In 2010, Vice President Joe Biden went on the Larry King Show to say that he believed Iraq would be regarded as one of Barack Obama’s “greatest achievements.” Not only would we see 90,000 American troops “come marching home,” but because of Barack Obama’s Smart Diplomacy™, we would also see a vast improvement in the political situation in Iraq. The Vice President had this to say: By the end of the summer, he predicted,
You’re going to see a stable government in Iraq that is actually moving toward a representative government. . . .
I’ve been there 17 times now. . . . I know every one of the major players in all of the segments of that society. It’s impressed me. I’ve been impressed how they have been deciding to use the political process rather than guns to settle their differences.
So how’s that working out, Joe? This morning, The Telegraph headlined the news: “Exodus of US troops from Iraq as chaos spreads.” The story begins, “A sense of crisis is gripping Baghdad as radical jihadists make ground at rapid speed across northern Iraq on the roads towards the capital.” The Daily Beast has cognate news, “Iraq’s Terrorists Are Becoming a Full-Blown Army.” The Islamic State of Iraq and al-Shams (Isis) is busy imposing Sharia law on the populace even as America and other countries scramble to evacuate their troops and nationals living in Iraq. The Pentagon reports that some American military equipment may have fallen into the hands of the radicals. Chaos. Bloodshed. The rise of Islamic barbarism. I don’t know that I would describe Iraq as one of the Obama administration’s “greatest” achievements, exactly. It is certainly one of its most characteristic.
UPDATE: a friend writes to suggest the appropriate illustration for Obama’s “greatest achievement”: