This is how Mitt Romney responded to today’s announcement by President Obama that all U.S. troops — except those needed to guard the U.S. embassy — would be brought home by the end of this year:
“President Obama’s astonishing failure to secure an orderly transition in Iraq has unnecessarily put at risk the victories that were won through the blood and sacrifice of thousands of American men and women. The unavoidable question is whether this decision is the result of a naked political calculation or simply sheer ineptitude in negotiations with the Iraqi government. The American people deserve to hear the recommendations that were made by our military commanders in Iraq.”
It is hard to describe the utter foolishness of that remark.
The current agreement requiring the United States to leave Iraq by the end of the year was negotiated and signed by President Bush in 2008. Bush pushed hard to get a long-term extension, but in the end he failed because the Iraqi Parliament simply isn’t willing to vote in favor of letting our troops remain.
They want us gone. Our presence is a humiliation to them and a signal that they remain a client state. Any Iraqi politician who votes in favor of keeping U.S. forces on Iraqi soil commits an unpatriotic act in the eyes of most of his people, and probably doesn’t do a lot for his expected lifespan either.
Given that reality, Obama faced two options:
1.) Leave by the end of the year, as had been negotiated with Iraqi leaders by President Bush in 2008.
2.) Stay in Iraq in violation of that agreement and in violation of international law, confirming to the world that our true intent in invading had been to conquer and occupy.
So which option would a President Romney chose? I’d really like to know.
(BTW, an Obama campaign spokesman notes that “Mitt Romney’s foreign policy experience is limited to his work as a finance executive shipping American jobs overseas.”)
The reaction from fellow GOP frontrunner Herman Cain is, if possible, even more disturbing:
“Whether or not it’s the right thing to do, I would consult with the commanders. The thing that I wouldn’t do that the president is doing is telling the enemy how many troops you gonna bring out and when you gonna bring ‘em out.”
Really, Mr. Cain? You’d consult with the commanders? Gee, I wonder if anyone ever thought of that before.
Oh, and here it is late October, and we have to be out by Jan. 1, and Cain is concerned about telegraphing the timetable for withdrawal? Please. He’s merely mouthing smart-sounding words that he’s heard other people say, with no real understanding of what they mean. The man is to presidential politics what William Hung is to singing.
UPDATE: Michele Bachmann has joined the choir. ““President Obama’s decision represents the end of the era of America’s influence in Iraq and the strengthening of Iran’s influence in Iraq with no plan to counter that influence. We have been ejected from a country by the people that we liberated and that the United States paid for with precious blood and treasure.”
The noive of dem Iraqis, ejecting us from their own country!
– Jay Bookman