When you first enunciated this hocus-pocus in 2011, Charles Krauthammer called it neither a theory nor a doctrine. He called it "dithering," a style devoid of ideas. Instead of the implementation of a doctrine, we have seen indecision, hesitancy, delay. In the aftermath of that delay, it is too late to prevent the carnage, a carnage that did not have to take place. Iraq was stable and relatively peaceful before we led from behind. Now the country is quite possibly lost. Cartographers will be presenting the world with a new map of the area once it has been carved up.
One would think that President Barack Obama has been sweating profusely of late. Possibly he is in his meetings with the National Security Council, assuming he meets with the group. We know he is flying off to Indian reservations to focus Americans on the plight of Native Americans. He did this on Friday, and he is attending fundraisers. Perhaps he will attempt to focus our attention on the plight of American gypsies next. How about a fundraiser for American gypsies? There he could present his sleek and cool image. No sweat, all is well. Yet back in Baghdad, American diplomats are looking skyward for the helicopters. It might be Saigon circa 1975 all over again.
Why when the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria pounced last week, were there no American troops in Iraq? In 2011, we were supposedly hammering out a status of forces agreement to keep a residual force of 23,000 troops there. We have done this after World War II, the Korean War and other conflicts. Unfortunately, the hammering out of the agreement ended in bickering and foot stomping. For one thing, the stupendously disagreeable Iraqi prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki, insisted on having criminal jurisdiction over American forces in Iraq. Rather than negotiate, Obama did what he had already promised to do. He called American forces home. Now we see the outcome. After a decade of American involvement in Iraq and 4,500 Americans dead, a handful of terrorists -- ISIS numbers only in the thousands -- are acting like a conquering army and taking whole provinces. The Iraqi army is stripping off its uniforms to reveal casual dress and trying to blend in with the local citizenry. Not surprisingly, those who are captured in their casual dress are being slaughtered.