HART: Iraq: The closest Obama’s been to being right— until now
Obama has not been particularly engaged in Iraq. He concluded that he is so likable that people in the media heap massive kudos on him for anything he does. Why shouldn’t terrorists?
Instead, Obama has focused his considerable community organizing skills on domestic issues like wealth redistribution and fanning racial fires. With the one-sided way he handled the Ferguson, Missouri flare-up, he turned our Midwest into his own Middle East.
So he blamed Bush and put Iraq on the “honor system,” then moved on to fight fake domestic “wars,” like the “War on Women,” War on Black Men” and “War on the Middle Class.” It's easier to say you "won" fake wars. The only casualty is the truth.
Obama helped recruit terrorists by going to great lengths to expose post-9/11 water boarding by the Bush administration CIA. One could argue that was wrong or, as I view it, just a targeted Ice Bucket Challenge ahead of its time.
But when the NY Times jumped on Obama for playing golf minutes after his speech on ISIS beheading an American journalist, he acted “engaged” in foreign affairs. Bill Clinton would not have left an important speech to join a foursome — a threesome, maybe, but not golf.
Obama believed, as I do, that our involvement just creates more problems than it solves. There is not yet a galvanized Islamic army capable of invading America that we couldn’t demolish in days. We don’t do guerilla wars well (witness Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan), so let’s not start another.
Terrorists do things like beheadings just to make us legitimize them by reacting. Their goal is to drag us in so as to validate them.
The president’s involvement in Iraq pits two very persuasive debaters against each other: Candidate Obama versus President Obama. Candidate Obama was elected by promising to get us out of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. That resonated with me and with other non-neocons. But politicians need to meet an increasingly substantial burden of proof before we embark on war again.
The ever-political Obama, fearing damage to his legacy, has turned hawkish. Is he going to continue to be like Dick Nixon, who untangled us from Vietnam, or like Dick Cheney, who entangled us in Iraq? What sort of Dick will Obama be on this one?
His ample ego hurt by the public beheadings, Obama has turned from Gandhi into the sheriff from Blazing Saddles. With the mid-terms coming, Obama’s focus group-driven presidency feels confident he can bolster Democrats at the polls by bombing Syria. Currently 62 percent of voters support air strikes, yet 70 percent see low odds of them succeeding.
I suggest that Obama apply his domestic policy and destroy ISIS by designing their website or regulating them so much that they do an inversion to flee the country. In fact Obama, the self-proclaimed beloved world leader who pushed the “reset button” with our allies, now has an iffy dozen or so countries in his coalition of the unwitting. Bush had 38 in his media-dubbed “go-it- alone” war.
Obama's reservoir of goodwill has been drained by feckless results. He cannot lead now. He can’t even get his media sycophants to use his term “ISIL” instead of “ISIS.” Much like the arrogant way he says “Pakistan” (pok-e-stan) and “Taliban” (Tally Bon), he would rather seem smart than be smart. He comes off like an ISIL.
“ISIL” is the name ISIS prefers, as “Levant” evokes grander ambitions and includes Cypress, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, south Turkey and Syria. It also helps our military intelligence commanders with all those countries, as we are less likely to invade the wrong country this time.
Iraq and the Middle East will take care of themselves. Let those crazies kill each other. A smiling Saddam Hussein on a billboard should say “Miss Me Yet??” Iraq needs a secular bouncer again, not well-intentioned Americans. We destabilized Iraq. How will this time be different?
Re-engaging in a war where we lose thousands more soldiers and countless limbs for a country that won’t defend itself is folly. We gave the Iraqis a chance. They cowered and ran.
Obama now expects the nefarious group he belittled as “farmers and pharmacists” just weeks ago, the Free Syrian Army, to fight ISIS for us. And if you don’t know who the Free Syrian Army is, it consists of the folks who will have our weapons and whom we will be fighting in a few years under President Hillary Clinton.
Ron Hart, a libertarian syndicated op-ed humorist, award-winning author and TV/radio commentator can be reached at Ron@RonaldHart.com or visit www.RonaldHart.com.