have to figure this out for themselves. We are not responsible if they fail. We cannot destroy our own budget trying to help every other country. Now, we need to close many other military bases overseas.

  • kenneth

    I’m glad he’s getting us out of Iraq, and I don’t care if it involves irony or even outright deceit to do so. Our presence there was a massive waste of lives and treasure. It was an imperial war and one which will be seen by future historians as a primary factor in our country’s decline in the world.

  • Greta

    The simple fact is that the democrats agreed by large percentage vote for the war in Iraq and W. Bush jumped through several hoops for votes in congress and also in the UN to go to war. the leadership of the democrats had the same intel as the president. Bush was consistent in saying that the decision when to leave had to be in close discussion with the military leaders on the ground which would include the status of the Iraqi’s to take on the burden.

    This pull out is the total responsibility of the CIC and it is his call. We would hope that he would be making the decision on what is best for the country and not some date determined by elections. If he does pull out in total, and Iran overruns Iraq, it will be his mess since he has done nothing to rein in Iran. We have sat by and in many ways encouraged the muslim brotherhood islamist growth in the region and if this explodes, it will be the responsibility of Obama. If everything goes well and we see democracy break out in the middle east they do away with Sharia and Islamist terror, he should get full credit. That is the way it works in that job.

    time will tell. I would not bet a lot of things going well and I think it is much worse under the timid leadership of Obama. We were supposed to see all this love of America when W. Bush left and we had the appeaser in cheif enter and go on his apology tours. Doesn’t seem like that is working to well.

    Anchoress has laid out a lot of information to look over as always and has put a great deal of effort into laying it out for anyone interested to see a most complex situation. Of course any “hint” that it is not raving positive for the Obama is viewed as bashing the president or being racist or hateful and thus must be attacked. The same is true of any support of actual Catholic Church beliefs or teaching or support of the Pope. Once again, darn good job Anchoress. Thanks for your efforts and great skills.

  • http://workingonmyrewrite.blogspot.com/ bob c

    one other side comment on the paul ryan “speech”

    facts are that in America, you’re more likely to stay rich if born rich, and stay poor if born poor, than you are in most European countries

    then again, facts no longer seem to matter. maybe if the new happy Eric Cantor posts this, it will then be true.

    or maybe if B16 said it – NOT

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    Considering that the government we set up in Iraq is actively persecuting Christians. . . I’m just as glad we’re getting out. American soldiers should not be risked defending such an enterprise.


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