Category Archives: Iraq War

How Obama Lost the Middle East

The president put politics and ideology ahead of preserving hard-won gains in the region. 

by Victor Davis Hanson // National Review Online

In his first term, Barack Obama all but declared victory in America’s Middle East struggles.

As he precipitously pulled out all U.S. peacekeepers from Iraq, the president had his own “Mission Accomplished” moment when declaring the country “stable,” “self-reliant,” and an “extraordinary achievement.”

Those claims echoed Vice President Joe Biden’s earlier boast that Iraq somehow would prove Obama’s “greatest achievement.”

After the death of Osama bin Laden, and during Obama’s reelection campaign, the president also proclaimed that al-Qaeda was a spent force and “on the run.”

But what exactly was the new Obama strategy that supposedly had all but achieved a victory in the larger War on Terror amid Middle East hostility?

Fuzzy euphemisms replaced supposedly hurtful terms such as “terrorism,” “jihadist,” and “Islamist.” The administration gave well-meaning speeches exaggerating Islamic achievement while citing past American culpability.

We tilted toward Turkey and the Palestinians while sternly lecturing Israel. Military victory was caricatured as an obsolete concept. Leading from behind was a clever substitute.

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America’s Middle East Dilemma

Toppling tyrants is ineffective in the long term without years of unpopular occupation.

by Victor Davis Hanson // National Review Online

War Was Interested in Obama

by Victor Davis Hanson // PJMedia 

obama_trotsky_6-15-14-1

Photo by EdDriscoll.com via PJMedia

Leon Trotsky probably did not quite write the legendary aphorism that “you may not be interested in war, but war is interested in you.” But whoever did, you get the point that no nation can always pick and choose when it wishes to be left alone.

Barack Obama, however, never quite realized that truth, and so just declared [1] that “the world is less violent than it has ever been.” He must have meant less violent in the sense that the bad guys are winning and as they do, the violence wanes — sort of like Europe around March 1941, when all was relatively quiet under the new continental Reich.

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Obama Quits Afghanistan

Bringing Bergdahl home was useful for closing Gitmo and winding down the war.

by Victor Davis Hanson // National Review Online

The Progressive Gitmo Myth

by Bruce Thornton// FrontPage Magazine

Photo of Amnesty International Protest via FrontPage Magazine

Photo of Amnesty International Protest via FrontPage Magazine

The swap of probable deserter Bowe Bergdahl for 5 “high-risk” Guantánamo detainees is about more than political public relations. By releasing some of the worst murderers, this deal prepares the ground for Obama’s long-term goal of shutting down the Guantánamo Bay detention facility and releasing the remaining detainees. According to Britain’s Daily Mail, a senior Pentagon official claims Obama nixed plans to rescue Bergdahl because “the president wanted a diplomatic scenario that would establish a precedent for repatriating detainees from Gitmo.”  Given that on his second day in office Obama issued an executive order shutting Gitmo down, and as recently as this year’s State of the Union speech repeated this pledge, his failure to do so has aroused serial complaints from his progressive base. With his reelection behind him, Obama may now think he can fulfill this promise, no matter the danger to our efforts to protect ourselves against terrorism.

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America Is Intervened Out

Our security interests have changed, along with out sense that we can make a difference.

by Victor Davis Hanson // National Review Online 

Photo Credit: Spc. Alexander Naylor, US Army via Flickr

A PFC pulls security during a senior leader engagement with Afghan National Police in Bagram, Parwan province, Afghanistan, Sept. 7, 2013.

n the immediate future, I do not think the United States will be intervening abroad on the ground — not in the Middle East or, for that matter, many places in other parts of the world. The reason is not just a new Republican isolationism, or the strange but growing alliance between left-wing pacifists and right-wing libertarians.

Some of the new reluctance to intervene abroad is due to disillusionment with Iraq and Afghanistan, at least in the sense that the means — a terrible cost of American blood and treasure — do not seem yet to be justified by the ends of the current Maliki and Karzai governments. Few Americans are patient enough to hear arguments that a residual force in Iraq would have preserved our victory there, or that Afghanistan need not revert to the Taliban next year. Their attitude to the Obama administration’s unfortunate abdication of both theaters is mostly, “I am unhappy that we look weak getting out, but nonetheless happier that we are getting out.” Read more →

Iraq–Agony, Ordeal, and Recovery

by Victor Davis Hanson

PJ Media

I. The Case for Invasion

Wise

The Bush administration built a broad domestic coalition and an adequate foreign alliance (more inclusive than the UN-sanctioned effort against North Korea in 1950). Read more →

The First-Person Presidency

by Victor Davis Hanson

National Review Online

Here are a few excerpts from President Obama’s speech on Sunday night about the killing of Osama bin Laden. Read more →

Bin Laden Is Dead, But Our Delusions Live On

by Bruce S. Thornton

Advancing a Free Society

The death of Osama bin Laden has some symbolic value, particularly for the United States. A great power exercises influence not just through its military and economic assets, but through its prestige. Read more →

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