The Obama administration has been disgraceful in so many ways that it is hard to keep track of them all, but surely one of the worst is its treatment of Iraq. Following his inauguration, President Obama withdrew troops from Iraq on the timetable that had been agreed to by the Bush administration. But as the draw-down continued, and it became apparent that security would worsen dangerously in the absence of American power, he refused to consider leaving even a small contingent of troops to help the Iraqi government resist terrorist forces. The result is that Iraq, like Syria, Egypt and Libya, has been under siege by Islamic terrorists.
To my knowledge, Obama has never expressed the slightest concern about the gains that al Qaeda and other terrorist groups have made in Iraq. Iraq, in his mind, is President Bush’s doing, and he seems content to adopt a “see–I told you so” attitude toward that country’s descent into chaos. Thus, he has thrown away, or is in the process of throwing away, the sacrifices made by thousands of American soldiers and all American taxpayers. Al-Qaeda affiliated terrorists have taken the city of Fallujah, which the Marines took with great sacrifice and remarkable courage in 2004:
A rejuvenated al-Qaeda-affiliated force asserted control over the western Iraqi city of Fallujah on Friday, raising its flag over government buildings and declaring an Islamic state in one of the most crucial areas that U.S. troops fought to pacify before withdrawing from Iraq two years ago. …
In Fallujah, where Marines fought the bloodiest battle of the Iraq war in 2004, the militants appeared to have the upper hand, underscoring the extent to which the Iraqi security forces have struggled to sustain the gains made by U.S. troops before they withdrew in December 2011. …
Events Friday suggested the [Marines’] fight may have been in vain.
“At the moment, there is no presence of the Iraqi state in Fallujah,” said a local journalist who asked not to be named because he fears for his safety. “The police and the army have abandoned the city, al-Qaeda has taken down all the Iraqi flags and burned them, and it has raised its own flag on all the buildings.”
The fighting has now spread to Ramadi:
Iraqi troops trying to retake Anbar province from a mixture of Islamist and tribal foes battled al Qaeda fighters in Ramadi on Saturday after shelling the western region’s other main city, Fallujah, overnight, tribal leaders and officials said.
Does President Obama want al Qaeda and its allies to take over Iraq, Syria, Libya, Egypt, and the rest of the Middle East? I assume he doesn’t, but you wouldn’t want to try to prove that, based on his policies in the region. Perhaps Obama and his apologists would argue that it isn’t the “real” al Qaeda that is making gains in these countries, reprising the New York Times’s pathetic effort to whitewash the Benghazi debacle. (Although, as Caroline Glick has brilliantly pointed out, the Times’s account, if accepted, refutes the foundational premises of Obama’s Middle East policies.) But there is no official al Qaeda org chart. The radical Muslims who are fast gaining ascendancy in the region are viciously anti-American, delight in terrorism, and are determined to wreak violent havoc on Americans and whatever allies we have left. Their precise relationship to Zawahiri is irrelevant.
It would be nice, now that Obama’s Hawaiian vacation is over, if a reporter would ask him some hard questions about the utter failure of his foreign policies.