Written by Frank Li
In his recently released memoir Worthy Fights, former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta writes:
“President Barack Obama rejected multiple warnings that Iraq might slide back into anarchy and become a terrorist haven without a substantial U.S. troop force in place after 2011”.
Not only have these warnings proven prescient, President Obama has had to launch a new war (White House: Yes, The U.S Is ‘At War’ With ISIS) to deal with the outcome of his reckless total troop withdrawal from Iraq in December 2011!
There have already been numerous discussions about the new war, and about what President Obama should, could, or would have done, only if something else had or hadn’t happened. But I have yet to see any publication that addresses the real reason: the 2012 re-election! So allow me to chip in my two cents as follows:
What is the American Presidency?
President Obama and America.
President Obama and the world.
Let me elaborate on each.
1. What is the American Presidency?
I have already published several articles about the American Presidency. Three informative readings:
Here is an excerpt from my diagnosis for America (Diagnosis II for America: Cancer!):
Is our President, throughout his first-term, so preoccupied with his own re-election that everything else is secondary? If the answer is yes, which seems patently obvious, we cannot ever expect the President to always do the right thing for the country (vs. for himself) throughout his first-term, can we?
It’s called “getting re-elected ad nauseam”, practiced by most, if not all, American Presidents. Therefore, it was certainly practiced by President Obama.
2. President Obama and America
President Obama was no different from any other American President throughout his first term, insofar as his focus on "getting re-elected ad nauseam". He just did it more unabashedly than any of his predecessors! Specifically, here is the most prominent example: with the 2012 re-election in mind, President Obama did two big things with regard to the Iraq War:
Soon after taking office in 2009, he fixed a troop withdrawal date of December 2011, based on his re-election calendar, rather than the reality in Iraq for the three years from the beginning of 2009 to the end of 2011!
Although unusual, he kept his word!
Largely because of that, he was re-elected in 2012, mission accomplished!
What about America’s responsibility for Iraq? America destroyed Saddam’s brutal but stable government, without replacing it with a reasonably stable one - Stability and security matter above all else! President Obama was surely aware of that, but, to him, it was simply not as important as his own re-election!
In short, President Obama recklessly pulled all American troops out of Iraq too soon. Because of that, Iraq has become so chaotic that we are back in there now and must remain there for the foreseeable future! In other words, President Bush’s un-accomplished mission was prematurely terminated by President Obama in December 2011, and re-launched in September 2014, with President Obama’s re-election in between!
Here are two cold facts:
By recklessly launching the Iraq War in March 2003, President Bush largely secured his re-election in 2004!
By recklessly withdrawing all American troops out of Iraq in December 2011, President Obama largely secured his re-election!
What about America’s interests? To hell with them! They are secondary to the President’s quest for power! For example, President Obama’s new war will last well beyond his Presidency and heavily burden America, in both lives and treasure, for years to come. But so what? He was re-elected!
3. President Obama and the world
The Nobel Peace Prize 2009 was awarded to President Obama "for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples" (The Noble Peace Prize 2009).
Unfortunately for the world, Barack Obama’s campaign rhetoric may have won him the prize, but his actual policies have proven him to be totally undeserving. Three examples:
His 2009 speech in Cairo (President Obama Speech to Muslim World in Cairo) has turned out to be a root cause behind the Arab Spring, resulting in huge chaos, death, and misery in the Middle East, particularly in Egypt. Shortly after that, Egypt did briefly turn into a democracy before being overturned by the military, with Mohamed Morsi, Egypt’s first democratically elected President, in jail now! In short, democracy has already thoroughly failed in Egypt, as expected!
President Obama escalated the war in Afghanistan in 2009, at least partially, for the sake of his re-election. For more, read: For Obama the Road to Reelection Runs through Kabul.
After getting America involved in two wars in Libya and Syria, President Obama recently launched a new war of his own, against ISIS …
In short, President Obama has made a mockery of the Noble Peace Prize, which should never have been awarded to him in the first place - He did not earn it!
The Nobel committee should, therefore, recall the 2009 Peace Prize, by any means!
Did anybody on the left ever expect that the war-shy Barack Obama would ultimately become a war-monger as our President? No! It’s the political system, stupid!
Now, with regard to Afghanistan, unlike Iraq in December 2001, apparently about 10,000 U.S. troops will remain there beyond 2014, another deadline of President Obama’s. Did you really think President Obama has learned from his mistake in Iraq, as Panetta writes in his book? No, for President Obama, it was not a mistake in Iraq and it is not a correction in Afghanistan! The key difference between Iraq and Afghanistan is that there is no re-election for him this time! So he may do the right thing for America this time! At least it will be what he perceives as right, rather than just a re-election ploy!
I believe I have the most accurate diagnosis for America (Diagnosis II for America: Cancer!), as well as the best solution (Solution II for America: Term-Limits and More!). For more, read my book: “The GOP Bible for 2016”!