In order to be objective, you have to be able to admit when the other side was right. I hate to say that former President George W. Bush was right. It is an understatement to say that I am not a fan… but in retrospect he clearly was correct in his 2007 speech where he categorically and “prophetically” listed what would happen if the U.S. left Iraq too soon. https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=1541262019421991&set=vb.1413426908872170&type=2&theater
Also in an effort to be objective, unlike a lot of my progressive friends, I occasionally watch “The Kelly File” on the Fox Network, even though that network has their lips surgically attached to the rear end of the Republican Party. Yesterday evening (9/4/14) she did a very good job of showcasing this speech given by former President Bush.
The speech was given in the middle of the big military troop “surge” that he authorized, and that many Democrat and liberal pundits castigated, claiming it would not work. But if you will recall, it worked very well at the time to stabilize the area and shut down the violent extremist factional uprisings that were growing out of control prior to the surge.
In Bush’s speech, he specifically warned that if we pulled out of Iraq too soon, it would result in complete takeover of the region by “Al Qaeda in Iraq”, which is exactly what our intelligence officials are reporting that ISIS (“Islamic State in Iraq and Syria”) is comprised of, just much better funded and organized than before…They are Al Qaeda members of a much more violent breed with the same Al Qaeda terrorist agenda, the same Al Qaeda bumper stickers on their Nissan pickups, etc.
Bush specifically warned in the speech that if we left Iraq too soon, it would result in large scale mass killings…and we are seeing mass killings on a horrifying scale by ISIS, not to mention the beheadings of at least 2 American journalists now. We are seeing unbelievable large scale mass killings of innocent men, women and children, including “crucifixions” of all things, by ISIS toward anyone who isn’t a member of their specific “strain” of Islam and “Sunni” dogma.
Literally, there are reports of people being stopped on the streets routinely now by members of ISIS at vehicle checkpoints, pulled from their vehicles, and forced to engage in a sort of “Islam Jeopardy” in which they are asked doctrinal questions (“I’ll take 72 virgins for 100 Alex”) and if they answer correctly based on ISIS’ very narrow dogmatic interpretations of the Koran, the prize is simply that they get to keep their head attached to their bodies. If you are found to be a Shiite, you don’t even get to play, it’s over for you with no consolation prize.
President Bush specifically warned in his 2007 speech that pulling out of Iraq too soon would also result in a new safe haven for Al Qaeda operations. He said that it would result in the region being totally taken over by Al Qaeda, as a result of their having been driven out of their safe haven in Afghanistan.
This is exactly what is currently happening in Iraq. Military commanders advised President OBama that it was too soon to completely pull out of Iraq and that they needed at least 24,000 troops to remain to continue training the Iraq military and maintain order. But President OBama was more concerned about fulfilling his campaign promise to his Democratic supporters to end the war entirely, and bring all the troops home.
Hindsight is 20/20 as they say…But in this case, I hate to admit, President Bush’s FORESIGHT was 20/20 as well. Ever since ISIS has reared its sick, ugly head in that region, I have felt this constant nagging feeling that we left too early and we must go back and finish the job, even though it is not popular with the party I am currently registered with as a Democrat. That said, I too share OBama’s disgust at the thought of another one of our soldiers losing life or limb in that glorified sandbox.
But here’s the bottom line…if you BREAK it, you BOUGHT it. We broke Iraq when we went in like we did, right or wrong at the time, and ousted Saddam Hussein. That was like taking a stick and smacking not just one, but a thousand hornet nests. And no matter how long it takes, no matter how unpopular it is, you have to deal with cleaning up ALL the angry hornets.
Specifically, this means BEFORE YOU LEAVE, you have to do the LONG HAUL dirty work and due diligence that the military experts tell you is necessary to prevent the “hornets” from rebuilding a foothold for their nests again…Especially when the intelligence on ISIS is that they are loudly and admittedly currently recruiting and training hornets…I mean terrorists… to attack our homeland and Europe. And besides, we can’t just stand by idly after not just one but two of our American journalists have their heads sawed off by these sick excuses for human beings.
This is a no brainer – Democrat or Republican – you know this requires an exterminator…We can’t get by with a cheap “bug bomb” or can of “Raid” in eradicating ISIS in the region. Air bombing alone is not going to accomplish addressing this serious threat.
We are going to have to bring a large number of troops back to Iraq in order to re-stabilize the region, defeat ISIS decisively, and protect further genocide until our military commanders are convinced that we truly have “FIXED” what we “BROKE”, and until the Iraqi Army is well enough trained and equipped to stand up to any future ISIS-like threats.
Yes that could take a long time. But we broke it, so we have to fix it.
In President Bush’s speech, he also specifically warned that leaving Iraq too soon would increase the probability that American troops would have to return at a later date to confront an enemy that was “even more dangerous”. That is exactly what is happening right now on the ground in Iraq with ISIS.
Our military commanders told President OBama before we pulled out, that the Iraqi army was nowhere near prepared for us to fully withdraw, and he still decided to do so. This was a big mistake. And it is a mistake more and more Americans from both major political parties are beginning to realize must be rectified due to the extreme new level of terrorist atrocities ISIS is rapidly engaging in and actively recruiting for worldwide.
Hopefully, we can find a coalition of several of our allies to join us this time, so that it doesn’t have to be a solo, unilateral effort on our part again. After all, this very sick, Muslim jihadist threat affects a lot of other countries besides just the United States. But time is of the essence, and the President cannot afford to continue to seem somewhat detached from this realization, as he did in a recent speech where he said we “currently don’t have a strategy for dealing with ISIS”. (http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/04/world/middleeast/steven-sotloff-isis-execution.html?_r=0)
I would pose to the President that the “strategy” should be very simple: ISIS must be defeated, and we are the ones to lead that mission, since we broke Iraq to begin with.
Yes, I know it was a mistake for us to have invaded Iraq to begin with, as the “real war” we needed to address at that time after 9/11 was Afghanistan. But we invaded Iraq and we broke it, and now just as former President Bush warned, Al Qaeda is finding a safe haven there in our “early absence” and creating THEIR OWN STATE, in the void of our troops departure. It is clear the job was FAR from finished when we pulled out completely, and we owe it to the desperate, besieged and terrorized moderate majority of Iraq’s people to go back and finish the rebuilding of what we broke. (Besides, I don’t really think most of them are even “Jeopardy” fans…if anything, maybe “Wheel of Fortune” fans)
President Obama, you need to hold a press conference this week and announce to the world that we do have a”strategy” now, and it is simple: “ISIS’ days are numbered. And that number is very small.”