Some Lingering Thoughts on Iraq

Opposing Justice Abroad (Still) Got Obama Elected at Home

He may be our next president, but Barack Obama’s foreign policy recklessness on the Iraq issue rightfully earned him some long distance disapproval in the waning days of the election. Since most may not recall it, a necessary reminder is due.

On October 30th, the Associated Press reported that for a number of Iraqi citizens, ?if they could, they would vote for Republican candidate John McCain in next week’s US presidential election.? One Iraqi named Ali said that ?McCain would be best for Iraq because he would ensure stability.? His friend Mohammed told the AP that ?Obama supports a rapid withdrawal of US troops. ?Our army is still too weak ? Iran’s President Ahmadinejad has warned Iran would fill the void left when US troops depart.?

Ali and Mohammed, among other likeminded Iraqis, are clearly not ignorant of current events or recent world history. They know why they?re free, who wants to keep them that way and, more importantly, who doesn?t. It?s why Iraqis like Whamith Shadhan frankly stated, ?I trust the Republicans more. They’re more capable of establishing democracy in the world, especially in Arab countries. Obama is far too left.? Indeed, they know full well that had things gone the way Obama preferred, their lives would be truly, horribly different today.

It was six years ago last month that Barack Obama gave a speech in downtown Chicago insisting that the Bush administration halt its march to ?a dumb war? against Saddam Hussein. He didn?t get what he wanted. Fortunately for millions of Iraqis, neither did Saddam, who hedged his bets that America would heed Obama (and the Left?s) demand.

Six years later, Iraq is by any rational standard a better country?one with a republican government, a just constitution, and a new ally incredibly interested in the permanent security of Iraqi freedom. As for Saddam and his deranged heirs Uday and Qusay?they?re all dead now. To recall that Saddam?s judge, jury, and executioners were all his former subjects is to be reminded that liberty and justice can prevail even in the direst swamps of terror and tyranny.

Regrettably, after two conventions, four debates, and six months of countless interviews and hundreds of stump speeches, not a hint of this remarkable before-and-after story had been uttered. For Obama, such an enormous omission was quite understandable; Iraqi liberation was not his wish. The opposite goes went for John McCain. But for reasons all his own, it was better left unspoken by him as well. Nevertheless, most Iraqis don?t need to be told by American politicians what Iraq was like before March 19, 2003.

Remembering the Baath Party-run sewer of secret police, rape rooms, and children?s prisons severely defangs the bite of Obama?s whole Iraq argument. After all, the entire premise of his (and the Democrats?) claim to foreign policy righteousness is that Iraq was a useless endeavor made sinful by the mere absence of stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction. Obama takes his opposition further, earlier than almost any other Democrat by consistently asserting that the invasion should never have taken place regardless of what lay hidden in Saddam?s desserts. It?s what primarily led him to the general election.

But contrary to fashionable opinion, there is nothing noble about Barack Obama?s steadfast, ?since the beginning? opposition to the Iraq War. While no chemical and biological weapons were found in the sands of Iraq, something far more chilling awaited discovery.

It was in October 2004 that the BBC reported that ?US-led investigators [had] located nine trenches in Hatra containing hundreds of bodies believed to be Kurds killed during the repression of the 1980s.? According to authorities, ?The body of one woman was found still clutching a baby.? It was revealed that ?the infant had been shot in the back of the head and the woman in the face.?

As mass graves filled with ?the skeletons of unborn babies and toddlers clutching toys? were unearthed throughout Iraq??where about 300,000 people are thought to have been killed during Saddam Hussein’s regime??so was a new ethical justification for conquering Baghdad. Our presence in Iraq had now, more graphically visible than ever, constituted a humanitarian achievement that underscored the United States? moral imperative to stay put lest things return to the way they were.

By dethroning the barbarian who robbed countless of his own citizens of their lives and dignity, America earned a moral right to implant an allied government and military in his place. That new entity remains the fruit of our charity, and the bridge between the war in Iraq and the greater war on terror and, ultimately, our national wellbeing (along with that of the Iraqis). In left-wing circles, of course, it stands as the illegitimate bastard child of an affair between false casus belli and greedy national interest. And it is what every single one of Barack Obama?s historical preferences for the war would have prevented from emerging.

For more than half a decade now, Obama has opposed the war in Iraq on the small-mined idea that it was just an attempt ?by? arm-chair, weekend warriors in this Administration to shove their own ideological agendas down our throats.? Of course, he claims there were other reasons too. Regardless, through his relentless aversion towards America?s mission in Iraq, Obama has unwittingly but constantly sought to deny a third-world nation a chance at freedom. Not to mention for his own country, a strategic ally in the still-cankerous Middle East. Americans forgave him and elected him president. For Iraqis, it was a whole different story.

It was in October 2002 that Barack Obama first turned his back on more than 20 million innocent Iraqi men, women, and children. Six years later, in late October 2008, a few wise Iraqis turned their backs on him.

– tom

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