Obama's signature foreign policy achievement....
ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq & Syria) changes its name to Islamic State and proclaims a new caliphate:
BAGHDAD — The extremist group battling its way through swaths of Iraq and Syria declared the creation of a formal Islamic state Sunday, building on its recent military gains and laying down an ambitious challenge to al-Qaeda’s established leadership.
In an audio statement posted on the Internet, the spokesman for the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria announced the restoration of the 7th-century Islamic caliphate, a long-declared goal of the al-Qaeda renegades who broke with the mainstream organization early this year and have since asserted control over large areas spanning the two countries.
The move signifies “a new era of international jihad,” said the spokesman, Abu Mohammed al-Adnani, who also declared an end to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, as the group had called itself.
It should be mentioned that ISIS enlists 10-year-olds in its cause to, among other things, rob stores. An adult ISIS member offered ISIS's vision for kids:
A curious bystander wanted to start a conversation with Abdullah. “I have a son your age, but he’s not eager to carry arms,” the man said. “He spends most of his time on the computer.”
A tall, overweight gunman, who seemed to be responsible for the child, answered on Abdullah’s behalf. “Our children don’t waste time on electronic games or on watching cartoons,” he said. “They have a dream and their dream is to establish an Islamic state.”
The gunman patted Abdullah’s shoulder. “We have a lot of hope for Abdullah and other children his age,” the gunman continued. “We believe they will conquer all of Iraq and Persia and that they will liberate Jerusalem.”
And oh, yes, ISIS is using U.S. weapons in its march onward.
In an historical irony, the group's original acronym name is the same as that for ancient Egypt's supreme goddess, Isis, who represented the virtues of motherhood, nature, magic and helping the fallen--virtues for which Islamists are not known. Completing the circle of irony, modern Egypt's new government is one of the prime forces opposing Islamism in the Mideast, in default of American power's departure.
That Barack Obama is responsible for this calamity is beyond reasonable cavil. In 2009 Iraq had been, after horrendous expense of allied blood & treasure, stabilized under a unity government. Retired four-star general & Army vice-chief of staff Jack Keane (co-architect of the Bush 43 Iraq surge plan) told Fox News achor Jenna Lee (7:48) that our failure to leave residual force & intel capabilities when we left in 2012 set up today's collapse. We also failed to help the Iraqi government politically. Note especially (at 2:00) Keane's point that intercepted message traffic in 2009 showed that al-Qaeda had conceded defeat.
Former VP Dick Cheney & ex-Sate Dept. official Liz Cheney recently detailed what happened on Obama's watch:
When Mr. Obama and his team came into office in 2009, al Qaeda in Iraq had been largely defeated, thanks primarily to the heroic efforts of U.S. armed forces during the surge. Mr. Obama had only to negotiate an agreement to leave behind some residual American forces, training and intelligence capabilities to help secure the peace. Instead, he abandoned Iraq and we are watching American defeat snatched from the jaws of victory.
The tragedy unfolding in Iraq today is only part of the story. Al Qaeda and its affiliates are resurgent across the globe. According to a recent Rand study, between 2010 and 2013, there was a 58% increase in the number of Salafi-jihadist terror groups around the world. During that same period, the number of terrorists doubled.
In the face of this threat, Mr. Obama is busy ushering America's adversaries into positions of power in the Middle East. First it was the Russians in Syria. Now, in a move that defies credulity, he toys with the idea of ushering Iran into Iraq. Only a fool would believe American policy in Iraq should be ceded to Iran, the world's largest state sponsor of terror.
Worse, in 2011 Obama deliberately set conditions (h/t Jennifer Rubin) for reaching a status-of-forces agreement (SOFA) with Iraq that he had been told would be a deal-breaker. Rubin cites Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), who had gone to Iraq to try to prevent the SOFA debacle:
Graham, along with Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), had gone to Iraq on behalf of the administration trying to secure a stay-behind force. Take three minutes to listen to Graham’s blow-by-blow account. Three things are clear:
The principal Iraq leaders all agreed to a stay-behind force and warned the administration not to bring the issue up with its parliament.
When Graham asked Gen. [Martin] Dempsey in the discussion how many forces we would have, he had no clear answer.
The number of troops was reduced not by Iraq, but by the White House.
Obama then insisted he had to go to parliament and without its approval (which wasn’t forthcoming) it was impossible to leave troops – any number — behind. In all of this, Graham points out that the administration “got the answer they wanted.” Remember this was a campaign promise — to get all the troops out. Obama was to run for reelection as the guy who ended wars and had decimated al-Qaeda. (Recently Obama decided — with his policy in shambles — that parliament didn’t need to vote on an immunity deal for our 300 advisers.)
Put simply, The One had two reasons for doing this: First, he wanted to be able to tell his voter base in 2012 that his 2008 promise to vacate Iraq entirely had been kept. That such a move endangered all that America had worked for in the preceding decade since 9/11 mattered less than winning re-election.
Second--even worse--Obama's own leftist worldview called for America to atone for its sins by diminishing its stature on the world geopolitical stage. The Cheneys summed it up:
Despite clear evidence of the dire need for American leadership around the world, the desperation of our allies and the glee of our enemies, President Obama seems determined to leave office ensuring he has taken America down a notch. Indeed, the speed of the terrorists' takeover of territory in Iraq has been matched only by the speed of American decline on his watch.
The president explained his view in his Sept. 23, 2009, speech before the United Nations General Assembly. "Any world order," he said, "that elevates one nation above others cannot long survive." Tragically, he is quickly proving the opposite—through one dangerous policy after another—that without American pre-eminence, there can be no world order.
Former intel chief Gen. Michael Hayden warned that the collapse in Iraq endangers Americans to a greater extent than at any time since Sept. 11, 2001.
Bottom Line. President Obama is directly to blame for the collapse of America's position in Iraq, and the associated destruction of its foreign policy credibility in the entire Mideast. America's position in the region now is weaker than at any time in the past seven decades. Call it a win for those who share the president's anti-American worldview and for the voters who re-elected the president in 2012. It is a loss for every other American, and for America's allies in the Mideast and, ultimately, around the globe.
Letter from the Capitol, LFTC, Foreign Policy, National Security, Terrorism, Homeland Security, Conservative Politics