President Obama has had almost nothing to do with what’s gone on in Iraq. He didn’t start the war. He didn’t botch it just about as badly as any president possibly could have. He didn’t even sign the SOFA agreement with the Iraqi government signaling the date all American troops had to be out of Iraq.
All President Obama did was ensure that we did exactly what Bush promised the Iraqi government we would do; leave Iraq by the end of 2011.
But that didn’t stop Mitt Romney (appearing alongside his former VP candidate Paul Ryan) from going on Fox News’ The Kelly File and blaming President Obama for Bush’s mistake.
Romney said, “I believe the president has made extraordinary errors with regards to the Middle East that contribute to the growth of ISIS and the danger that it represents to us and to the world. And one of those things was not putting in place a status of forces agreement that would allow us to have troops in Iraq. The president has a foreign policy which has failed once again. He underestimated the extent of the threat of terror in the world and specifically ISIS, and as a result now we find ourselves facing a very severe and horrific series of scenes on the world stage.”
As I said before, we had a status of forces agreement (SOFA) signed by Bush.
Not only that, you don’t unilaterally “put in place” a SOFA agreement. Hence the word “agreement.” President Obama couldn’t just go to the Iraqi government and say, “Look, we’re sending our troops back into Iraq whether you want them there or not.”
The Iraqis wanted us out and Bush obliged when he signed the original agreement.
So, what would Mitt Romney have us do? Judging by these comments he would have already sent ground troops back into Iraq. Which is something the vast majority of Americans opposed, and President Obama is trying desperately to avoid.
See, that’s how a president should act. War should be a measure of last resort and avoided at all costs. Only if it’s absolutely necessary, after all other options have been exhausted, then it should be considered.
Republicans tend to talk about war like it’s some kind of a game.
And we might very well end up having to send troops back into Iraq.
But trying to blame President Obama for the mess currently going on in Iraq is absurd. The reason why Iraq is such a mess now is because Bush destabilized it, had no idea how to rebuild it, then signed an agreement that pulled our troops out probably much sooner than they should have been. Now to be 100% fair and accurate, President Obama did portray our troops coming home from Iraq as a fulfillment of one of his campaign promises. But that doesn’t change the fact that the Bush administration negotiated the SOFA agreement with Iraqi prime minister Nuri al-Maliki which set the deadline for all of our troops to leave Iraq.
And even 5+ years later, President Obama is still having to fix many of the messes still lingering that were caused by Bush’s incompetence.
Watch the interview below via Fox News: