June 16, 2016

"Barack Obama is directly responsible for [the Orlando massacre] because when he pulled everybody out of Iraq, al Qaeda went to Syria, became ISIS."

"And ISIS became what it is today thanks to Barack Obama’s failures, utter failures, by pulling everybody out of Iraq, thinking that conflicts end just because we leave. So the responsibility for it lies with President Barack Obama and his failed policies. Directly responsible because he pulled everybody out of Iraq. I predicted at the time that ISIS would go unchecked and there would be attacks on the United States of America. It’s a matter of record. So he is directly responsible."

Said John McCain.

It sounds like something Trump might say, but I don't think Trump would have backed down when there was criticism. Obviously, there would be criticism — outraged, furious criticism. You had to know that. But McCain, upon hearing the criticism claims he "misspoke." He puts out a written statement:
"I misspoke... I did not mean to imply that the President was personally responsible. I was referring to President Obama’s national security decisions, not the President himself."
Is the President not responsible for his decisions? Or is he responsible for his decisions, and his decisions are responsible, and he is not his decisions? You'd think when putting out a written statement to set things right, you'd be careful about your words and try to make sense.

The reaction is what you'd expect. Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) said:
"I have a lot of respect for John McCain, he's an American war hero. But frankly that statement sounded a lot more like Donald Trump than John McCain and I wish he would just retract it in its entirety."
That's why Trump doesn't retract at all. Everyone's going to be tempted to talk like Trump, but I don't see how you do it, stir up the excitement, and then put out an "I misspoke" statement that tries to say the same thing in a softer, gentler fashion. You'll just be pushed until you take it back altogether.

71 comments:

Paddy O said...

Are the decisions a separate entity than the person?

McCain's retraction basically says, "It's not personal, but Obama messed up his job."

chickelit said...

McCain is right about Obama helping create ISIS for the reasons he cited. But he's wrong about Orlando. Pretty much anything similar could have set the killer off.

coupe said...

To be fair to Obama, when he became President, McCain was instrumental in bleeding the Treasury dry by hosing down Iraq with dollars.

McCain supported al-Maliki in making all Sunni's second class citizens.

The way I understand it, Obama wanted us out, the Iraqi's wanted us out, and Europe wanted us out. Everything good we did there, was destroyed by al-Miliki, and McCain was propping him up until the end.

When I heard his statement today, I felt sorry for him, because there is zero chance he can get re-elected. A sad end for a sad man.

ndspinelli said...

He's an old, muddled, GOP pol in a fight for his political life. This is what happens.

SteveR said...

That's why he did not get elected, same for Mitt, too little, way too late.

J. Farmer said...

No, the proximate cause for the rise of ISIS was the collapse of the Syrian state. McCain was an enthusiastic supporter for us arming the Syrian rebellion, much of which either became ISIS or became associated with some other radical Sunni jihadi fact. Here is Pamela Geller, no wallflower on the topic of radical Islam, excoriating McCain's secret Syrian visit, including his embarrassing photo-op with radical jihadist.

David Begley said...

I think Senator McCain is reading my comments here as I think I wrote nearly the same thing.

It is obvious.

Obama pulled out of Iraq after we won. ISIS saw the power vacuum and filled it. And then Obama failed to crush ISIS when it was starting up. He's completely responsible.

Meade said...

I like senators who don't get captured... by their own political correctness.

J. Farmer said...

@coupe:

I agree completely with your post here.

David Begley said...

If McCain loses the primary it will be because of domestic policy.

And is there anyone more smary than Adam Schiff? What a puke.

J. Farmer said...

@David Begley:

"Obama pulled out of Iraq after we won. ISIS saw the power vacuum and filled it."

ISIS had never left. A lot of what would go on to call itself ISIS were Sunni fighters coopted by the surge strategy into fighting on our side against largely foreign al Qaeda fighters. Also, a lot of the decrease in violence in Iraq that is bizarrely interpreted us as having "won" the war was a result of most of the ethnically mixed neighborhoods around Baghdad having been completely ethnically cleansed. Also, a lot of the reason for Sunni disrenfranchisement in the west were a result of the way they were essentially ignored by the Shia-dominated federal government. The surge, by its own definition, was supposed to provide security space for the essential political reforms to take place. Those reforms never took place.

Even when there were tens of thousands of troops in Iraq, they were quite ineffectual at kipping the lid on insurgent forces. Tens of thousands of troops in Afghanistan have yet to create a functioning federal government.

J. Farmer said...

@David Begley:

"If McCain loses the primary it will be because of domestic policy."

Agreed. McCain's horrible immigration policy should be enough for the good people of Arizona to hand him a pink slip. But one less hawkish interventionist in the Senate is a nice side effect.

Achilles said...

Every six years McCain has these little outbreaks of sanity and conviction. Then he goes off and does exactly what the GOPe open borders oligarch pets all do.

SMOD needs to land on DC during session.

David Begley said...

J Farmer

I get my Iraq views from Hoover Institute fellow Victor Davis Hanson. He disagrees with you.

David said...

He's responsible but not personally responsible? Welcome to modern American politics, where deflection of responsibility is Job 1.

Sebastian said...

"Those reforms never took place." Some did. Not enough.

"Even when there were tens of thousands of troops in Iraq, they were quite ineffectual at kipping the lid on insurgent forces." False. The insurgency was well contained when O pulled the plug.

Of course, the Iraqis, the Syrians, and the ISIS butchers did their part. But O contributed, willingly and deliberately. As the anti-Bush, he wanted no war on his watch in the ME. ISIS and its offshoots, the JV team and its minor league affiliates, is what we got.

J. Farmer said...

@David Begley:

"I get my Iraq views from Hoover Institute fellow Victor Davis Hanson. He disagrees with you."

I am well aware of Hanson's writings on interventionism, and I have been reading them for years. He was a classicist from Fresno who wrote a dissertation on Greek warfare and agriculture (he comes from a family of raisin farmers) and then subsequently wrote on ancient Greek warfare. In the post-9/11 landscape, he rebranded himself some kind of general "military historian" and took to as many op-ed pages as he could advocating for strong military intervention. Hanson, like Donald Kagan before him, has made a cottage industry of drawing loose parallels between ancient warfare and conflicts of the day and pretending like they all fit into some kind of discernible historical "pattern."

chickelit said...

David said...He's responsible but not personally responsible? Welcome to modern American politics, where deflection of responsibility is Job 1.

Government is the LLC of public service.

J. Farmer said...

@Sebastian:

""Even when there were tens of thousands of troops in Iraq, they were quite ineffectual at kipping the lid on insurgent forces." False. The insurgency was well contained when O pulled the plug."

Yes, and there were many factors involved, such as the completion of ethnic cleansing in mixed neighborhoods and the Anbar awakening, neither of which had anything to do with increased troop number. Petraeus was a smart enough strategist to co opt these movements for our benefit, and his overall counterinsurgency strategy was a better one than the previous hunker down in remote fortified areas. So it is not correct to simply claim that the "surge" was the defining variable.

It's also worth reporting that Petraeus was handed the reigns in Afghanistan to pursue a surge strategy, and it completely failed.

"s the anti-Bush, he wanted no war on his watch in the ME."

Except that Obama ramped up Bush's drone campaign, and bombed places like Pakistan, Somalia, Libya, and Yemen. He also took Bush's kill or capture program and just whited out the "capture" part. So he was also doing a targeted assassination campaign. He also escalated our presence in Afghanistan.

David Begley said...

J Farmer

Obama has fought the war with half-measures. You can't convince me that if we would have unleashed hell on ISIS when it just started that we would not have crushed them to bits.

mockturtle said...

McCain never met a war he didn't like. Trump needs to keep his distance from McCain and his military-industrial-complex policies. IMO, both Bush and Obama are responsible for the mess in the ME and we need to figure out how best to extricate ourselves from these nation-building and political engineering fiascos.

J. Farmer said...

p.s.

"ISIS and its offshoots, the JV team and its minor league affiliates, is what we got."

ISIS is just a brand name for forces that already existed. Radical Sunni salafists were already present in Iraq. Many of them became part of the Anbar Awakening because Al Qaeda in Iraq at that time were seen as foreign interlopers. An alliance of convenience with American forces to drive them out made sense. The goal was that after the security situation got under control, the western Sunnis could begin political reconciliation with the Baghdad government. This never happened. By the surge's own definition of success, it failed.

exhelodrvr1 said...

Farmer,
If you think that Hanson's writings are mostly about drawing parallels with ancient history, you haven't read much of his writings. Stop the bullshit.

exhelodrvr1 said...

McCain is correct, and he should stick to his guns. This type of behavior hurt him in 2008.

J. Farmer said...

@David Begley:

"Obama has fought the war with half-measures. You can't convince me that if we would have unleashed hell on ISIS when it just started that we would not have crushed them to bits."

We are talking about a guerrilla insurgency campaign that is interspersed with a civilian population. Did the insurgency grow in Iraq between 2004 and 2006 because Bush wasn't dropping enough bombs. Look at Petraeus' own COIN doctrine: did it call for massive bombing of populations? The kind of shock and awe destructive campaign might make sense if you were trying to incapacitate a nation-state's war making efforts (e.g. firebombing Tokyo), but it's a completely useless tactic in the kind of asymmetric warfare we are facing.

David Begley said...

"unleash hell" was a metaphor. I would have been happy with Omaha-native John Nagl's COIN strategy in Iraq. If it would have been early and consistently applied against Iraq it would have worked. Obama just wants to run his drones and other half-measures.

Say what you want but Obama has allowed ISIS to florish. He has completed failed.

And for the life of me I don't understand why we didn't blow up the ISIS oil infrastructure to bits months ago. The CIA's Brennan says ISIS is still making millions. Idiotic not to blow it up. And screw the environment. It is Iraq.

J. Farmer said...

@exhelodrvr1:

"If you think that Hanson's writings are mostly about drawing parallels with ancient history, you haven't read much of his writings. Stop the bullshit."

Hanson's entire academic and professional career before 9/11 was on Ancient Greek and Latin. Read some of Hanson's bibliography: The Western Way of War: Infantry Battle in Classical Greece, The Soul of Battle: From Ancient Times to the Present Day, How Three Great Liberators Vanquished Tyranny, The Wars of the Ancient Greeks: And the Invention of Western Military Culture, Carnage and Culture: Landmark Battles in the Rise of Western Power, or The Savior Generals: How Five Great Commanders Saved Wars That Were Lost – From Ancient Greece to Iraq.

Gary Brecher (aka the War Nerd) provides a nice critique of Hanson in The American Conservative in an article titled, "It’s All Greek to Victor Davis Hanson," which you can read here.

holdfast said...

ISIS has a capital and an economy - let's blow them up instead of nibbling at them.

Obama did increase troop strength in Afghanistan for a while, but with no particular long-term plan, besides drawing them down in the near future (which is a fine goal, but you shouldn't announce the date to the enemy).

John McLame, Ultra-RINO, has apparently already walked back his statement.

J. Farmer said...

@David Begley:

How much of a "residual force" do you think Obama could have managed to leave in Iraq over the opposition of Iraq's Prime Minister and the majority of its parliament?

J. Farmer said...

@Holdfast:

"ISIS has a capital and an economy - let's blow them up instead of nibbling at them."

Why do you think the Syrian air force has been ineffective at destroying ISIS? What about the bombing campaigns the Turks, Saudis, Jordanians, and UAE have carried out?

Jack Wayne said...

McCain's weakness as displayed by his walk-back is exactly why he was not a good choice for President. Say what you will about Obama, he never apologizes, never surrenders. Of course, that is because he is so arrogant he doesn't recognize his mistakes and therefore never feels a moment of weakness.

narciso said...

he wasn't disposed to doing so, he and maliki, were both opposed to the iraq war, one from chicago, the other from his perch in syria, ironically though, when he got into the senate, one of his patrons, a certain prominent investor had an electricity concession in iraq, so he stayed away from defunding the troops, till that investor was nabbed for corruption,

chickelit said...

J Farmer wrote: Gary Brecher (aka the War Nerd) provides a nice critique of Hanson in The American Conservative in an article titled, "It’s All Greek to Victor Davis Hanson," which you can read here.

Your link goes nowhere. There is still time to fix it. But since we're talking about excoriating a real person's written record on war, what's yours, pal?

chickelit said...

@J. Farmer: I mean, you've got a great blog title: "War & Piece Daily" but you have zero posts.

Are you a sham?

n.n said...

The social justice movement, beginning with the so-called "Arab Spring", was a progressive humanitarian disaster. Libya didn't invite a brutal assassination of its government. Neither did Syria or Ukraine the Western-backed violence and coups in their nations. The Egyptians were more than a little disappointed by American backing of a nominally democratic takeover. Europeans are still reeling from the consequences of anti-native policies. Americans are disgusted with anti-native polices carried out in our nation. And it all began with an opportunistic withdrawal of honest brokers from Iraq after a long period of minority rule.

J. Farmer said...

@chickelit:

"I mean, you've got a great blog title: "War & Piece Daily" but you have zero posts.

Are you a sham?"


Uh, no, that was something I came up with 4 or 5 years ago when I first created my profile and never made any use of. How does that imply that I am a "sham?" When have I purported to be something I wasn't?

"But since we're talking about excoriating a real person's written record on war, what's yours, pal?"

So if I told you that I didn't like a certain film director's work, would you consider it a useful riposte to demand to see my own film work? I am not a professional writer nor have I ever claimed to be. I am, like pretty much everyone here, someone interested in the topic giving my opinion. If you disagree with my opinion, feel free to argue with me. I love a good argument. I don't really see how incessant attacks on my character or on me personally move the conversation any further along.

If my original link didn't work, you'll notice I also gave the author, the publication, and the article title. Very easily accessible on Google. Here is a new (hopefully functioning) link. If for whatever reason it doesn't work, here is the complete link:

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/its-all-greek-to-victor-davis-hanson/

Jonathan Graehl said...

Don't say it if you don't mean it. Conversely, if you meant it but think the criticism is because you were *misunderstood* on tone, DO NOT apologize for any part of what you said or how you said it. Come on. Haven't we learned anything?

J. Farmer said...

@n.n.:

"The social justice movement, beginning with the so-called "Arab Spring", was a progressive humanitarian disaster."

I certainly agree that the Arab Spring resulted mostly in disaster, though I am not sure modern political terminology like "social justice movement" or "progressive" makes much sense in the context of the uprisings that took place in North Africa and the Middle East.

What I always found so bizarre about the so called neoconservative movement within US foreign policy was how fundamentally unconservative it is. For me, the central insight of modern political conservatism is to be extremely wary of revolutionary movements. They tend to factionalize and turn violent rather quickly. The relative success of the American Revolutionary is one of the remarkable things about it. And even that republic ended up ripping itself apart into a civil war 60 years later; the bloodiest war the US has ever fought. One only has to look across the pond to the French to see how dangerous revolutionary movements can be. Anyone think the 1917 Russian revolution to depose the czar resulted in terrific outcomes for Russians?

Similarly, it was bizarre to see George W. Bush (someone who supposedly fancied himself a strict constitutionalist) make "democracy" such a cornerstone of his foreign policy. The founding fathers were terrific of democratic rule, and the Constitution was designed, in part, to help constrain and confound democratic impulses.

chickelit said...

@J. Farmer: Many thanks for posting the link to the Gary Brecher piece. I liked the conclusion:

Gary Brecher writes the War Nerd column for the eXile, a Moscow-based weekly newspaper.

J. Farmer said...

@chickelit:

"@J. Farmer: Many thanks for posting the link to the Gary Brecher piece. I liked the conclusion:"

That isn't the conclusion; it's the byline. I am guessing you know next to nothing about eXile's content or its editorial line. I am going to further guess you're unfamiliar with Brecher's writing on warfare more broadly.

So let's play a little thought experiment: imagine that Becker wrote for an English-language paper in, say, Munich. Would that change any of the arguments he makes in an actual essay?

William said...

This reminds me of the way liberals discuss Chicago and all the murders there. The problem is not that there are a lot of gangs whose members have violent impulses. No, the real problem is America's lax gun laws and the white people who support them. ......I remember reading about a suicide bomber in Iraq who blew himself up among a group of children. The children were doing something that was not in accordance with Islamic values or some such shit. How do you negotiate a rational peace with psychotic assholes. Maybe there's a reason they have leaders like Saddam, Assad, and Qaddafi........I note in passing that there are far more corpses and refugees now than when Obama took over. It's not entirely his fault, but he's part of the gestalt. You can't say he made things better.

Unknown said...

Obama has much to be blamed for, but the withdrawal from Iraq is not completely his fault. We can look to the Bush Administration withdrawal agreement and Iraqi intransigence on SOFA for that.

- CI

Paul Ciotti said...

As the British Foreign Service used to say, "Never complain, never explain and never apologize."

J. Farmer said...

@Unknown:

"Obama has much to be blamed for, but the withdrawal from Iraq is not completely his fault. We can look to the Bush Administration withdrawal agreement and Iraqi intransigence on SOFA for that."

I agree with this, but I think the issues are even more fundamental. Over the course of the 20th century, the planet has been divided into nearly 200 nation-states built on the idea of national self-determination. When these nation-states do not contain a coherent nation, they tend to be very weak and suffer sectarian violence. The only thing that tends to keep a lid on these tensions is an authoritarian strongman (e.g. Tito in Yugoslavia, Qadaffi in Libya, Hussein in Iraq, Assad in Syria, etc.). When the heads of these hydra are severed, they are often replaced by multifaceted tribal warfare.

J. Farmer said...

@Paul Ciotti:

"As the British Foreign Service used to say, "Never complain, never explain and never apologize."

And look how the British Empire ended up: on food stamps as an island dependency of the United States.

Unknown said...

@J. Farmer - Agreed; which actually begs the question [in hindsight] of the utility in removing Hussein in 2003. We enabled the installation of a quasi-strongman [Maliki], but he didn't play ball with us, and had the backing of the Iranians to give him cover.

- CI

Terry said...

Blogger J. Farmer said...
The founding fathers were terrific of democratic rule, and the Constitution was designed, in part, to help constrain and confound democratic impulses.


They were afraid of pure democracy, according to Federalist 10, because it would result in factionalism. The tendency to faction was a result of the natural inequality of men wrote Madison), and so there was no cure for it. Pure democracy would not result in a stable republic free of tyranny.

holdfast said...

Why do you think the Syrian air force has been ineffective at destroying ISIS? What about the bombing campaigns the Turks, Saudis, Jordanians, and UAE have carried out?

Those countries only have tactical aircraft. We have squadrons of B-1s and B-52s. Let's start using them and removing whole 1km grid squares at a time. Raqqa should be nothing but overlapping smoking craters. No warning, no mercy.

Unknown said...

John McCain is going to lose his Senate seat. He is desperate and so will say and do anything to save his seat. George W Bush has been holding fund raisers to help McCain and other embattled Republican Senators.

An Unlikely Savior Emerges to Help Endangered Republicans: George W. Bush http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/17/us/politics/george-w-bush-gop-fundraising.html

Unknown said...

The funniest Trumpkinism on Twitter today after latest polls:
"The Trumptanic is going down, while the Trumpkin Band plays on..."
That is seriously funny.

tim maguire said...

The only part that's wrong is the word "directly." Otherwise it's pretty much spot on. Unbelievable that McCain would release a statement like that and not be prepared for the outrage. Stupid Party, indeed.

tim in vermont said...

"The Trumptanic is going down, while the Trumpkin Band plays on..."
That is seriously funny.


Really? You find that "seriously funny"? Is it fresh? Is it original? Neither. Variations of that joke are as old as the tragedy.

What I think is not funny is that you support a woman who participated in the personal attacks on her husband's victims, victims of rape and sexual assault. That you support a woman who, in Arkansas took bribes from one if its largest polluters, who has repeatedly been caught in lies regarding her careless handling of classified information, who showed tremendously bad judgement in foreign policy and has been on of the primary authors of the European refugee crises. For these reasons Hillary can't get close to 50% against even Donald J. Trump.

rhhardin said...

NcCain has a very strong sense of personal honor.

It just attaches to completely random passing things, is all.

Curious George said...

It sounds like something Trump might say, but I don't think Trump would have backed down when there was criticism...That's why Trump doesn't retract at all. Everyone's going to be tempted to talk like Trump, but I don't see how you do it, stir up the excitement, and then put out an "I misspoke" statement that tries to say the same thing in a softer, gentler fashion. You'll just be pushed until to take it back altogether."

Shorter version:

Trump grabs crotch.
"retract this!"

Michael K said...

"Everything good we did there, was destroyed by al-Miliki, and McCain was propping him up until the end."

Maliki was our choice but I agree he was too influenced by Iran.

That said, he was never pressed to sign the SOF agreement. Had Obama wanted to have troops there, he would have agreed and the fake Iraqi "Parliament" would have gone along.

ISIS is a combination of Iraqi officers who operated from Syria all during our occupation of Iraq and Sunni fighters who were part of the "Awakening" and who were repelled by Maliki and the Shia government AFTER we left. We had won and should have done more about the "bitter enders" in Syria but they would not have metastasized the way they did without our abandonment. This is all Obama's fault.

Henry said...

McCain's phrasing is sloppy and excessive, but on a strategic level he is right. He proposed a long term presence in Iraq that the Obama camp rejected as warmongering. Obama has much to answer for.

David Begley said...

The State Department (!) complains about Obama's half measures in Syria. This is astounding. Imagine how bad things actually are for these people to publically do this.


"BEIRUT—Dozens of State Department officials this week protested against U.S. policy in Syria, signing an internal document that calls for targeted military strikes against the Damascus government and urging regime change as the only way to defeat Islamic State.

The “dissent channel cable” was signed by 51 State Department officers involved with advising on Syria policy in various capacities, according to an official familiar with the document. The Wall Street Journal reviewed a copy of the cable, which repeatedly calls for “targeted military strikes” against the Syrian government in light of the near-collapse of the ceasefire brokered earlier this year."

Terry said...

Blogger Michael K said...
This is all Obama's fault.


At Columbia, Obama majored in poli sci & foreign policy.

Big Mike said...

McCain left his personal courage behind when he left the Hanoi Hilton. If you're right, stand up for what you've said. If you're not right, then don't say it.

Rusty said...

Henry said...
McCain's phrasing is sloppy and excessive, but on a strategic level he is right. He proposed a long term presence in Iraq that the Obama camp rejected as warmongering. Obama has much to answer for.


And our children and grandchildren will pay the price.

tim maguire said...

David Begley said...The State Department (!) complains about Obama's half measures in Syria. This is astounding. Imagine how bad things actually are for these people to publically do this.

Probably trying to clear the slate for Hillary. You know, it's all Obama's fault.

MayBee said...

McCain had to walk back the 'personally responsible' part because of the freak out a few days ago when the press decided Trump said Obama had something to do personally with Orlando.

MayBee said...

The press will always rally around to cocoon Obama. Always have, always will.

MayBee said...

And then we can focus on that part of McCain's statement, rather than the fact that Obama stood with his General next to him and pretty much lied about the current strength of ISIS.

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

What a fool McCain is. Everyone knows Obama is never responsible for bad outcomes.

Matthew Sablan said...

No one ever had a problem with blaming Bush, personally, for the decisions of his administration, even when it was silly.

MayBee said...

People still call Bush a war criminal.

David Begley said...

Four million Syrians are displaced. That's twice the population of Nebraska.

William Chadwick said...

To "liberals," the 1990s--despite the Clinton Gang in the White House--must have been something of a downer. In the Cold War, they had spent decades being the Communists' Useful Idiots; but in the post-Cold War era of the 1990s, before we became conscious of an Islamist threat, they had not yet become the Useful Idiots for the Islamists. They must have felt lost with no one to be the Useful Idiot of.

Bruce Hayden said...

I am no fan of Assad in Syria, but the Administration totally screwed up the Arab Spring thing. Why was Qadaffi pushed out in Libya? We really didn't need regime change there - he had significantly pulled back from supporting Islamic terrorism after Bush/Cheney gave him the ultimatum of either mending his ways, or following in the footsteps of Afghanistan and Iraq. Yet, Obama/Hillary helped fund and supply the opposition there, and without a strongman at the helm, it is now a violent failed nation state. Egypt was no better - Obama/Hillary pushed Muberrick out and into the hands of the Muslim Brotherhood (the organization that Hillary confident Huma's parents helped lead), which was the spiritual parent of modern Islamic terrorism, spawning al Quaeda, etc. No surprise that their bloody rule was rejected a year later. So,, they figured that they did so well in Libya and Egypt, why not topple Assad while they were at it? With a little bit of arms, and some empty threats, they thought that they could finally clean up the middle east. Of course, the militants tended to be Sunnis, trying to oust the Alowite/Shiite Assad on sectarian grounds. And, they were, to some extent operating in the vacuum of Iraq's Anbar Province, after they so precipitously pulled our military completely out of Iraq before their military was fully trained up. They thought that they could keep all those arms we gave both to the "good" rebels (along with a lot of weapons we gave the Iraqis) from the "bad" rebels, who just happened to be much better trained (ex Iraqi military and al Quaeda militants). Good luck there. Oh, and they forgot where all those Iraqi chemical weapons went on the eve of our invasion of Iraq. So, yes, Obama/Hillary have a lot of the blood of the failed Syrian revolution on their hands.

grackle said...

Obama has much to be blamed for, but the withdrawal from Iraq is not completely his fault. We can look to the Bush Administration withdrawal agreement and Iraqi intransigence on SOFA for that."

There’s a pretense employed frequently by Obama-apologists. The pretense is that the Iraq government dictates Status of Forces Agreements(SOFA).

No, the SOFA’s are a dictate of the conquering nation – in this case the USA. Bush left the SOFA unfinished in anticipation that the new administration(Obama) would want their own.

I’m sure it never occurred to Bush that Obama would withdraw all occupying troops precipitously, abandoning a subdued Iraq to the tender ministrations of Iran and an Iran-dominated puppet government, leaving any Obama-scripted SOFA a moot point.

Reality is such a bitch.