Saturday, September 01, 2012

Revising History

CBS Evening News did a segment last night on President Obama speaking to "the troops" at Fort Dix on the eve of the final departure of our armed forces from Iraq, which they referred to as “one of his major foreign policy triumphs.” I had a profound sense that I was looking at an Obama campaign piece rather than a news item.

In 2008, as one of his last acts in office, George W. Bush signed an agreement with Nouri al-Maliki setting a timetable for the full and complete withdrawal of our forces from Iraq. Democrats were outraged, and some Republicans, claiming that he was unreasonably committing his successor to a course of action and that such commitments were not supposed to be made by outgoing presidents.

For the first two years of his presidency, Barack Obama tried every measure he could think of to abrogate the agreement signed by Bush, and to extend the presence of our armed forces in Iraq past the timetable which had been agreed upon between the two nations. He was not able to do so, which would seem to me to be a foreign policy failure.

But now, by some Orwellian transformation, it was Obama who "ended the war in Iraq," and the final complete withdrawal of armed forces on the schedule set by George W. Bush, over Obama’s objections, is a “major foreign policy triumph” for Barack Obama.

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