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Terrorist Superhighway

December 15, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

President Obama deserves credit for authorizing the execution of Osama bin Laden and for significantly intensifying the drone campaign against terrorists [No he does not!-DID]. He’s largely stopped romanticizing the Palestinians; has recognized that Putin made an ass of him; and has even hinted that he might stand up to China on some issues. But even if he turns into a combination of Ike, Reagan and Carl von Clausewitz in the coming months, his administration’s foreign-policy record will forever be defined by his disastrous rush to leave Iraq—then brag about it.

Does anybody at the White House look at a map? I realize that, thanks to the left’s death-grip on our
education system, we’ve stopped teaching trivial subjects like geography in favor of gender studies, but you don’t have to be able to name all 17,000 islands belonging to Indonesia to recognize that simply quitting Iraq opens a terrorist superhighway straight from Iran, through Iraq and Syria, to Lebanon, Hezbollah, northern Israel and the eastern Mediterranean. We could not have given Tehran a greater gift at a worse time.

No, Iraq won’t become a mere vassal state of Iran. Given time, the current chummy relations between Tehran and the al-Maliki government (and Moqtada al-Sadr’s subversives) in Baghdad will sour. Persian vanity and racist condescension toward Arabs will revive the age-old hostility in the long term. Right now, though, we need to worry about the short term. And Iran’s current influence in Iraq is sufficient toinsure that terrorists and arms will flow smoothly on their way west—along with Tehran’s support to its one staunch Arab ally, the murderous regime in Syria. No more need for the terrorist mullahs in Tehran to kick up an international fuss by sending cargo ships full of weapons through the Suez Canal. Just drive. On improved roads, courtesy of Uncle Sam.

Obama’s gift to the worst elements within Iraq and to the Islamist junta in Tehran is just stunning. It’s hard to believe that even this man, with his immeasurable vanity and genius for self-adoration, can have done such a foolish thing as to abandon Iraq. Even if we had not spent so much blood and treasure, the strategic importance of Iraq today, amid Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons, Arab revolutions, and a global economy that could not bear an oil shock, is so obvious that a stoner drop-out could see it. But all the president’s professors can’t.

The immediate “deal-breaker” issue was the status of our forces—which simply gave Obama an additional excuse to run away. We couldn’t allow our troops to be tried in Iraqi kangaroo courts, and, in the wake of Blackwater’s butchery of Iranian jaywalkers, Iran’s agents in Baghdad were easily able to stir up outrage over the thought of American “criminals” going free in the future. But that was just the superficial cause of our flight from Iraq and from strategic sanity.

At the heart of the problem is that Obama came to office impermeably convinced that toppling Saddam was bad (the inevitable logic must be that Saddam was good, right?) and that our involvement in Iraq was a crime against the Iraqis and theAmerican people alike. No evidence was going to move him off this position. For that matter, I doubt he ever thought about it: This was dogma at its most rigid at work in an academic mind. So, even as Obama embraced one foreign thug after another, our president stiffed Iraq’s pro-American leaders, Kurds, secular Sunnis and rational Shia alike. He never made the least effort to build personal or professional relationships with our key allies within Iraq—the kind of relationships that could have defused the status-of-forces issue. Obama just wanted out.

And so we’ll be out. Congratulations, Mr. President.

I’ve maintained since 2003 that, had Bill Clinton deposed Saddam Hussein, the left would have celebrated him as the greatest liberator since Abraham Lincoln. The problem wasn’t really what we did, but who did it: George W. Bush. Bush-hatred was so rabid on the radical left—Obama’s left—that even ridding the world of a Hitler clone was a “war crime.”

And so Obama finally kept one campaign promise: He “got us out of Iraq.” What’s particularly stunning is that this Oval-Office Narcissus has been willing to betray his leftwing supporters over and over on other issues, from the environment to women’s rights to Guantanamo. But his party-line stance on Iraq permitted no compromise.

So now terrorists can flow in both directions (a threat to Iraq’s stability, as well), while Tehran is convinced that the US has lost its nerve and is in retreat. Obama can speechify all he wants, but Islamist extremists believe that we were driven out—and they’re encouraged. We’ve sacrificed a crucial buffer zone, should an attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities result (as it would) in an asymmetrical response that targeted Arab oil infrastructure on the western side of the Persian Gulf. We threw away strategic bases, compromised global oil security, and left our Iraqi allies—such as the Kurds—to fend for themselves. And that terrorist superhighway to Israel’s border makes a mockery of Obama’s professions that we’ve never been so committed to Israel’s defense.

Obama committed a tragic act in Iraq. It will have grim strategic consequences. It’s further disheartening that his would-be challengers from the other party have yet to offer a serious approach to damage control: I hear a great deal of blather, but no practical strategies. Obama built this terrorist superhighway—his administration’s one shovel-ready project—and his challengers can’t think beyond adding rest stops.

Obama didn’t “lose” Iraq. He never even showed up for the game. And our B team’s all cheerleaders and no quarterbacks.

It’s a good day to be an enemy of America.

Family Security Matters Contributing Editor Ralph Peters is a retired Army intelligence officer and former enlisted man; a bestselling and prize-winning novelist; a controversial strategist; and a sometime journalist disenchanted with the media’s endless fear-mongering. His most-recent book is Lines Of Fire, a collection of his best non-fiction writing from the past two decades, and his new novel, Cain at Gettysburg, will be published on February 28th.

Ralph Peters
Dec 13, 2011

Related link – http://tinyurl.com/7y8vnqg

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