July 21st, 2018


Iraq: The closest Obama's been to being right --- until now

Ron Hart

By Ron Hart

Published Sept. 17, 2014

Iraq: The closest Obama's been to being right --- until now

President Obama has not been particularly engaged in Iraq. He concluded that he is so likable that people in the media heap massive kudos on him for anything he does. Why shouldn’t terrorists?

Instead, Obama has focused his considerable community-organizing skills on domestic issues, like wealth redistribution and fanning racial fires. With the one-sided way he handled the Ferguson, Mo., flare-up, he turned our Midwest into his own Middle East.

So he blamed Bush and put Iraq on the “honor system,” then moved on to fight fake domestic “wars,” like the “war on women,” “war on black men” and “war on the middle class.” It’s easier to say you “won” fake wars. The only casualty is the truth.

Obama helped recruit terrorists by going to great lengths to expose post-9/11 water boarding by the Bush administration CIA. One could argue that was wrong or, as I view it, just a targeted Ice Bucket Challenge ahead of its time.

But when the New York Times jumped on Obama for playing golf minutes after his speech on ISIS beheading an American journalist, he acted “engaged” in foreign affairs. Bill Clinton would not have left an important speech to join a foursome – a threesome, maybe.

Obama believed, as I do, that our involvement just creates more problems than it solves. There is not yet a galvanized Islamic army capable of invading America that we couldn’t demolish in days. We don’t do guerrilla wars well (witness Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan), so let’s not start another.

Terrorists do things, like beheadings, just to make us legitimize them by reacting. Their goal is to drag us in a conflict so as to validate them.

The president’s involvement in Iraq pits two very persuasive debaters against each other: Candidate Obama versus President Obama. Candidate Obama was elected by promising to get us out of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. That resonated with me and with other non-neocons. But politicians need to meet an increasingly substantial burden of proof before we embark on war again.

His ample ego hurt by the public beheadings, Obama has turned from Gandhi into the sheriff from "Blazing Saddles." With the midterms coming, Obama’s focus-group-driven presidency feels confident he can bolster Democrats at the polls by bombing Syria. Currently, 62 percent of voters support airstrikes, yet 70 percent see low odds of such strikes succeeding.

I suggest that Obama apply his domestic policy and destroy ISIS by designing their website or regulating them so much that they do an inversion to flee the country. In fact, Obama, the self-proclaimed beloved world leader who pushed the “reset button” with our allies, now has an iffy dozen or so countries in his coalition of the unwitting. Bush had 38 in his media-dubbed “go-it-alone” war.

Obama’s reservoir of goodwill has been drained by feckless results. He cannot lead now. He can’t even get his media sycophants to use his term “ISIL” instead of “ISIS.” Much like the arrogant way he says Pakistan ("pok-ee-stahn") and Taliban ("Tally-bahn"), he would rather seem smart than be smart. He comes off like an ISIL.

“ISIL” is the name ISIS prefers, as “Levant” evokes grander ambitions and includes Cypress, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, south Turkey and Syria. It also helps our military intelligence commanders with their geography, as we are less likely to invade the wrong country this time.

Iraq and the Middle East will take care of themselves. Let those crazies kill each other. A smiling Saddam Hussein on a billboard should say “Miss Me Yet?” Iraq needs a secular bouncer again, not well-intentioned Americans. We destabilized Iraq. How will this time be different?

Re-engaging in a war where we lose thousands more soldiers and countless limbs for a country that won’t defend itself is folly. We gave the Iraqis a chance. They cowered and ran.

Obama now expects the Free Syrian Army, a nefarious group he belittled just weeks ago as “farmers and pharmacists,” to fight ISIS for us. And if you don’t yet know who the Free Syrian Army is, it consists of folks who will have our weapons and whom we will be fighting in a few years under President Hillary Clinton.

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JWR contributor Ron Hart attended University of Memphis and the Institute for Political and Economic Systems at Georgetown University. He graduated Magna Cum Laude. Upon receiving his MBA, he went to work for Goldman Sachs. He was appointed to the Tennessee Board of Regents by then Governor Lamar Alexander and is now a private investor. He appears on CNN and has been quoted in numerous publications, including the Wall Street Journal.