In 2007, President George W. Bush warned that if America withdrew prematurely from Iraq, American troops would eventually have to return: [...]Oh yeah. It was candy and rainbows, it was. The only reason we hadn't gone to fetch bin Laden during all those long years is because we were just too busy signing all the thank-you cards from the nice Iraqis thanking us for bombing the crap out of them in an attempt to "pacify" a terrorist movement based two borders away but that might have yellowcake anthraxed us with lawnmower-powered weather balloon-launching trucks, or however the hell that went. Marc here can probably explain it better than I could.
Let’s recall that Obama inherited a pacified Iraq, where al Qaeda had been defeated — both militarily and ideologically.
Militarily, thanks to Bush’s surge[*], al Qaeda[*] was driven from the strongholds[*] it had established in Anbar and other Iraqi provinces. It controlled no major territory[*], and it’s top[*] leader – Abu Mussab al-Zarqawi – had been killed.Yep, problem solved. It was a golden age. Oh, and I took the liberty of putting some of the required asterisks on Thiessen's not-my-ass-on-the-line brag—did I get them all? Matching each of them to their not-so-flattering actual context might be a fun exercise for the reader, or not.
Obama took that inheritance and squandered it. And – just as Bush predicted – we’re now talking about going back (at least in the air) to help the Iraqis to confront an enemy that is even more dangerous.And it all went to hell. Why? Because we brought our troops home instead of keeping them there Forever. The architects of the six-month-war-tops, all the people who planned the war and sold the war and executed the war from the comfort of their recliners and padded office chairs, a wet bar never more than 20 feet away at any time, aren't even trying to hide it. They told us Iraq would be a cakewalk going in, but we were never, ever allowed to leave lest the vibrant democracy and carefully plotted Brand New Economy that we Mission Accomplished our way through in six-month intervals would somehow, despite all of those plans, go to hell. And Marc Thiessen is still every bit as certain of his armchair general-ing as he was the day before the bombs started flying.
You can't even mock that—the smugness, the self-satisfaction, the absolute assurance that blowing the holy hell out of a country entirely unrelated to 9/11 because Suck On This was a genius plan that would never, ever go wrong or have longer-term consequences—it's too depraved. That's a Hannibal Lecter, right there. Don't look into the bastard's eyes or he'll steal your soul and use it for kindling.