Emmett Tyrrell
WASHINGTON -- Maybe Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki of Iraq should not have been in such a hurry to bid American troops adieu as he was back in 2007. What is more, maybe President Barack Obama should have come up with a few more compelling proposals for American troops to stay in Iraq for a few more years. After all, we did expend all that blood and treasure in getting the Sunni and the Shiite to live together peacefully -- no car bombs, no suicide bombers. I think Prime Minister Maliki would agree with me. Iraq was a relatively peaceful place to live when there were American troops stationed nearby.

Now the place sounds hideous. Certainly you would not want to be a tourist agent in Baghdad. What would be your most fetching sights, a cafe that recently hosted a Kia minivan that exploded, or a Kia minivan that went up in flames in front of a theater? Kia minivans, apparently, are the vehicles of choice for roadside bombs, cars that suddenly go boom in an otherwise quiet neighborhood. Maybe the tourist guide could take his clients to a Kia showroom.

Back in early 2007, President George W. Bush ordered the surge. At the time Majority Leader Senator Harry Reid was pronouncing: "This war is lost and the surge is not accomplishing anything." Nonetheless, Bush endured. Following General David Petraeus' plan he sent in some 20,000 additional troops to weed out the roadside bombers and pacify the militias. In a matter of months the slaughter of civilians had ended. Sunni militias were becoming agents of peace, not mindless slaughter, and Iraq was becoming a peaceful country.

Then Maliki and Obama bungled the peace treaty. American troops were unceremoniously asked to leave the country. Washington put the best face possible on it and now what have you? Incipient chaos! I think in all of American history we have had no more ungrateful allies than the Iraqis under Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki, who is now holed up behind cement walls in the Green Zone guarded by tanks and armor. The fortified Green Zone is one last gift from the vanishing American army.


Emmett Tyrrell

R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr. is founder and editor in chief of The American Spectator and co-author of Madame Hillary: The Dark Road to the White House.
 
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