[freedomtowernight_edited.jpg] 26th Parallel: Thank You President Bush

Monday, March 02, 2009

Thank You President Bush

President Obama would never utter those four words above, at least not in public. But his plan to withdraw combat troops from Iraq by end of August 2010 can be successfully implemented in no small part due to the dogged persistence of President George W. Bush to continue the fight in Iraq and support the surge which has essentially crippled the enemy opposition (remember Al Qaeda in Iraq).

A surge that Obama repeatedly did NOT support during his presidential campaign. An effort in Iraq that Obama appeared to give up on.

If everything goes smoothly, and there's no reason to think it won't, Obama would get the credit for ending the war and ensuring the victory that Bush handed to him.

It's not all roses for Obama, however. Besides his plan being very similar to Bush's drawdown plan, keeping 35,000 to 50,000 troops in "transitional forces" doesn't exactly please the far-left. Shades of John McCain and the "100-year occupation tag" placed on him?

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5 Comments:

Blogger Steve said...

Let us also not forget that the ONLY reason Bush implemented the surge was the losses the republicans suffered in the mid-term elections which led to Rumsfeld being fired. For that, Bush should thank either his poor performance or the performance of the democrats (ok, I doubt that!). Further, there is an argument that the surge came about far too late and if he had fired Rumsfeld or was better advised longer ago, Obama couldn't be claiming the credit because the troops might very well have already started to come home before the election. To give Bush credit for his genius of doing the surge--as if it was all part of his master plan for success in Iraq--is a more than a bit disingenuous.

Bush and his policies were an utter failure in Iraq plain and simple. They had not properly planned for the occupation and transition and this has led to a myriad of problems and billions of dollars of our money spent. The fact that after years since "mission accomplished" he finally stumbled onto a somewhat effective policy, isn't a success story in my book.

2:34 PM, March 02, 2009  
Blogger Robert said...

Steve,

Your point about Bush mishandling Iraq and the timing of the surge is 100% correct. The purpose of this post wasn't to criticize Bush's handling of Iraq, but to point out Obama's lack of support for ANY surge, followed by his plan to draw down troops which wouldn't be happening anytime soon if he would have had his way instead of Bush. So it's accurate to point out that Bush seriously mishandled the first 4 years or so of the war, but it's ALSO accurate to point out that the recent success is also Bush's responsibility. So what if it wasn't in Bush's original master plan? Would we rather he do it late or never? And exactly how is this disingenuous?

3:49 PM, March 02, 2009  
Blogger Steve said...

I take your point, but you are implying that the surge was the only key part of the strategy that worked and that it has indeed worked. My point is that we don't know and can never know whether the surge was the ONLY thing that could have been done to "cripple" Al Qaeda or whether if there was no surge and other, better tactics, we might be even better off. I was under the impression that it was the strategy of co-opting militias was really the key whether or not the surge per se. We can't argue about comparative success of things that did happen with things that could have happened.

A point I could have made was that it was the Democrats success in the mid-term election that caused the surge whether or not they voted for it! Ergo, they can claim credit (I am just playing around with this!) for it.

Furthermore, How can you say that Obama's draw down plan looks like Bush's rather than the other way around? I would argue that Bush's plan was made in response to Obama's plan rather than the other way around.

All this having been said, Obama has shown that whether regarding Gitmo, "change we can believe in", ear marks, and ultimately the war in Iraq he is a man of promises made and quickly abandoned. He is strictly "business as usual" and a huge disappointment already.

6:18 PM, March 02, 2009  
Blogger Jonathan said...

Let us also not forget that the ONLY reason Bush implemented the surge was the losses the republicans suffered in the mid-term elections which led to Rumsfeld being fired.

How do you know this? Are you a mind reader? No. It's merely your opinion and it's complete bullshit. The Surge happened when it did because Iraqi Sunnis were tired of Al Qaeda brutality and decided to deal with us, because Iraqi police and military strength had risen to a level that put US forces over the troop-strength threshold for effective counterinsurgency operations, and because Bush and a select group of politicians (e.g., McCain) stood their ground against the Democrats and defeatist Republicans. (See, for example, Mario Loyola's review at National Review Online of Thomas Ricks's recent book.)

Obama and the rest of the top Democrats (Reid, Schumer et al) were all bleating that the war was lost and that we must abandon Iraq immediately. Bush's levelheadedness was the main thing that kept us in the game to win. And we have won, in case you didn't notice. Apparently you think that only wars that go completely according to plan may be considered successes. That's silly. Wars never go according to plan. The main criterion for success is victory, and by historical standards our Iraqi campaign has been remarkably successful, your hysterical talking points to the contrary.

1:04 AM, March 04, 2009  
Blogger Steve said...

LMAO! Remarkably successful war against what measure??? Vietnam? Afghanistan for the Russians? I think we can agree that there is no benchmark of success that Iraq compares favorably to. They are a borderline failed state with factional "democracy" if you can call it that. Is that a success? After nearly 8 years we are talking about significant troop reductions still months and months away--is that a success? It is a measure of success in how economical it was (I would call Gulf War 1 such a success)? Wait, I know, you are going to tell me that this is different so its success can't be measured against anything else! It is success just because you say it is---oh yeah, don't ask the Iraqi people if it is a success.

The FACT that right up to the election Bush was all about staying the course and he and Rumsfeld were defending their troop levels and strategy makes it a REMARKABLE coincidence. I assume that you believe that firing Rummy and the change in course had nothing to do with the dropping popularity of the war, the Republican in general and Bush in particular?? Right, I am no mind read, but I am not a novelist either.

What is your benchmark of success?

8:52 AM, March 04, 2009  

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