So with ISIS taking over large swaths of Iraq and declaring the first medieval, Sharia-law caliphate in nearly a century, the White House has committed to protecting America’s gains in Iraq by sending in a few hundred troops.
While some people hear words like “military advisers” and “boots on the ground” and have painful flashbacks to the U.S.’s incrementally growing involvement in Vietnam, I don’t believe that this president has any intention of doing anything more in Iraq than putting on a symbolic show and eventually evacuating the embassy in Baghdad.
It’s not just because of Obama’s usual laziness, stupidity and general lack of interest in being a leader.
Rather, he’s worked very hard to get the Middle East to this point — either him or the people behind the throne, that is.
Either through incompetence or design, Obama’s entire foreign policy in the Middle East has led to this moment in which Islamist extremists linked to al-Qaida and to the “rebels” Obama has been sustaining in Syria (one of the countries he does want to fight a war in) are able to establish a Muslim caliphate.
Obama has publicly declared himself Christian, in practice he is probably closer to atheist, but in his heart, it seems clear, he has always been a Muslim, steeped as he was in their culture while still a young boy. That, combined with his father’s anti-imperialism and the love of communism among his family and most of the adults surrounding him as he grew up, created a man who is almost genetically incapable of understanding America’s values, much less protecting its interests.
Obama must be torn by conflicting impulses right now. His narcissism demands that he get what he wants, and what he wants is to see the caliphate flourish and take over the Middle East. On the other hand, Obama is the elected president of a country whose military men and women sacrificed sweat, blood, limbs and lives to beat al-Qaida and give Iraq a fighting chance at a democratic future, so doing nothing would make him seem worse than a coward. What Obama wants above all is to be adulated, so he has to be seen making an effort, even if it is half-hearted.
So now the U.S. has its left foot in Iraq, its right foot out to please the anti-war liberals, and it’s our men and women in uniform who will be shaken all about like children’s toys when violence inevitably closes in on U.S. positions.
The government of Baghdad has received help against ISIS from Iran, Syria and Russia. The al-Maliki government, stabbed in the back by Obama, is looking to Russia’s Vladimir Putin as a more reliable ally against the caliphate.
It’s unclear at this point if the Obama Administration is even truly working with the Iraqis beyond minimal military cooperation and a lot of lip service.
The fact that we’ve sent any troops at all indicates that there are still people in the Obama Administration who believe in things like defending American interests, but without the support of King Putt, their influence will be limited.
Whenever the leadership is divided in a military situation, it’s the troops who suffer.
Our men and women are exposed and vulnerable in Iraq because the commander in chief would rather be doing something, anything, other than fighting ISIS.