Ed Driscoll

Another Expiration Date Bests Obama

“Obama admits today what was true all along: he didn’t end the Iraq War, Iraq just refused to let the troops stay,” Trevor Timm, UK Guardian contributor tweets, linking to this article in the Washington Post, which notes that “President Obama took credit in 2012 for withdrawing all troops from Iraq. Today he said something different:”

“With regards to Iraq, you and I agreed, I believe, that there should be a status of forces agreement,” Romney told Obama as the two convened on the Lynn University campus in Boca Raton, Fla., that October evening. “That’s not true,” Obama interjected. “Oh, you didn’t want a status of forces agreement?” Romney asked as an argument ensued. “No,” Obama said. “What I would not have done is left 10,000 troops in Iraq that would tie us down. That certainly would not help us in the Middle East.”

On Thursday, Obama addressed reporters in the White House Briefing Room about Iraq’s latest crisis. “Do you wish you had left a residual force in Iraq? Any regrets about that decision in 2011?” a reporter asked. “Well, keep in mind that wasn’t a decision made by me,” Obama said. “That was a decision made by the Iraqi government.”

In that same foreign policy debate, Obama scolded Romney — for failing to state his position in a way voters could understand. “Here’s one thing … I’ve learned as commander in chief,” Obama said. “You’ve got to be clear, both to our allies and our enemies, about where you stand and what you mean.”

Huh. His pre-postmodern predecessor knew that before he became commander in chief. As Mark Steyn warned when Dubya bid the world vaya con dios, “George W. Bush is who he is, and he never pretended to be anything but. Do you know how rare that is? If you don’t, you surely will after six months of Barack Obama’s enigmatic cool.”

And speaking of postmodernism, with the London Telegraph reporting, “Isis jihadists ‘seize Saddam Hussein’s chemical weapons stockpile,'” now is the time when we juxtapose, Small Dead Animals-style:

● “Where Are Saddam’s WMD?”

— Headline, Time magazine, September 26, 2003.

● “Iraq Militants Seize Old Chemical Weapons Facility.”

— Headline, Time magazine, today.

As one Ricochet contributor asks today, “What the heck is a WMD?”

I thought it was a weapon that killed a bunch of people at once.

Like a chemical weapon or a nuclear bomb .

If Saddam Hussein had stockpiles of chemical weapons, how does  everybody justify the “they lied about WMD” trope?

Don’t worry, “The weapons that remain are probably useless,” Time assures us today. These aren’t the WMDs you were looking for; they can go about their business, no matter who has control over them — or wherever they ultimately end up.

Update: Speaking of headlines from 2002 and 2003 getting a fresh new spin, is the president seeking regime change in Iraq? Everything old is new again!

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(Yes, the headline was written in the passive tense, which journalists are increasingly using to describe a president being overcome by events occurring on his watch.)