Why has Obama turned his back on Iraq

Featured image 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 »

Kerry strikes out in Baghdad

Featured image Secretary of State (remember?) John Kerry took a detour to Baghdad on his current trip to the Middle East. He sought to persuade the government of Prime Minister Maliki to stop Iran from flying arms across Iraqi territory to support the Assad regime. The United States has more or less abandoned Iraq, Iraq lacks an air force, and Iran is filling the vacuum created by our withdrawal. The New York »

Iraq 10 Years On: A GOP Boat-Anchor?

Featured image Peggy Noonan poses the question today, “Can the Republican Party Recover from Iraq?”  If the article is behind the paywall, here’s a relevant sample: Did the Iraq war hurt the GOP? Yes. The war, and the crash of ’08, half killed it. It’s still digging out, and whether it can succeed is an open question. . . It ruined the party’s hard-earned reputation for foreign-affairs probity. They started a war »

The Iraq surge — one last point

Featured image I’d like to make a final point in my exchange with Rajiv Chandrasekaran about the success (or not) of the Iraq troop surge. My initial post is here. Rajiv’s response and my reply are here. Rajiv and I agree that important political goals of the surge have not been achieved. But it may be worthwhile to consider why they weren’t. Here is Max Boot’s take: The “surge” of 2007-2008 reduced »

Iraq — what was and what might have been

Featured image Max Boot provides an appraisal of the Iraq War, which the U.S. initiated ten years ago. His appraisal is sound; indeed, I agree with virtually every word. One thing that’s missing from Boot’s account, and from all others I’ve seen, is a consideration of what would have happened had the U.S. not gone to war. Avoiding this discussion is understandable given the speculative nature of “counter-factual” analysis. But one can’t »

Iraq war myths — Rajiv Chandrasekaran responds

Featured image Yesterday, I disagreed with Rajiv Chandrasekaran’s claim that it’s a “myth” that “the troop surge succeeded” in Iraq. Rajiv has done me the favor of commenting, on Power Line, about my post. I thank him for doing so. Here is Rajiv’s comment: Paul, the surge also had *political* goals. “The Government of Iraq commits to: Reform its cabinet to provide even-handed service delivery. Act on promised reconciliation initiatives (oil law, »

Tom Cotton’s truths about Iraq

Featured image Arkansas Fourth District Rep. Tom Cotton appeared on CNN’s State of the Nation yesterday along with his colleague Hawaii Second District Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (video below). Our friend Rep. Cotton set forth a few significant truths about the American effort in Iraq that should not be obscured by Rajiv Chandrasekaran and his media colleagues. In the Wall Street Journal over the weekend, Naval War College professor of national security affairs »

Rajiv Chandrasekaran’s myths about Iraq

Featured image Rajiv Chandrasekaran is a Washington Post reporter who has written extensively, and inaccurately, about U.S. involvement in Iraq. Years ago, I criticized his reporting here, here, here, and here. Now, for the tenth anniversary of our invasion of Iraq, Chandrasekaran is back with what he claims are “five myths about Iraq.” His analysis is as distorted as ever. Parts of Chandrasekaran’s piece are just silly. For example, he cites as »

The American Mind with Mark Helprin

Featured image The Claremont Institute continues its American Mind series with host Charles Kesler, editor of the Claremont Review of Books, and guest Mark Helprin. Helprin is the acclaimed novelist and observer of the contemporary scene. He has been a ferocious critic of our response to 9/11 in Afghanistan and Iraq. The institute posts the interview in segments on a weekly basis here. We are pleased to post the interview in its »

The rise of the Muslim Brotherhood

Featured image Yesterday, I wrote that the “Arab Spring” is coming to Iraq. Perhaps I should have said that it has already arrived. As Reuters reports: Over the past two weeks, tens of thousands of Sunnis have staged demonstrations, and in Anbar province they have blocked a highway to Syria in a show of anger against Maliki, whom they accuse of marginalizing their community and monopolizing power. The discontent is real, but »

The “Arab Spring” is coming to Iraq

Featured image Does the turbulence in the Middle East contain a unifying theme, and if so what is it? A year and a half ago, many would have identified the quest for democracy as the commonality. Today, not so much. For me, the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood ties together events in several Middle Eastern countries, most notably Egypt and Syria. But it has no direct relevance to Iran, a vital player »

Al Qaeda — resurgent in Iraq and emergent in Syria, thanks in no small part to President Obama

Featured image The Washington Post reports on the reemergence of al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI). According to Bruce Reidel, a former CIA counterterrorism expert now with the Brookings Institution, “what we’re now seeing is al Qaeda in Iraq’s revival, not only as a movement in that country but as a regional movement.” Reidel notes that from its base in the Sunni provinces west of Baghdad, AQI is building networks in Syria and »

A fateful letter to the editor of the Times

Featured image Getting to know Tom Cotton has been one of the highest (and most humbling) of the highlights of my experience writing for Power Line. National Review’s Jay Nordlinger headed down to southern Arkansas to watch Tom campaign for Arkansas’ Fourth District congressional seat. Yesterday NRO posted part I of Jay’s report. In part II today, Jay tells how we first got to know Tom, while he was serving as an »

The boundless dishonesty of Barack Obama

Featured image I noted yesterday that in his 2007 speech in Hampton, Virginia, Barack Obama falsely claimed that the Stafford Act had not been waived for relief money appropriated to help New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. The Stafford Act requires that, absent a waiver, localities match a percentage of the money they receive in federal assistance. Obama’s claim was false. A few weeks before Obama gave his Hampton speech, »

Killer of American troops set to be freed, thanks to Obama

Featured image An Iraqi court has rejected a request to send a Hezbollah commander to the United States for trial. Ali Mussa Daqduq, a Lebanese militant, has been held in Iraq for the 2007 killings of five American soldiers, four of whom were captured, tortured and shot execution-style. But now the Iraqi central criminal court has ordered that Daqduq be freed immediately. The Court stated: It is not possible to hand [Daqduq] »

From Aaron K. in Baghdad

Featured image Reader Aaron K. writes from Baghdad to comment on Paul Mirengoff’s post “Al Qaeda on the rise in Iraq” and Mario Loyola’s NRO/Corner post on America’s waning influence in Iraq. He writes: Let me say at the outset that I am writing this from Baghdad where I have been living and working for the past twenty months.  And, unlike some of those US government workers at the embassy who can »

Al Qaeda on the rise in Iraq

Featured image The Washington Post reports that attacks are on the rise in Iraq and that al Qaeda is increasingly behind them. On Monday, more than 100 people were killed in attacks across Iraq. According to the Post, “the attacks, spread across 13 cities and more than 40 locations, targeted mostly Shiite neighborhoods and appeared to be the work of al-Qaeda in Iraq.” The Obama administration claims that al Qaeda poses no »