OMG: Obama tries to blame Bush for withdrawal from IraqObama is singing a different tune (Hat Tip: Memeorandum).
On the South Lawn of the White House today, after Obama explained why he had ordered the U.S. military to renew airstrikes in Iraq, a reporter asked Obama about his decision to remove all U.S. troops from Iraq.
“Mr. President, do you have any second thoughts about pulling all ground troops out of Iraq?” the reporter asked. “And does it give you pause as the U.S.--is it doing the same thing in Afghanistan?”
“What I just find interesting is the degree to which this issue keeps on coming up, as if this was my decision,” Obama said, indicating he does not believe it was his decision as commander in chief of U.S. troops in a congressionally authorized action in Iraq to decide whether the troops should stay or leave.
“Under the previous administration, we had turned over the country to a sovereign, democratically elected Iraqi government,” Obama said. “In order for us to maintain troops in Iraq, we needed the invitation of the Iraqi government and we needed assurances that our personnel would be immune from prosecution if, for example, they were protecting themselves and ended up getting in a firefight with Iraqis, that they wouldn’t be hauled before an Iraqi judicial system.
“And the Iraqi government, based on its political considerations, in part because Iraqis were tired of a U.S. occupation, declined to provide us those assurances,” Obama said. “And on that basis, we left. We had offered to leave additional troops. So when you hear people say, do you regret, Mr. President, not leaving more troops, that presupposes that I would have overridden this sovereign government that we had turned the keys back over to and said, you know what, you’re democratic, you’re sovereign, except if I decide that it’s good for you to keep 10,000 or 15,000 or 25,000 Marines in your country, you don’t have a choice, which would have kind of run contrary to the entire argument we were making about turning over the country back to Iraqis, an argument not just made by me, but made by the previous administration.
“So let’s just be clear: The reason that we did not have a follow-on force in Iraq was because the Iraqis were--a majority of Iraqis did not want U.S. troops there, and politically they could not pass the kind of laws that would be required to protect our troops in Iraq,” said Obama.Read the whole thing.
Two comments: As bad as President Obama has been for the United States (and in my humble opinion he has been a horrible President in just about every respect), the place that has been most hurt by his incompetence, bullheadedness, arrogance... no time to write the whole list... at least outside of the United States is the Middle East. And it will be much harder for the Middle East to recover from the Obama administration than it will be for the United States. The damage here is far more permanent.
Second, aside from his lousy policies, the thing I find most irritating about his personality is that the man is incapable of owning a mistake. He cannot say he was wrong. He cannot admit that he blew something.And that's a lousy trait with which to go through life.