Mitt Romney has once again proved he has no ideology or substance with this:
President Obama’s astonishing failure to secure an orderly transition in Iraq has unnecessarily put at risk the victories that were won through the blood and sacrifice of thousands of American men and women,” Romney wrote. “The unavoidable question is whether this decision is the result of a naked political calculation or simply sheer ineptitude in negotiations with the Iraqi government. The American people deserve to hear the recommendations that were made by our military commanders in Iraq.
Of course we all know that if Obama had announced that troops were staying Romney would have attacked that as well. That’s what someone who is 100% politician does. But some of the best take downs of Romney have been ironically from the right. My friend Jazz Shaw and I used to do right-left blogging. We didn’t agree on much but we were both opposed to the Iraq war from day one and Jazz actually left the Republican party because of Bush/Cheney and the Iraq war. Over at wingnut central, Hot Air, Jazz had this to say:
What would be different if we left in January? Or in 2013? or 2015? It was always going to end eventually and, given the nature of the region, I doubt it was ever going to end well. Our troops acted in the greatest tradition of our nation. They followed their orders and achieved all of the real victories on a day to day basis which ever truly mattered. But the end approaches and we need to thank them once again and close this chapter. It’s time to come home, and almost ten years too late at that.
I was surprised that the comments section was for the most part supportive of Jazz’s views. I think Jazz would agree that the same applies to Afghanistan. But that’s not all. Over at the American Spectator, a has been wingnut central, Reid Smith takes Romney to the wood shed:
To answer Mr. Romney’s two part question about our exit from Iraq, I suggest that the move is absolutely political, but it’s also compulsory. We have run out of options in Iraq, but make no mistake, American troops are leaving because the Iraqis don’t want us there.
First of all, the politics of the matter. President Obama owed it to his political base to end the war effort. To do so, he needs only follow the roadmap outlined the Status of Forces Agreement mapped out by President Bush in 2008. It was not a coincidence that the words “as promised” were dealt into his speech today.
As far as our “sheer ineptitude,” I think Mr. Romney’s frustration with the profile of our exit demonstrates a misplaced presumption that the United States could maintain an insufficient troop presence to prevent a catastrophic collapse of state.
After all these years, one remarkably simple lesson escapes him. We cannot continue fighting what our presence makes inevitable. We cannot prevent civil war, state failure, or safe haven for terror by providing tinder for all of the above – unless this country is ready and willing to dramatically augment the shape and stature of its Mesopotamian military presence. I do not believe it is. Perhaps more importantly, the Iraqis are similarly disobliged.
The major complaint from the neocon right is that Iran will gain influence as the US leaves. Many of us who opposed the war predicted this from the beginning. Bush/Cheney wanted a war – Iran wanted Saddam out. Iranian agent Ahmed Chalabi told Bush and Cheney what they wanted to hear and bingo- Saddam is gone, the Sunni are out of power and the Iranian friendly Shia are in. The US was played as a fool – Iran wins.
Occupation of countries has nothing to do with Democracy or nation building – it’s all about empire. And the US can no longer afford empire.