US and Iraq, Which Recent US President to Blame

No long brain stimulating or sleep inducing (depending upon individual) history lecture with abundant citations and numerous “recommendations” (meaning I expect you to include references to multiple perspectives and sources in your exam essay answers) for further reading on any timeframe or aspects of US and Iraq involvement.

I won’t opinionate as to should we or shouldn’t we have, then, now, anywhere in between or later.

US Senator Barack Obama, Presidential candidate in the year 2008, as part of his campaign promises to remove US troops from Iraq. The timing differs. In February 2007, the plan was for all troops by March 2008. Once Obama secured the Democratic nomination statements made in July 2008 were less specific on the timetable, but the intent remained the same.

 “This war distracts us from every threat that we face and so many opportunities we could seize.”

Now US troops were a part of the United Nations National Security Council’s Mandate on multinational forces which had been extended “for the last time” until 31 December 2008.

The United States and the Republic of Iraq then negotiated a bilateral Status of Forces agreement. Within that document on page 15, the following arrangements are set:

1. All the United States Forces shall withdraw from all Iraqi territory no later than December 31, 2011.

2. All United States combat forces shall withdraw from Iraqi cities, villages, and localities no later than the time at which Iraqi Security Forces assume full responsibility for security in an Iraqi province, provided that such withdrawal is completed no later than June 30, 2009.

President George W. Bush cited the withdrawal in a radio address.

Barack Obama won the Presidential Election of 2008 and assumed office the following year and later that year US troops left Iraq per the conditions set forth in the bilateral Status of Forces agreement signed by now former President George W. Bush.

Surprisingly for a politician (typed in sarcastic font), President Obama made a number of references to his campaign promise and the fact that it was taking place. Opponents of the President, however, took exception and went to great pains to remind everyone that the withdrawal occurred because of an agreement signed by President Bush.

Here are just a couple of examples:

From the Atlanta Journal Constitution which I still read on occasion for information even though I no longer work in GA.

From RightWing News which I am not a regular reader.

(Sarcastic font again) Anything or everything that happens should be credited to the President of United States if you happen to be a supporter or blamed on the President of the United States if you are not a supporter.

Actually, that shouldn’t be sarcastic font as I think many honestly believe that is the truth.

Today, the credit for troop withdrawal has apparently been taken from President Bush and is yet another failure of President Obama.

House Speaker John Boehner thinks Obama was napping. In the Senate John McCain believes that the Obama national security team should be terminated for current events in Iraq.

Here are a couple of examples of “Obama fault” from The Blaze and Breitbart.

Before “patriots” start yelling that only RINOs are critical, radio personality Mark Levin simply proclaims that

“We cannot let Iraq fall; We need to unleash our bombers and kill the cockroaches.”

Well, I really don’t know if Obama is to blame or is it credited for US troop withdrawal. I don’t know if it was Bush. Just until the other day, I did give Bush credit because I would cite that Status of Forces agreement and ask students to try and name a politician who wants to avoid getting credit or taking credit for anything popular. I think I’ll stick to that assessment.

When you teach history you understand that fads come and go, so it becomes difficult to simply jump on the popular bandwagon of the day.  Some have to learn the painful way that you can be trampled jumping on and jumping off, so deciding if or when to switch ain’t as easy in reality as it seems in theory.