Obama and the Iraqi Withdrawal: Credit Where Credit’s Not Due

I’m tired of Obama’s supporters boasting–falsely–that he kept his promise to end the war in Iraq. First, the war isn’t over. Sectarian violence is still commonplace. The millions of refugees created by the U.S invasion in 2003 still have not returned home.

Second, Obama withdrew the last U.S. troops only because George W. Bush was forced by the Iraqi government, which is allied with Iran, to sign a Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) dictating a full withdrawal at the end of 2011. Bush wanted dozens of permanent bases but Prime Minister Maliki said no.

As 2011 wore on, Obama sent War Secretary Panetta to beg Maliki to “ask” that U.S. troops remain in Iraq. Maliki refused, especially after Muqtada al Sadr, the influential Shi’ite leader, threatened to resume his Mahdi Army’s resistance to U.S. occupation. Maliki also told Panetta there would be no U.S. bases.

Obama withdrew the troops because–despite his best efforts–he was ordered to do so under terms reluctantly agreed to by his predecessor.

Obama’s supporters should stop lying about how the U.S. occupation in Iraq ended.

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