President Obama has announced that, by year’s end, the United States will end their military occupation of Iraq. This is certainly cause for celebration as the eight year long war has done immeasurable damage to the U.S. in so many ways since we first stormed across the Iraqi desert in March, 2003. While there are numerous reasons to be skeptical, it is a positive sign that we’re going to be able to refocus our efforts and money at home and reunite many families that are still lucky enough to have loved ones alive over there to reunite with.
However, before we all go praising Obama for fulfilling a campaign promise, we need to take a quick look at the facts. The fact of the matter is that we’re leaving Iraq because Iraq is essentially throwing us out due to the fact that the Obama Administration is unwilling to leave troops there if they aren’t immune from prosecution in Iraqi courts, which would give the U.S. military a blank check to act as they wish. Since Iraq is never going to allow that, our troops get to come home due to the Iraqi leadership’s wishes, not our own leaders.
It’s yet another disturbing issue that liberals will take with the Obama Administration. While he gets a pass since he did campaign on expanding the efforts in Afghanistan, he also campaigned on ending the occupation of Iraq. 2008 Obama thought it should be a top priority to end this war. 2011 Obama has been trying to arrange for troops to stay behind, likely as a counter-weight to the growing regional influence of everybody’s favorite theocracy, Iran.
So, when the 43,000 troops in Iraq return home, celebrate. But don’t be so quick to give credit to the president that Republicans like to claim is the most liberal of our time.