Why has Obama turned his back on Iraq

Scott isn’t the only observer who has noticed the Obama administration’s neglect of Iraq and the significant adverse consequences that flow from that neglect. Consider these words by the Washington Post editorial board:

[In Iraq] violence continues, the central government appears to be crumbling, and the United States, by failing to live up to its promises of partnership, is tipping the country toward deeper trouble. . . .

Iran’s influence over Mr. Maliki’s government is mounting, thanks in part to the Obama administration’s failure to agree with Baghdad on a stay-on force of U.S. troops. . . .

As with leaders across the Middle East, [Iraq's Prime Minister Maliki] perceives that the United States is unwilling to defend its interests in the region, either by stopping the Syrian bloodbath or countering Iran’s interventions. . . .

President Obama has often given the impression that he has turned his back on Iraq, and many Americans understandably sympathize with him. But a failure to engage with the fragile state U.S. troops left behind would endanger U.S. interests and break faith with the many Americans who made sacrifices there. (emphasis added)

The impression that Obama has turned his back on Iraq stems from the fact that Obama largely has turned his back on Iraq. The question is: why does Obama ignore a country of Iraq’s strategic importance? And also: why does Obama feel an oblgiation to assist the Palestinians, who hate the U.S. to the point of cheering al Qaeda’s 9/11 attack, but not the Sunnis of Iraq, many of whom rose up to fight alongside the U.S. against al Qaeda?

Is it because Iraq was “Bush’s deal”? Is it because the West Bank is where the potential glory for Obama resides? Is it because a Middle East policy that focuses on America’s strategic interests is insufficiently enlightened? Or is it because Obama the “progressive” sympathizes more with Middle East radicals than with those who have aligned themselves with the U.S.?

Some of each, I imagine.

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