One of the things I hate most about all political movements is that most “believers” on either the right or left side of the “aisle,” think that they have to swallow the Kool-Aid and take the entire menu. This is true whether it’s the menu at Fox News or cuisine at MSNBC, both of which play to the extremes and overly simplify issues to appeal to their markets. Not everything in life is black or white – no pun intended with the current president, Barack Obama. In fact, he was born both, no matter which country, Kenya or the United States, can claim him as its own.
In recent columns, I have excoriated Obama for his latent, if not blatant pro-radical Muslim tilt, his anti-Semitism toward Jews as exhibited in his anti-Israel policies and his disgraceful cancellation of the White House’s celebration of the National Day of Prayer in favor of feting Ramadan and then endorsing the building of a mosque at Ground Zero, to name just a few relevant outrages.
But not all Obama has done recently is off-base. His decision to pull combat troops out of Iraq makes a lot of sense, particularly after eight years of a senseless and costly war which not only accomplished nothing, but was instead destructive and counterproductive. In fact, we should pull out entirely from Iraq and remove the remaining 50,000 U.S. non-combat troops as well. Let me tell you why I agree with Obama.
While I was chairman of Judicial Watch, in March 2001 – nearly six months before Sept. 11 – we uncovered Energy Department documents in response to our lawsuits concerning the Cheney Energy Task Force, which showed that American oil companies, along with the Bush administration, were dividing up petroleum interests in Iraq in anticipation of an eventual U.S. invasion. These oil wells at the time were leased and operated primarily by European petroleum producers.
Later, after 9/11, when President Bush and his cronies, like Vice President Dick Cheney and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, decided to attack Iraq, the pretext was that Saddam Hussein was harboring weapons of mass destruction. This indeed may have been the case, and I have never discounted the likelihood that Saddam may have had time to move them out of the country into Syria, given the administration’s dithering military planning, which delayed the invasion only after it became clear that the United Nations would not go along with it – after many months of useless American “diplomacy.”
Whether or not Iraq housed weapons of mass destruction, once Bush learned that it did not, he did not order a withdrawal of American troops, as he should have. Instead, contrary to his stated international policy during the 2000 presidential debates, Bush and company embarked upon a newly proclaimed “mission” (never “accomplished”), at so-called nation building; that is, he wanted to turn a radical Arab country that had never known democracy into “democrats.” In effect, the president wanted to convert a rabid Islamic dog into a docile Christian cat, not because he was a great believer in democracy in Iraq – which any sane person could have understood would never happen given the centuries-old cultural differences – but to have a pretext to continue to control this oil-rich nation and have a forward American military base in the heart of the Middle East after we were literally thrown out of Saudi Arabia, a supposed friend in the Arab world.
Now, predictably, after eight years of war, over 4,000 brave American soldiers dead, over 35,000 wounded, not to mention the cost in terms of hard-earned taxpayers dollars, Bush and company only succeeded in creating a phony democracy in Iraq, run by radical Shiites – many of whom were and remain terrorists – loyal to the mullahs in Iran, not the United States. In practice, we have “legitimized” the terrorists, who are now “legally” in control of Iraq.
By contrast, all the while Bush – and now Obama – allowed the cancer in neighboring Iran to grow, such that it now has weapons of mass destruction that threaten us all. So let me get it straight: We invade Iraq to find and destroy weapons of mass destruction and do not succeed, but we now have allowed an even more radical regime to develop them. Great American diplomacy and military genius, guys and gals!
Whatever Obama’s intentions – and I have to question them given his other international policies – he is right to pull our combat troops out of Iraq. Our military is spread thin, and there is not a shred of hope that true democracy has taken hold there. It was always inevitable that civil war would break out once we left; why wait for the inevitable. Iraqi Arabs do not know or want democracy; the various factions hate each other and will not allow for a central government. Indeed, six months after the last parliamentary elections, the various political parties still have not forged a government.
So, while I am loathe to admit it, Obama and his socialist comrades, including Czarina Hillary Clinton, our felonious secretary of state, are right about this one. Not one more American life should be shed to perpetuate a phony democracy that has only legitimized terrorists and others. And, to make matters worse, we have never benefited from Iraq’s oil, nor demanded that its petroleum revenues be used to pay for the war effort. So why stay there?
I would like to conclude today by saying “live and learn.” But with so many brave Americans needlessly dead and wounded, I sadly cannot.