This is what a failed foreign policy looks like. Remember how Obama declared victory in Iraq back in 2011?
Iraq moved closer to turning the page on Nuri al-Maliki’s reign when an alternative prime minister was named Monday to steer the country out of a raging war and save it from breakup.
“The country is in your hands,” President Fuad Masum told Haidar al-Abadi after accepting his nomination by parliament’s Shiite bloc, in a move immediately welcomed by the United States.
Washington had warned Maliki against stirring trouble after the two-term premier gave a defiant midnight television address suggesting he was ready to fight for his job to the very end.
Except Maliki’s defiance wasn’t at an end despite our warnings…
Moments before Maliki spoke on television, special forces, soldiers and police deployed across Baghdad, especially around the Green Zone district housing the country’s key institutions.
Several of the capital’s main thoroughfares and bridges were closed to traffic and on Monday morning unusual numbers of security personnel, uniformed and plain-clothed, remained deployed across the city.
His television address, in which he vowed to sue Masum for failing to choose him as prime minister, had dispelled any hope he would step down gracefully.
On Monday afternoon, even as the president shook hands with Abadi, Maliki sent his supporters to protest on Baghdad’s main square.
Baghdad is all but encircled by ISIS’ barbarians. That government really can’t afford an internal power struggle, yet Maliki is embroiling it in one while the manifest evil outside the city plots a takeover.
Finally, the Obama administration has agreed to arm the Kurds, which makes for at least one viable force opposing ISIS. But if you don’t see something of an endgame character to what’s happening in Iraq you’re not paying attention. ISIS is a Nazi Germany circa the mid 1930’s, preying on the weakness and disorganization of much more powerful actors, and the atrocity of its actions in places it has taken over might actually eclipse that of the Nazis in their graphic nature if not their industrial scale.
Meanwhile, Obama and his people refuse to take responsibility and, for domestic political reasons, minimize their commitment to helping in Iraq. Obama has gone so far as to say there is no military solution in Iraq, which is nonsense. ISIS’ annihilation would go a long way toward creating conditions for political rapprochement in that country.
It’s hard to imagine a worse outcome there, unless Iraq was covered with American troops being shot at and/or captured and executed by ISIS. In practicality, though, that doesn’t happen often when American troops are in place; we tend to make short work of forces like ISIS when we have the chance.
So far Obama says he won’t put American troops in. He might not even need to if he’ll work with the Kurds. But that requires leadership it’s obvious we don’t have.