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  • Iraq Plunges into Chaos as Obama Administration Celebrates End of U.S. Military Presence

    Iraqis inspect the damage after a wave of attacks in Baghdad killed at least 57 people on December 22, 2011. The apparently coordinated blasts were the first major sign of violence in a row that has threatened Iraq's fragile political truce and heightened sectarian tensions just days after US forces completed their withdrawal. AFP PHOTO/KHALIL AL-MURSHIDI

    The Obama Administration’s risky decision to seek the quickest possible exit from Iraq has contributed to a mushrooming political crisis there that is rapidly unraveling the hard-won gains of U.S. troops and threatens to plunge the country into a civil war that will greatly benefit Iran.

    Shortly after the December 15 end-of-mission ceremony for U.S. troops, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki purged many senior Sunni Arab political leaders from his fractious governing coalition. Maliki’s government, dominated by Shiite political parties of various stripes, also announced that it will prosecute Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi, a leader of the predominantly Sunni Arab Iraqiyah party, on terrorism charges. Hashemi, who denounced the allegations as propaganda cover for a political coup, has fled to the semi-autonomous Kurdish region in northern Iraq.

    Iraq’s fragile unity is now dissolving in growing political tensions between the leaders of the Shiite majority and Sunni minority and between the Shiite-dominated central government and the non-Arab Kurdish minority. But the Obama Administration, blindsided by simmering tensions that it had downplayed in its rush for the exit, appears to be on auto-pilot.

    The Administration gave a higher priority to domestic political considerations than to Iraq’s long-term security needs when it neglected to negotiate an extension of the U.S. troop presence past the end-of-year deadline set by the 2008 Status of Forces Agreement. Although the Bush Administration had envisioned a follow-on agreement to extend the military presence, and the Obama Administration had initially planned for a smaller residual force of military trainers and advisers, in the end politics trumped security in the White House’s deliberations.

    President Obama, who won office campaigning as an opponent of the Iraq war, treated Iraq as an inconvenient commitment that should be ended as soon as possible, not a war to be won. He made it clear that his Administration was eager to “turn the page” and leave Iraq as soon as possible.

    The Heritage Foundation warned repeatedly about the damaging consequences of an abrupt U.S. pullout from Iraq. We have stressed the need for strong American leadership to consolidate a stable peace in Iraq.

    But the Administration chose to disregard these and other warnings and pressed ahead to terminate the U.S. military presence. This removed a safety net below the Iraqi coalition government that now is disintegrating as rival leaders fall back on their own ethnic or sectarian camps to provide for their security. Iran, which has backed radical Shiite parties and fanned suspicions of the Sunni political leaders, is likely to emerge as the big winner.

    Posted in Featured [slideshow_deploy]

    8 Responses to Iraq Plunges into Chaos as Obama Administration Celebrates End of U.S. Military Presence

    1. sara says:

      Obama wanted to keep his campaign promise to end the war in Iraq to bring our troops home. Unfortunately, this war opened up Pandoras box. Maybe the US shouldn't have tried to force democracy down their throats
      We'll probably end up sending more troops in to keep the Gov't from collapsing. Wars are not the answer & this mess is proof of it

    2. Todd says:

      Is any one surprised?

    3. Mike, Wichita Falls says:

      I can see it now. If Iraq somehow becomes a shining city of liberty in the Middle East, or at least does not become a safe-haven for Islamists, Obama takes the credit. If Iraq goes the way of Egypt, Syria or Iran, it's Bush's fault.

    4. Lloyd Scallan says:

      Oh, what a surprise!!!

    5. Bobbie says:

      this is crazy! obama doesn't care what the aftermath is or he would've made certain things wouldn't amount to this! we learn that NOTHING with obama comes with CERTAINTY! all his planned messes just depletes more American revenue. that's his goal and NO ONE is stopping him! we pray for the lives of innocence!

    6. AD-RtR/OS! says:

      It looks like Joe Biden's preferred outcome of an Iraq divided into sectarian/ethnic enclaves will be forthcoming – the streets will be running red, and nine-years of hard work will be all for naught.
      This is what Foggy Bottom warned us would happen if we withdrew abruptly after overthrowing the Baathists, and could only be prevented by their Regency in rebuilding Iraq – Good work, Guys!
      Colin, your wear this one proudly.

    7. I don't know the fault of this mess but pulling out without having a presence there would have been like leave South Korea to face Communist North Korea all alone. Investment is the word that needs to be emphasized. These people are ignorant but teachable when it comes to their safety. This country will never separate into two sections of sectarian/ethnic enclaves because they are people without boundaries. They have a way of life that is as old as time. And they have never pulled themselves out of it. You can dress the leaders up in suits but they are still who they are under that suit. Our hope was working out resolutions to get them to compromise which is what America was founded on. This is sad and no surprise after President Bush left office. Obama changes his mind on any matter of our common good as easy as the wind blows. We lacked leadership here again. Now, where are all the military going to find jobs when they get home. There are so many problems ahead for our troops which would not have occurred if we had left a base there.

    8. Michael Scott says:

      Smells lke the end of Vietnam war all over again. Once again the Politicians will throw away all the hard work done by our troops and throw lots of fake praise upon them as they sell us out. Nothing this President does appears to heartfelt. Unless it helps destroy America.

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