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President Barack Obama’s announcement on Friday that all 40,000 U.S. troops still in Iraq will leave the country by New Year’s Eve will, inevitably, draw howls of derision from GOP presidential hopefuls — this is, after all, early election season. But the decision to leave Iraq by that date was not actually taken by President Obama — it was taken by President George W. Bush, and by the Iraqi government.
In one of his final acts in office, President Bush in December of 2008 had signed a Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) with the Iraqi government that set the clock ticking on ending the war he’d launched in March of 2003. The SOFA provided a legal basis for the presence of U.S. forces in Iraq after the United Nations Security Council mandate for the occupation mission expired at the end of 2008. But it required that all U.S. forces be gone from Iraq by January 1, 2012, unless the Iraqi government was willing to negotiate a new agreement that would extend their mandate. And as Middle East historian Juan Cole has noted, “Bush had to sign what the [Iraqi] parliament gave him or face the prospect that U.S. troops would have to leave by 31 December, 2008, something that would have been interpreted as a defeat… Bush and his generals clearly expected, however, that over time Washington would be able to wriggle out of the treaty and would find a way to keep a division or so in Iraq past that deadline.”
But ending the U.S. troop presence in Iraq was an overwhelmingly popular demand among Iraqis, and Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki appears to have been unwilling to take the political risk of extending it. While he was inclined to see a small number of American soldiers stay behind to continue mentoring Iraqi forces, the likes of Shi’ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, on whose support Maliki’s ruling coalition depends, were having none of it. Even the Obama Administration’s plan to keep some 3,000 trainers behind failed because the Iraqis were unwilling to grant them the legal immunity from local prosecution that is common to SOF agreements in most countries where U.S. forces are based.
originally posted by: xuenchen
Technically maybe not Obama's "decision" as the "agreement" to pull out of Iraq was made under Bush.
But Obama did take "credit" before current events seem to have changed the interpretations.
When he was running for re-election in 2012, President Barack Obama repeatedly took credit for ending the war in Iraq and bringing all U.S. troops home from that country. At the White House on Saturday, however, when talking about his decision to use military force against the al-Qaida-related ISIS terrorist group in Iraq, Obama said removing all U.S. troops from Iraq was not “my decision.”
“You know I say what I mean and I mean what I say,” Obama said in Hollywood, Florida on Nov. 4, 2012. “I said I'd end the war in Iraq. I ended it.”
On Dec. 14, 2011, President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama delivered speeches at Fort Bragg, North Carolina that the White House posted under the headline: “Remarks by the President and First Lady on the End of the War in Iraq.”
“Now, Iraq is not a perfect place, Obama said. “It has many challenges ahead. But we’re leaving behind a sovereign, stable and self-reliant Iraq, with a representative government that was elected by its people. We’re building a new partnership between our nations. And we are ending a war not with a final battle, but with a final march toward home.
“This is an extraordinary achievement, nearly nine years in the making,” said Obama.
Obama: Pulling All U.S. Troops Out of Iraq Was Not ‘My Decision'
What's the big issues in Iraq and Syria anyway ?
Religions ? ... Natural Gas Pipelines ? ... Both?
Who does Obama "back" now ?
originally posted by: Variable
a reply to: xuenchen
But Obama did take "credit" before current events seem to have changed the interpretations
Obama's ego barely fits in the White House, it's only out done by his apathy for world affairs. He is going to do the bare minimum as far as intervention is concerned. The world thought they got an enlightened leader of a super power and what they got was a European style isolationist, maybe comparable to Frances last socialist leader. It's what Europe SAID they always wanted, the US to stay out of things, be more of a pro UN type - basically ineffectual.
Obama think he is a great leader, but he is really simply an absent one. It's like he is coasting, I think he is going to do a # load of executive orders before he leaves. Really enact some crazy left wing stuff because he knows whats best, he just is stymied by those pesky Republicans.
originally posted by: amazing
Non-Issue. We needed to get out of there. The failings are with the government of Iraq. We put in a week government that alienated half the population. To blame Obama in any way for the Iraq mess is laughable. Only a fool would do that.
originally posted by: LDragonFire
Obama hasn't done any worst than Bush did, however the next president will have to deal with Iraq because of Bush, he is why we were there.
originally posted by: butcherguy
Obama promised to pull out all combat troops within 16 months of taking office the first time he ran for POTUS.
He failed to do that, so he amended his promise to 'troop reduction' in Iraq.
When he finally did pull them out, he bragged about it.
Now he is blaming it all on Bush.
Yeah, he is a stand up guy.
Bush had already started the process so it was an easy statement for Obummer to make.
The new Iraqi Government didn't make it easy
He's a politician, did you expect anything else from him?
He's a politician