The failure of Barack Obama to negotiate an acceptable agreement to leave enough troops in Iraq to secure the peace and prevent an Iranian takeover is a diplomatic and strategic failure of major proportion. Now led by the Department of Justice, the Administration is compounding the diplomatic disaster by pretending radical Islam is no longer a threat worth mentioning.
Yes, mistakes have been made in Iraq over the last 8 ½ years. But, after the enormous sacrifice of blood and treasure, it is indefensible to cede victory to Iran, and that we fear, is exactly what the President has done. The sectarian, anti-democratic elements within and outside of Iraq committed to perpetuating terror, violence and instability have succeeded in forcing a premature withdrawal of American forces by an all too willing American Commander-in-Chief.
Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's fragile, immature, undependable government was cobbled together by a deal brokered by Tehran and Iranian proxy Moqtada al-Sadr, who has buckets of American blood on his hands. The radical Shiite Cleric who fomented the bloodiest days of the war was chased into exile in Iran for four years, returning last January after his "party" won a number of seats in the new Parliament.
Maliki, who once moved to crush Sadr's Mahdi Army, struggled for months to piece together a coalition government and cling to his leadership position for another term. But, demonstrating that political power trumps principal, Maliki cut a deal with the devil. "It was Sadr's recent decision to support Maliki for a second term (as Prime Minister), in a deal brokered by Iran, that ended eight months of political deadlock and allowed Maliki, also a Shiite, to cobble together his new government," as the Washington Post reported last January. Having secured Maliki's re-election, Sadr emerged as the defacto power broker. The marching orders in Baghdad started coming from Tehran, not Washington, and the end was in sight.
Turkey's once steady alliance with the U.S. and the West is gone. Egypt is rapidly sliding in the direction of the radical Islamists. In Tunisia's recent elections Islamists appear to have won a significant number of positions. What eventually comes of post-Gaddafi Libya is anyone's guess. And, seizing on the opportunities created by a weak, impotent American Administration, the Iranians are establishing not just a regional power base, but a global one as we have documented on these pages over the last three months. If Iraq becomes a puppet of Tehran and once again a safe-haven for terror rather than a flicker of hope and freedom in the region, the consequences will be catastrophic.
The decision to pull all troops out of Iraq came, of course, from the civilian Commander-in-Chief. True to their oath, the active duty military takes orders, salutes, and keeps their mouth shut. But, retired Four-Star Army General Jack Keane, who served as an adviser to Gen. David Petraeus when he was top commander in Iraq, isn't required to hold his tongue.
"I think it's an absolute disaster," said Gen. Keane. "We won the war in Iraq, and we're now losing the peace."
Having proven completely inept at dealing with the threat of radical Islam, the Obama Administration has decided to just not talk about it anymore. Only hours before the President announced the withdrawal of all troops from Iraq, the Justice Department declared that the Administration was pulling back all training materials used for the law enforcement and national security communities in order to eliminate all references to Islam according to The Daily Caller.
The White House is obviously sympathetic to objections raised by CAIR, the Council on American Islamic Relations, and other Muslim Brotherhood "front groups." The move to scrub all reference to Islam by the Administration was strongly supported by the U.S. Attorney for Oregon, Dwight Holton, who said he had spoken directly with Attorney General Eric Holder. "I want to be perfectly clear about this; training materials that portray Islam as a religion of violence or with a tendency towards violence are wrong, they are offensive, and they are contrary to everything that this president, this attorney general and Department of Justice stands for," Holton said.
Holton is the prosecutor who announced the 2010 arrest of the so-called Christmas Tree Bomber, Mohamed Osman Mohamud. Holton's arresting documents and public announcement made no mention of Mohamud's well established involvement with violent Islamic Jihad that had been the focus of the FBI well before his arrest.
Obama's decision to withdraw all the troops from Iraq fulfills a campaign promise to a constituency that elected him, but it doesn't make America or the world more safe. Nor does declaring radical Islam to be an unmentionable make it any less of a threat. But then, being involved in an "overseas contingency operation" didn't make it any less of a war on terror, either.
For all the mistakes and the enormous cost of the Iraq war, it was from the beginning a classic case of America being willing to fight against evil with the hope of allowing good to one day prevail. Tragically, we have a President and an Administration that is either unwilling or unable to even distinguish between good and evil, much less muster the courage to stand up for righteousness.