Monday, April 4, 2016

Did Obama create ISIS?

Or ISIL, as the president calls it? Or Daesh, as John Kerry calls it? Or the Islamic State? Or . . . why can't we come up with a common name for this thing? Whatever.

The question remains, did President Obama (and by extension Hillary Clinton) create ISIS? You seem to hear that a lot these days. To which I would answer: Has everyone developed amnesia?

Here's a good piece from CNN that answers the question nicely, but I'd like to focus on the charge that Obama and Clinton:

...did preside over the withdrawal of all U.S. troops from Iraq at the end of 2011, a plan bequeathed to them by Bush.

Could the Obama administration have fought harder to retain a U.S. troop presence in Iraq? Possibly.

Would the Iraqi government have allowed such a presence? Not likely as the Iraq government was by the time of the U.S. withdrawal more aligned with Iran than with the United States.

Let's assume for the sake of argument, though, that President Obama could have left more troops in Iraq. Here's where the amnesia comes in. Does everyone forget how unpopular the war was by 2011? And that pretty much everyone (with the possible exception of perma-hawks John McCain and Lindsey Graham) thought we should get the hell out?

According to a Gallup poll, in October, 2011, fully 75 percent of those asked "approved" of President Obama's "decision to withdraw nearly all U. S. troops from Iraq."

Doesn't anyone remember how burnt out we all were after eight years of war?

Now, maybe it was a good decision, and maybe it wasn't, but let's not pretend it wasn't broadly popular -- and considered the right thing to do -- at the time.

No comments: