Barack Obama missed his calling. He should have been a stand-up comic. At last night’s White House Correspondent’s Dinner, Obama was apparently great. Excellent timing; funny jokes.
In the meantime, Obama’s Iraq policy was playing itself out in Baghdad. Supporters of radical cleric Moqtada al-Sadr were storming the Iraqi parliament and attacking a senior legislator. Some have called it a freedom agenda.
The Obama administration had not wanted an unstable government. It had not wanted ISIS to control large swaths of the nation, including the city of Mosul. Now it is praying that the country does not disintegrate completely before the next administration arrives… to take the blame.
It’s one of those moments when we can recall the president’s stirring words at Fort Bragg in December, 2011. At that time and in that place Barack Obama declared the Iraq war over. He declared that we had won… and that since Iraq was stable we could withdraw.
So, here, without further commentary is Obama’s comedy routine from 2011:
Today, I’ve come to speak to you about the end of the war in Iraq. Over the last few months, the final work of leaving Iraq has been done. Dozens of bases with American names that housed thousands of American troops have been closed down or turned over to the Iraqis. Thousands of tons of equipment have been packed up and shipped out. Tomorrow, the colors of United States Forces-Iraq -- the colors you fought under -- will be formally cased in a ceremony in Baghdad. Then they’ll begin their journey across an ocean, back home.
Over the last three years, nearly 150,000 U.S. troops have left Iraq. And over the next few days, a small group of American soldiers will begin the final march out of that country. Some of them are on their way back to Fort Bragg. As General Helmick said, “They know that the last tactical road march out of Iraq will be a symbol, and they’re going to be a part of history.”
As your Commander-in-Chief, I can tell you that it will indeed be a part of history. Those last American troops will move south on desert sands, and then they will cross the border out of Iraq with their heads held high. One of the most extraordinary chapters in the history of the American military will come to an end. Iraq’s future will be in the hands of its people. America’s war in Iraq will be over.
Obama did what the American left has always wanted to do. To declare victory and to go home. Others will call it a defeat, but not Obama. He declared it a success. He had to say it, because otherwise how could he justify pulling out:
It’s harder to end a war than begin one. Indeed, everything that American troops have done in Iraq -– all the fighting and all the dying, the bleeding and the building, and the training and the partnering -– all of it has led to this moment of success. Now, Iraq is not a perfect place. It has many challenges ahead. But we’re leaving behind a sovereign, stable and self-reliant Iraq, with a representative government that was elected by its people. We’re building a new partnership between our nations. And we are ending a war not with a final battle, but with a final march toward home.
This is an extraordinary achievement, nearly nine years in the making. And today, we remember everything that you did to make it possible.
How about that: sovereign, stable, self-reliant. Hmmm. Obama might have a great sense of humor but his political and foreign policy judgment has been catastrophic.