January 15, 2014 · http://warontherocks.com/2014/01/losing-iraq/ It was inevitable—not that the Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS, formerly al-Qaeda in Iraq) would eventually exploit the ever-deteriorating political situation to re-establish control over Fallujah and Ramadi, but that here in the U.S. the finger pointing and blame game over “who lost Iraq” would eventually begin. But, while the recent events in Anbar province might have triggered the finger pointing, both the security situation in Iraq and the political one in Washington are more complex than they might seem, and there’s plenty of blame to go around. Last weekend, conservatives adopted a “we told you so” attitude toward the Obama administration. Senators Lindsay Graham and John McCain laid recent events in Iraq squarely at the feet of the current president, blaming him for the unrest in the Middle East and the ongoing violence in Anbar. McCain’s office issued a press release, in which the Arizona senator claimed that “When President Obama withdrew all U.S. forces from Iraq in 2011…many of us predicted that the vacuum would be filled by America’s enemies and would emerge as a threat to U.S. national security interests.” Representative Duncan Hunter went so far as to say, “What this president did was abandon everything that we fought for because Iraq could not sustain itself without some American involvement.” If conservatives find President Obama an easy target to blame, he’s done nothing to make it harder for them. For years, he’s made no apology for his feelings on the Iraq War, and since 2011, has taken great pride in telling the American public, “I ended the war in Iraq.” Prior to that, as a state senator, he referred to Iraq as “a dumb war,” and as a presidential candidate said, “I will remove one or two brigades a month, and get all of our combat troops out of Iraq within 16 months.” So, is it the current president’s fault? While revisionist history might have us believe...
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