With the news last week that President Obama intends to have all troops out of Iraq “…by the holidays…” many of the major “news” outlets have begun a campaign to give the President an inordinate amount of credit for what many Americans feel have been foreign policy wins. This shouldn’t surprise anyone. But before we start just handing out “Obama 2012: Tough on Terror” campaign buttons, we really should take a look at how we got to where we are before we start pretending that the President is somehow a foreign policy savant. Because the reality is that the media’s plan to paint Obama as having victories in the foreign policy realm are really nothing more than an attempt to pretend that the economic ineptitude of his administration isn’t a reason to not re-elect him….
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“As many of you know I have embraced a defense only policy, which means that I don’t want our troops out there at all unless we are facing a direct threat from someone, which is pretty rare these days. So let me first give the President credit for following through and bringing those troops home, which is happening later than he initially promised as candidate Obama, but is still within his first term, so he deserves some credit.
However, let us not forget that the ability to make that happen can be directly attributed to George W. Bush, who despite all the naysayers, put forth the troop surge that turned the Iraq war around and moved it from a loss, which the Democrats were fervently pushing towards, into the win column. There is little debate around the success of the troop surge and there is no questioning the fact that the troop surge was the turning point in the war. Without it, we would have ended up bringing the troops home, but would have done so with their tails between their legs, and we certainly wouldn’t be giving Barack Obama any pats on the back for “ending the war.”
And one of the Senators that fervently opposed that troop surge was then Senator Barack Obama. He actively opposed the troop surge and claimed that it would actually increase the sectarian violence in Iraq: So I am not quite ready to give him all the credit for a foreign policy victory. Had we followed his advice, we wouldn’t be leaving Iraq with a win; we would be leaving with a loss.
It is less a victory for Obama in the foreign policy realm than a victory for President Bush despite President Obama. Meanwhile, the war that Obama said was “the important war, the right war,” Afghanistan, hasn’t really been moving along in the way that we would like. US soldier casualties are higher and the effect we are having as we attempt to turn that country around is coming in at a draw at this point.”
Whilst we agree with U.S. Weapon’s (author’s synonym) perspective that Obama did in fact choose this war as “his baby” and in fact casualties have been higher, we differ on the point of the draw. Now if Obama really had a set and wanted to implement more control in the region, he would and should authorize the full – out war to include Kandahar. Arguably the Taliban is a pioneer cum mountaineer style guerrilla enemy militia that has been beaten backwards and forwards surviving in every condition from holes in the ground, tunnels systems, even in the trees.
Then there are the killings of those we don’t like. We can start with Bin Laden. I don’t think anyone thinks it is a bad thing now that he’s dead. I sure would have liked to see a body or some evidence though… You have to admit that the entire episode simply doesn’t pass the sniff test. No verification; including a burial at sea within 24 hours of the alleged action. I won’t go as far as to say it didn’t happen that way, but unlike the 9/11 hoo ha, this conspiracy theory is at least plausible.
Regardless we will operate under the assumption that everything is as it seems and it was a perfectly normal idea to bury him at sea so quickly that no one could verify anything. Following through on the U.S. promise to hunt the guy down is a good thing. At least he (Barack Obama) didn’t abandon that declaration.
However, that he happened to be the guy in office when it all went down doesn’t impress me that much. I don’t believe that he made a single decision that any other President would have made. “Hey, the guy that the voting public wants dead more than anyone else in the world happens to be in our sites. Should we take the shot?” What President would not have said “Yes”?
Add to this a few drone bombings that took out high level targets. The American born cleric and the rogue leader of Libya. I am not sure what credit he does or does not deserve in these strikes. He basically gave the order to use drone strikes throughout the area where the cleric was hiding out. And in Libya, we made a big point of claiming that we were NOT taking the leadership position there. Even addressing the UN a few weeks ago, Obama noted that the US was playing a limited supportive role in Libyan operations.”
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