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article imageOp-Ed: Ironically, Iraq will shape Pres. Obama's legacy

By Larry Clifton     Jun 18, 2014 in Politics
Baghdad - If you’re one of those Americans horrified by images of collateral damage televised during the Iraqi War, you might want to steel yourself. Top generals are talking and President Obama has actually met with Congress.
The president who voted against the Iraq War as a junior senator is set to launch a new air war in Iraq. If Obama wants to restore democracy in Iraq, airstrikes are a dubious solution, anything less will likely result in more American armaments winding up in the hands of Taliban.
Polls are clear: The American people are not prepared nor do they approve of going to war in Iraq.
As far as international coalition-building goes, the administration has a pretty weak record. Republicans and others say the administration was caught flat-footed by events in Iraq.
Nevertheless, you know tee-time may be near when the White House sends senior-ranking members of the U.S. Armed Forces out to make the case for war. Wednesday it was chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey at the microphone.
Speaking before the Senate Appropriations Committee Wednesday on Capitol Hill in Washington, Dempsey said that the United State's "national security interest (is) to counter (ISIS) where we find them." Here’s your sign!
When the president kicks back while the top military brass tells you the country’s national security interests are at stake, the planes are likely being fueled and missiles strapped snugly beneath their wings.
Images of collateral damage notwithstanding, the only difference between Iraq War one and the disaster that may be about to unfold is that Pres. Obama didn’t believe attacking Iraq was in American interests as a junior senator.
Now, despite there being no preceding attack on US soil, the same fellow has sent a contingent of US special operations troops smaller than the average turnout for a family reunion to Iraq to direct an air war against insurgents. It looks as though about 100 brave American soldiers would be charged with directing airstrikes in the latest Middle East civil war. Anybody want to trade places with one of those guys?
What’s unclear, is whether the American mainstream media will ultimately call the Taliban, or Sunnis, the “rebels.”
In Syria, Egypt and Libya, MSM and the administration has referred to the attackers as "rebels" and entrenched government forces as aggressors.
In Iraq, Mr. Obama may need to take another tack since the attackers are the sworn enemies of the United States and the likely targets of potential US bombardments.
Of course, after images of collateral damages begin to appear in the form of dead women and children it won’t really matter if they are Sunnis or Shiites; they will be referred to as innocents, civilians, killed and mutilated by American missiles and bombs.
If Mr. Obama orders American pilots to unload a few thousand tons of munitions in Iraq, he might want to explain to the American people why Iraq is suddenly the focus of his foreign policy, when he didn’t think it was important in 2003.
Complicating matters for the president, entire divisions of the Iraqi military have already deserted their posts, turning over American-made weapons systems to the Taliban and Muslim extremists.
Given its record on foreign affairs, the administration may have trouble convincing the American people to support an air war in Iraq whose military turned into an armory for insurgents before a shot was even fired.
The president pulled all American troops out of Iraq in 2011, and since has paid scant attention to the status of the fledgling democracy. Obviously caught off guard after reading about the recent fall of Iraqi cities to Taliban and another forces in the New York Times, the president now faces the dilemma of Iraq embroiled in civil war like Syria, or using the American military to fight their war for them.
Ironically, the administration's legacy may be Iraq.
What goes around, comes around, or so to speak.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
More about ISIS iraq obama, obama votes against iraq war, Obama iraqi war, collateral damage, us airstrikes
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