Iraq Withdrawal

We’re daily seeing newspaper articles about how Obama is winding down the American occupation of Iraq.  The political slant of the medium determines whether this is presented as Obama finally honoring his campaign promise or whether he’s squandering the glorious victory for which we paid so highly in blood and treasure.

What at best gets briefly alluded to by both left and right but is usually totally ignored is the fact that Obama is simply honoring the commitment made by his predecessor, George W. Bush, in the Iraq Status of Forces agreement signed and ratified in 2008, before Obama took office.  So now that we are reminded of that, shouldn’t the right be damning Bush for this precipitous withdrawal and the left praising him for coming to his senses after five years of senseless bloodshed?

Well not exactly.  It’s pretty clear that W. got himself backed into a corner and had to sign the damn agreement but that his master plan was for the American public to unify itself behind him and by acclamation extend the duration of his Presidency until the War on Terror had been satisfactorily concluded or Hell Froze Over, whichever occurred first.  And during this extended Presidency, he could use executive privilege to nullify any disagreeable portions of the SOFA, most especially the part saying all troops would be withdrawn by the end of 2011.  Certainly many others with inside knowledge have written that the Pentagon had every expectation that Something would be done to permit American troops to remain indefinitely in Iraq, as God and General Petraeus intended.

But Something Happened and Obama ended up President … and is being pilloried by the right for honoring Bush’s agreement.  Do we live in interesting times, or what?  To give credit where it is due, i must mention that this issue was brought to my attention in an article last week that was picked up in Some Assembly Required.

Noe below 20thNoe Street below 2oth



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