October 15, 2015


Here’s the lingering question. Is today’s decision really the result of Obama having learned a lesson over time or is it a simple matter of him not having to worry about reelection anymore? U.S. troops came home from Iraq in December 2011, conveniently less than a year before O would need to face the voters. He got elected in 2008 by running against the war, and he already knew by the end of 2011 that he wouldn’t have the same broad appeal to swing voters that he’d had three years earlier. If he was going to win a second term, he needed his base out in force — and he knew what his base wanted to see in Iraq before they turned out. So he pulled the troops out, strategic considerations be damned. Four years later, he doesn’t need to care what voters think of him anymore and he really doesn’t want to leave office with another “disastrous early withdrawal” demerit to his legacy. So this time, oddly enough, we’re staying. Be grateful he’s term-limited or else today would have been another banner day for ISIS.

Here’s a reminder of how glowingly Obama and Biden were describing the situation in Iraq before they bugged out in late 2011, along with some thoughts from the administration of Hillary Clinton’s husband — and Hillary herself — on the importance of removing Saddam Hussein in the first place.

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