FADED CELEBRITY IN CHIEF BARRY O IS STILL DEALING WITH FALL OUT FROM HIS WEEKEND CLAIM THAT HE WASN'T RESPONSIBLE FOR U.S. TROOPS LEAVING IRAQ.
AS THE RUMBLE GROWS, BARRY O'S FOLLOWERS -- ALL THREE OF THEM -- TOLD THESE REPORTERS, "NOTHING THE O DOES IS HIS FAULT -- WHETHER HE DOES IT OR NOT. THE O IS JUST THE O."
A MORE REALISTIC APPROACH NOTED:
But when he was pressed at a press conference on why U.S. troops were not already in Iraq and, by implication, why the United States had stood back as the situation deteriorated, the President economized with the truth. He insisted that it was "not my decision" to withdraw troops.
Yet he ran for office on quitting Iraq in 2008, then celebrated having done so in 2012, even as -- as Patrick Brennan argues in National Review -- Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki was prepared to negotiate on maintaining a U.S. presence. "Maliki was willing to accept a deal with U.S. forces if it was worth it to him — the problem was that the Obama administration wanted a small force so that it could say it had ended the war," he writes. "Having a very small American force wasn't worth the domestic political price Maliki would have to pay for supporting their presence."
In short, Obama's claim that withdrawal from Iraq was forced upon him is hard to believe. He was elected and re-elected as the anti-Iraq war president (it's why he deserves some credit for having the courage to return to the country today).
FROM THE TCI WIRE:
We will note this:
Having said all that, if in fact the Iraqi government behaved the way it did over the last five, six years, where it failed to pass legislation that would reincorporate Sunnis and give them a sense of ownership; if it had targeted certain Sunni leaders and jailed them; if it had alienated some of the Sunni tribes that we had brought back in during the so-called Awakening that helped us turn the tide in 2006 -- if they had done all those things and we had had troops there, the country wouldn’t be holding together either. The only difference would be we’d have a bunch of troops on the ground that would be vulnerable. And however many troops we had, we would have to now be reinforcing, I’d have to be protecting them, and we’d have a much bigger job. And probably, we would end up having to go up again in terms of the number of grounds troops to make sure that those forces were not vulnerable.
That qualifies as truth. Nouri has caused the problems and done so over many, many years. It's a reality many need to face. In those remarks, some note the frustration Barack had with Nouri al-Maliki but few are noting the reality in the remarks. I'm especially surprised that Barack's usual supporters are not running with those remarks. They go a long way towards explaining how the crises emerged in the first place.
By the way, I'm being accused of being a Barack groupie due to yesterday's snapshot. Six years of calling him out, mocking him, etc and I give him a few words of praise -- praise that he earned -- and I'm a Barack groupie?
I'm more sympathetic to those who feel I was 'happy talking' yesterday.
I'm sure I was. Nouri has destroyed Iraq.
In addition to the many things we noted yesterday, I also feel he ordered the assassination of journalist Hadi al-Mahdi.
I believe this was a huge moment for Iraq.
Dan Friedman and Corky Siemaszko (New York Daily News) refer to Nouri as "Iraq's power-hungry prime minister." That's a rather nice way of putting it.
I think Nouri set a tone with his violence and his violent language. The videos of the Sunni suspects being burned alive by Iraqi military officers reflected to me not some 'evil' in the heart of a segment of Iraqis but the clear influence of years and years of Nouri demonizing Sunnis and other groups in Iraq.
So, yes, I was upbeat and thrilled for the Iraqi people.
I will gladly confess to being upbeat.
Let's move on. Hillary Clinton is many things -- former First Lady, former US Senator, former Secretary of State, etc. What she was when she sat down with Jeffrey Goldberg for a piece in The Atlantic?
Deeply, deeply stupid.
We're not the Gaza snapshot, we're not covering that aspect here. Others can grab it.
We focus on Iraq and sometimes on campaigns.
Hillary, a tip, as an elderly woman -- and putting blond coloring in your gray hair doesn't make you any less elderly -- you really shouldn't be calling yourself "old fashioned." Though it does make clear that a woman can be anything -- even an old coot -- it really doesn't help your own self image.
Outside of that, we're focusing on Iraq.
In a never-ending, mind numbing interview Hillary mentions Iraq.
For example, here:
We have our hands full in Syria and Iraq, just to name two places, maybe increasingly in Lebanon, and who knows what’s going to happen with us and Hamas.
Speaking of Egypt:
I think we’ve learned about the limits of our power to spread freedom and democracy. That’s one of the big lessons out of Iraq. But we’ve also learned about the importance of our power, our influence, and our values appropriately deployed and explained.
Then she insists:
I don’t think it was stupid for the United States to do everything we could to remove Qaddafi because that came from the bottom up. That was people asking us to help. It was stupid to do what we did in Iraq and to have no plan about what to do after we did it. That was really stupid. I don’t think you can quickly jump to conclusions about what falls into the stupid and non-stupid categories. That’s what I’m arguing.
And that's it.
She's a deeply stupid woman.
Iraq has been a major issue for weeks now and Hillary's gabbing in a foreign policy interview.
Someone so out of touch maybe shouldn't be slamming Barack?
I have no problem with criticism of any US president or, in Bully Boy Bush's case, Oval Office Occupant -- whether they're still in office or have left. I have a problem with stupid criticism.
If Hillary had just stuck her tongue out at US President Barack Obama, she would have shown more wisdom.
Her attempt to link events in Syria and Iraq is stupid and we'll go into that shortly.
But Hillary gabs where she wants you to look. With her, it's the topics she doesn't bring up that tell the story because she knows her own failings.
Where was her leadership on Iraq?
In 2008, she called Nouri a "thug" and noted he was a threat to the Iraqi people. In 2010, when Nouri al-Maliki lost the elections to Iraqiya, where was Hillary?
Where was she?
When did she lead -- from behind, beneath, above, below, upside down . . . ?
She avoids Iraq for that reason.
While not leading, she did resist. Specifically, she resisted a court order to re-evaluate the status of the MEK. During her husband Bill's presidency, this group of Iranian dissidents were placed on a terrorist list.
As Secretary of State, she was ordered to re-evaluate that.
The court had to remind her of her duty.
Then, when she did act, she 'ruled' not based on potential threat but based on whether the group in Iraq would move from Camp Ashraf to Camp Hurriyah.
I don't believe the Ashraf community can be labeled terrorists.
But I also don't believe you look at a group -- most of whose members are outside of Iraq -- and make the determination of terrorist or not by how quickly dissidents in Iraq move from one camp to another.
I could go into more detail but I just think, unless she's going to be serving up some personal confessions, now really isn't the time for Hillary to try to cast herself as the foreign policy expert and Barack as the great dunce.
RECOMMENDED: "Iraq snapshot"
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