Hillary Clinton’s little grenade over “Don’t do stupid stuff” has hit its mark. Barack Obama’s brain man, David Axelrod, is hitting back.
Just to clarify: "Don't do stupid stuff" means stuff like occupying Iraq in the first place, which was a tragically bad decision.
— David Axelrod (@davidaxelrod) August 12, 2014
We have some blue-on-blue here, which is always enjoyable as the Democrats tend to march in lockstep. Suddenly, they’re turning on each other.
But we also have some revealing thinking.
So Axelrod thinks that “occupying” Iraq qualifies as “stupid.”
His counter point to “occupation,” though, is what, exactly?
Libya — the war his president led from behind and then left to the tender mercies of jihadists afterward? Is that what Axelrod would prefer?
Going back into history a bit — always a risky proposition these days, since schools don’t actually teach history anymore — the United States waged a couple of very successful occupations in relatively recent times. Japan and Germany were our enemies, but they are our allies now. They started war with us. We defeated them. We occupied them. We turned them into stable democracies. Today, both are key players in our overall strategy to wage peace in their respective regions.
We still have troops in both countries, decades after the war with them ended. Decades.
The war in Iraq was won when Barack Obama took office. It is lost now. Obama swept into office only promising to “end” the war. That should have been warning enough to keep him out of the presidency. He had no interest in keeping that war won.
Compared to Iraq, both Japan and Germany were far more likely to become stable democracies. There is no way to get Iraq stable and keep it stable without an ongoing and forceful American presence. The ongoing war with ISIS, and its own internal political rifts, tell us as much. Without us there, Iraq has no chance. ISIS will chop off some of its territory, Iran will take its revenge, the Kurds will go their own way, etc. While both Japan and Germany had severe ideological issues to deal with, neither had the Islamic culture to contend with.
But our president and his brain want us to think that “Don’t do stupid stuff” involves cutting and running and leaving brutal Islamists to do whatever they want.
Christopher Stevens remains unavailable for comment.
“Don’t do stupid stuff,” from now on, ought to include not electing inexperienced, devious ideologues and their loyalist ideologues into the presidency. That has proven to have been a very stupid thing to do.