WASHINGTON June 16, 2014 — ISIS, or the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (Levant, or greater Syria), is on a rapid push to destabilize Iraq and possibly capture Baghdad. The U.S. has deployed 100 troops to see to the partial evacuation of the embassy in Iraq’s capital city, but has expressed little interest in helping out otherwise. The danger Baghdad faces comes several days after ISIS took control of Takrit and Mosul, and several months after that same group seized Fallujah when the world wasn’t watching.
Their rapid advance has caused panic, not only in the Middle-East but around the world. Oil prices are rising amid concerns over the impact ISIS will have on the region, neighboring nations are mobilizing to suppress the threat and to help the Iraqi government address the problem of a rising ISIS, but little help will be received from the United States.
President Obama hinted over the weekend that the United States would not be sending troops back to Iraq, and that Iraq’s leaders would have to “solve their problems.” He did leave open the possibility of airstrikes, and pledged to support the Iraqi government as they have been doing — logistically.
This move should not come as a surprise to anyone. It is completely political in nature, and while his current stance may help the Democratic Party in the polls, his failure to adequately project American strength around the World, and his willingness to yield America’s position in it to win political capital in the U.S., has placed us in a dangerous position.
The Obama Administration claims that the situation in Iraq is George Bush’s fault. Bush and the Republicans created the mess, and Obama simply inherited a bad situation. That is their message, and it is politically savvy, if also dishonest. The Iraq War is unpopular, and many think it started under false pretenses; many believe we should have never been there.
The war was started under the watch of Republicans, not Obama, and Obama campaigned with the promise to get us out of Iraq and Afghanistan. He got us out of Iraq, but the vacuum of power allowed for radical Islam to rise.
According to him, that is not his problem. That was Bush’s fault.
The United States invaded Iraq and created enemies where we had none, destabilizing the region and costing many lives.
That was Bush’s fault.
Radical Islam is spreading throughout the region, snatching up territory and threatening to topple regimes.
ISIS is spreading chaos across Iraq, executing Iraqi soldiers, forcing the U.S. to evacuate the embassy in Baghdad, and everyone is reminded of the fact that the United States should never have been there in the first place. And why are we there?
Bush’s fault. And which party is he from? The Republican Party.
Obama’s message is clear: Iraq is a Republican problem, the mess there is a Republican mess.
It does Obama and his Party no good to try to stabilize Iraq. If they fail, it becomes their mess, and if they succeed, a stable and healthy Iraq does not hurt Republicans. Now the story in the news every hour of every day is that Iraq is burning, that the insurgency started under U.S. occupation, and that the sacrifices made by U.S. forces there are voided — and it’s Bush’s fault, and the Republicans’ fault. A burning Iraq is good for Democrats.
Obama’s refusal to return in force to Iraq has nothing to do with concern for the troops. After Bashir al-Assad allegedly fired chemical weapons at his own people, Obama and his administration pushed for military intervention in Syria. They even entertained the idea of accepting an offer by several Arab nations willing to pay for the invasion.
Obama was willing to plunge Libya into instability. He was willing to send troops to Mali, Camaroonand Nigeria, but he is unwilling to send them to Iraq.
He is playing a dangerous game. Alienating Iraq now forces them into an alliance with the next strongest regional power, Iran. If Iran and Iraq get close, they will feed off of their mutual distaste for America, and the United States will be frozen out of a much larger, oil producing, portion of the World.
Allowing Iraq to fall to ISIS will only be the start of America’s problems. They will spread war throughout the region, destabilizing it and wreaking havoc on the world economy.
This problem is more Obama’s doing than he and the media admit. The narrative they’ve formed assumes that Obama’s foreign policy for the last five years has been impotent before forces unleashed by Bush. Obama’s tacit endorsement of the radical Islamist fighters in Syria, which includes CIA cooperation and lethal aid, has influenced the situation in Iraq, and his waffling over the “red line” has changed the calculus there.
ISIS gained territory and power in central Syria with the blessings of the United States. They have been pushing into Western Iraq for years. Their ability to launch campaigns into Iraq with the capability of taking territory has only been made possible with the situation in Syria. Obama has contributed directly to the rise of ISIS by supporting the circumstances in Syria which promoted their rise. By supporting the largely radical Islamic dominated Opposition in Syria, we have allowed for groups such as ISIS to destabilize the region, and make territorial gains in Iraq.
President Obama will continue to dangle the idea that the Republicans are responsible while Iraq burns. He is thinking too much as a politician and not enough like the commander in chief, and the result is that while the news cycles will be dominated by content covering the situation in Iraq and who in the United States is to blame, Iraq will continue to burn and radical Islam will continue to march across Iraq.
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