Scapegoating Petraeus

The detachment from reality of that great military strategist, former House Speaker and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, has been well documented, from her defense of ObamaCare and the millions of jobs it would create instantly and that you had to pass to find out what’s in it, to her current fable -- that the rise of the barbaric Islamic State and its victory over Iraqi forces we trained is, as the Democratic mantra now goes, the fault of President George W. Bush in general and Gen. David Petraeus in particular:

Reporter: “General Petraeus said last night that we are losing the war in Iraq. How do you see it?”

Pelosi: “Well General Petraeus had the responsibility to train the troops in Iraq. I remember going over there on any number of occasions and hearing from him that he had trained 175,000 Iraqi troops and personnel so that they can take over their own effort. I would ask him about that. I think the number was far smaller than was represented to us.”

The fact is, Ms. Pelosi -- who has just called Gen. Petraeus a liar -- is that al Qaeda in Iraq, the precursor to the Islamic State was defeated when President Bush left office. President Bush left behind a well-trained Iraqi army that fought valiantly alongside American troops leading the successful “surge” orchestrated by Gen. Jack Keane. As Gen. Keane told Fox News’ Megyn Kelly in a September 18, 2014 interview:

By the end of 2008, in the beginning of 2009, President Bush's surge strategy led by General Petraeus and General Odierno, now the chief of staff of the Army, defeated the al Qaeda in Iraq.  I saw the transmission because I was advising Petraeus on the ground in Iraq. They showed me the transmissions from al Qaeda that they were intercepting. They said we are defeated, don't send any more foreign fighters.

President Bush left a stable Iraq, one where Shiite and Sunnis had learned to coexist and resist a common al-Qaida enemy. There were free and fair elections and we all remember the pictures of Iraqi women holding up their purple fingers indicating they had proudly voted in those elections. Now we have the mass graves of ISIS, beheadings and what can only be called the ethnic cleansing of Christians

That victory, of course, was before President Obama withdrew all U.S. forces from Iraq without leaving a residual force behind. There is a reason we still have troops in places like Japan, South Korea and Germany. As someone once said, either we all hang together or we’ll hang separately. There is a reason we have NATO.

So what happened? In the absence of U.S. forces backing up U.S.-trained troops, Iraqi sectarian politics, fueled by perceived U.S. abandonment of Iraq, ran amok, embodied in a sectarian purge of the Iraqi military by Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al Malaki:

The Brookings Institution said Al Maliki purged the Iraqi military of commanders suspected of disloyalty. In a report, the institution said those forced out by the Shi’ite Al Maliki included some of the most professional Sunni officers trained by the United States….

Author Kenneth Pollack said Al Maliki’s purge began in 2009 when he replaced Sunni commanders with Shi’ite loyalists, many of them rejected by the U.S. military. He said the prime minister suspected Sunni commanders as secret supporters of the former Saddam Hussein regime…

“So, beginning in 2009-2010, he began to remove the capable, apolitical officers that the United States had painstakingly put in place throughout the Iraqi command structure,” the report said. “Instead, he put in men loyal to himself, often because they had been the ones passed over or removed by the Americans. The result was a heavily politicized and far less competent officer corps.”

So what was left was the fruits of President Obama’s politically motivated abandonment of Iraq and not the fault of Gen. David Petraeus lying to Nancy Pelosi or a failure of the surge or Bush’s policy in Iraq. It was the vacuum created by President Obama that the Islamic State filled as he watched, despite intelligence reports warning him of its rise:

Reports that Barack Obama received detailed information on the virulent Islamic State terror group in his daily briefings for over a year and did nothing makes him officially our "being there" president….

A former Pentagon official told Fox News that Obama received specific intelligence in daily briefings about the Islamic State's rise. The information was said to be "granular" in detail, laying out IS' intentions and capabilities for at least a year before it seized big chunks of Iraqi territory and started beheading Americans.

This callous indifference to the rise of the Islamic State, who President Obama dismissively as a “JV” team led to the chaos we now see in Iraq as towns and cities liberated with American blood now are cauldrons of barbaric atrocities as ISIS fighters literally go door to door to select those to be beheaded or burned alive.

If we had left 10,000 troops, we wouldn’t have watched the black flags of ISIS being raised over Fallujah, Ramadi, and other Iraqi cities U.S. troops died and were maimed to liberate. ISIS merely filled the power vacuum President Obama created for political reasons.  

It has been said that history is a lie agreed upon. Sorry, Ms. Pelosi, we will not let you and your fellow Democrats, including President Obama, get away with this one. 

Daniel John Sobieski is a freelance writer whose pieces have appeared in Investor’s Business Daily, Human Events, Reason Magazine and the Chicago Sun-Times among other publications.               

The detachment from reality of that great military strategist, former House Speaker and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, has been well documented, from her defense of ObamaCare and the millions of jobs it would create instantly and that you had to pass to find out what’s in it, to her current fable -- that the rise of the barbaric Islamic State and its victory over Iraqi forces we trained is, as the Democratic mantra now goes, the fault of President George W. Bush in general and Gen. David Petraeus in particular:

Reporter: “General Petraeus said last night that we are losing the war in Iraq. How do you see it?”

Pelosi: “Well General Petraeus had the responsibility to train the troops in Iraq. I remember going over there on any number of occasions and hearing from him that he had trained 175,000 Iraqi troops and personnel so that they can take over their own effort. I would ask him about that. I think the number was far smaller than was represented to us.”

The fact is, Ms. Pelosi -- who has just called Gen. Petraeus a liar -- is that al Qaeda in Iraq, the precursor to the Islamic State was defeated when President Bush left office. President Bush left behind a well-trained Iraqi army that fought valiantly alongside American troops leading the successful “surge” orchestrated by Gen. Jack Keane. As Gen. Keane told Fox News’ Megyn Kelly in a September 18, 2014 interview:

By the end of 2008, in the beginning of 2009, President Bush's surge strategy led by General Petraeus and General Odierno, now the chief of staff of the Army, defeated the al Qaeda in Iraq.  I saw the transmission because I was advising Petraeus on the ground in Iraq. They showed me the transmissions from al Qaeda that they were intercepting. They said we are defeated, don't send any more foreign fighters.

President Bush left a stable Iraq, one where Shiite and Sunnis had learned to coexist and resist a common al-Qaida enemy. There were free and fair elections and we all remember the pictures of Iraqi women holding up their purple fingers indicating they had proudly voted in those elections. Now we have the mass graves of ISIS, beheadings and what can only be called the ethnic cleansing of Christians

That victory, of course, was before President Obama withdrew all U.S. forces from Iraq without leaving a residual force behind. There is a reason we still have troops in places like Japan, South Korea and Germany. As someone once said, either we all hang together or we’ll hang separately. There is a reason we have NATO.

So what happened? In the absence of U.S. forces backing up U.S.-trained troops, Iraqi sectarian politics, fueled by perceived U.S. abandonment of Iraq, ran amok, embodied in a sectarian purge of the Iraqi military by Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al Malaki:

The Brookings Institution said Al Maliki purged the Iraqi military of commanders suspected of disloyalty. In a report, the institution said those forced out by the Shi’ite Al Maliki included some of the most professional Sunni officers trained by the United States….

Author Kenneth Pollack said Al Maliki’s purge began in 2009 when he replaced Sunni commanders with Shi’ite loyalists, many of them rejected by the U.S. military. He said the prime minister suspected Sunni commanders as secret supporters of the former Saddam Hussein regime…

“So, beginning in 2009-2010, he began to remove the capable, apolitical officers that the United States had painstakingly put in place throughout the Iraqi command structure,” the report said. “Instead, he put in men loyal to himself, often because they had been the ones passed over or removed by the Americans. The result was a heavily politicized and far less competent officer corps.”

So what was left was the fruits of President Obama’s politically motivated abandonment of Iraq and not the fault of Gen. David Petraeus lying to Nancy Pelosi or a failure of the surge or Bush’s policy in Iraq. It was the vacuum created by President Obama that the Islamic State filled as he watched, despite intelligence reports warning him of its rise:

Reports that Barack Obama received detailed information on the virulent Islamic State terror group in his daily briefings for over a year and did nothing makes him officially our "being there" president….

A former Pentagon official told Fox News that Obama received specific intelligence in daily briefings about the Islamic State's rise. The information was said to be "granular" in detail, laying out IS' intentions and capabilities for at least a year before it seized big chunks of Iraqi territory and started beheading Americans.

This callous indifference to the rise of the Islamic State, who President Obama dismissively as a “JV” team led to the chaos we now see in Iraq as towns and cities liberated with American blood now are cauldrons of barbaric atrocities as ISIS fighters literally go door to door to select those to be beheaded or burned alive.

If we had left 10,000 troops, we wouldn’t have watched the black flags of ISIS being raised over Fallujah, Ramadi, and other Iraqi cities U.S. troops died and were maimed to liberate. ISIS merely filled the power vacuum President Obama created for political reasons.  

It has been said that history is a lie agreed upon. Sorry, Ms. Pelosi, we will not let you and your fellow Democrats, including President Obama, get away with this one. 

Daniel John Sobieski is a freelance writer whose pieces have appeared in Investor’s Business Daily, Human Events, Reason Magazine and the Chicago Sun-Times among other publications.