August 2, 2010
In attempt to posture as a man of peace and of kept-promises in the lead-up to the midterm elections, President Obama has declared the “End of the War in Iraq,” claiming that withdrawal of troops from Iraq will be completed by August 31, 2010 and is ‘on schedule, as promised.’
“As a candidate for president, I pledged to bring the war in Iraq to a responsible end. I made it clear that by August 31, 2010, America’s combat mission in Iraq would end. And that is exactly what we are doing — as promised and on schedule,” President Obama stated.
Believing this fiction involves ignoring the fact that 50,000 troops or more, as well as countless contractors, would remain in Iraq. In addition, it would involve forgetting about Barack Obama’s campaign promises to bring troops home starting “day one” of his administration, or his other promise to bring them home by the end of 2009.
Obama’s deceptive announcement coincides with news that July was the deadliest month in Iraq since May 2008, though the Pentagon has attempted to dispute these numbers. The announcement also comes shortly after Sen. McCain commented on Iraq, quipping “We already won that one.” Meanwhile Iraq today is anything but stable, and our continued involvement has helped little if at all. Nevertheless, the Quadrennial Defense Report: Meetings America’s National Security Needs in the 21st Century report suggests clearly that these wars which seem never to end, are in fact, not meant to:
“The conflict with Iraq…an effort that—if successful—will stretch indefinitely into an ongoing strategic partnership. But Iraq is neither the only example nor an anomaly: the American commitment to Afghanistan is in its ninth year and disengagement is likely to be many years away. “
In fact, Obama, wary of repeating George W. Bush’s mistake of announcing “Mission Accomplished” too early, has reluctantly admitted during his announcement that, “The hard truth is we have not seen the end of American sacrifice in Iraq.” Thus Obama, who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for the wars he might end, has pronounced a pseudo-end to the pseudo-war that we didn’t exactly win and which will go on indefinitely.
Nevertheless, President Obama needs to appear as a peacemaker to stoke his failing false image, but no matter how many Nobel Peace Prizes or other pins and accolades he holds, it can’t hide the fact that the Afghanistan-Pakistan wars are enlarging or that tensions with Iran have never been higher.
TIMELINE: Obama’s Promise to withdraw troops in Iraq by 2009
Just over the weekend, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mike Mullen admitted the United States has an Iran attack plan and is waiting in the event of launch. Top experts have all warned that an Iran war could start anytime in the next few months. Increased sanctions and pressure from Israel make such a dangerous war all the more likely.
Such a war has the extremely dangerous potential of kicking off a wider conflict, even World War III. This threat is too big to allow a puppet president to pose as though he were bringing about peace through diplomacy.
- A d v e r t i s e m e n t
The Pentagon Papers, leaked nearly forty years ago, were shocking enough to bring significant opposition against the Vietnam War and help its end. Today, the prospects for peace appear much different.
The Afghanistan war logs leaked by Wikileaks– which should have led to a societal questioning of our involvement in the protracted engagement, now our nation’s longest in history– instead triggered the Pentagon and White House to dig-in deeper. Congressional opposition from the likes of Ron Paul, Dennis Kucinich and a number of House Democrats was systematically ignored, while President Obama & co. secured $59 Billion more in funding and a commitment for an additional 30,000 troops in the region. The leaked documents– instead of spotlighting the corruption, shameful partnership in opium growth and secret funding of the Taliban— were spun to extend claims that Osama bin Laden is still alive, and that the Taliban is stronger than previously thought.
Oct. 27, 2007 – Obama’s Promise: Bringing the Troops Home “Will Be the First Thing I Do; You Can Take That To The Bank”
The quagmire in Afghanistan, spilled over into Pakistan, with simultaneous war in Iraq, and looming war in Iran marks a high-point in American demoralization. Obama’s foreign policy, a dead horse of Bush’s foreign policy, is the height of our empire’s excess and degradation. Ralph Nader observes:
“This is an asymmetrical, multi-matrix war. It is a war defined by complex intrigue, shifting alliances, mutating motivations, chronic bribery, remotely-generated civilian deaths, insuperable barriers of language and ethnic and subtribal conflicts. It is fought by warlords, militias, criminal gangs, and special forces discretionary death squads. Millions of civilians are impoverished, terrified and live with violent disruptions. There is no central government to speak of. The White House uses illusions of strategies and tactics to bid for time. In Afghanistan, the historic graveyard of invaders, hope springs infernal.”
Even Leslie Gelb of the Council on Foreign Relations admits that Obama should probably concede hopeless defeat in Afghanistan and look for the exit doors:
Though President Obama himself and General Petraeus, the NATO commander in Afghanistan, still call for victory there, it is probably true that Obama and maybe even the general have come to LBJ’s conclusion: “I can’t win, and I can’t get out.”
General McChrystal was recently dismissed by President Obama for stating about as much.
While President Obama hopes that the appearance of “keeping his promise” on Iraq will boost him in the polls and provide cover for the minefield of his other broken promises and cynical lies, even left-leaning observers like Andrew Sullivan at The Atlantic and Harvard professor Steven Walt are commenting the the president is likely to face the record of “0-4 on Foreign Policy” with a war-weary nation looking for other leadership.
President Obama can hope for a small PR victory in portraying the “End of the Iraq War,” long since unpopular with the American people, but in the long run, the real strategy of War is Peace— where the end of one conflict only marks the beginning of another– will only make an angry public more irrate and ready for real change. It is high-time people– who already know they’ve been lied into these wars, with exaggerated and false claims about WMDs, the 9/11 attacks, the boogeyman Osama bin Laden– say no to BOTH of the war parties, and say no to World War III.