2012: Obama Berates Romney For Wanting To Leave Troops In Iraq 2014: Obama Puts Boots Back On The Ground [FLASHBACK VIDEO]
Barack was against having US troops in Iraq before he was for it.
Transcript via BuzzFeed:
OBAMA: Gov. Romney, I’m glad that you recognize that Al Qaida is a threat, because a few months ago when you were asked what’s the biggest geopolitical threat facing America, you said Russia, not Al Qaida; you said Russia, in the 1980s, they’re now calling to ask for their foreign policy back because, you know, the Cold War’s been over for 20 years.
But governor, when it comes to our foreign policy, you seem to want to import the foreign policies of the 1980s, just like the social policies of the 1950s and the economic policies of the 1920s.
You say that you’re not interested in duplicating what happened in Iraq. But just a few weeks ago, you said you think we should have more troops in Iraq right now. And the — the challenge we have — I know you haven’t been in a position to actually execute foreign policy — but every time you’ve offered an opinion, you’ve been wrong. You said we should have gone into Iraq, despite that fact that there were no weapons of mass destruction.
You said that we should still have troops in Iraq to this day. You indicated that we shouldn’t be passing nuclear treaties with Russia despite the fact that 71 senators, Democrats and Republicans, voted for it. You said that, first, we should not have a timeline in Afghanistan. Then you said we should. Now you say maybe or it depends, which means not only were you wrong, but you were also confusing in sending mixed messages both to our troops and our allies.
So, what — what we need to do with respect to the Middle East is strong, steady leadership, not wrong and reckless leadership that is all over the map. And unfortunately, that’s the kind of opinions that you’ve offered throughout this campaign, and it is not a recipe for American strength, or keeping America safe over the long haul.
SCHIEFFER: I’m going to add a couple of minutes here to give you a chance to respond.
ROMNEY: Well, of course I don’t concur with what the president said about my own record and the things that I’ve said. They don’t happen to be accurate. But — but I can say this, that we’re talking about the Middle East and how to help the Middle East reject the kind of terrorism we’re seeing, and the rising tide of tumult and — and confusion. And — and attacking me is not an agenda. Attacking me is not talking about how we’re going to deal with the challenges that exist in the Middle East, and take advantage of the opportunity there, and stem the tide of this violence.
But I’ll respond to a couple of things that you mentioned. First of all, Russia I indicated is a geopolitical foe. Not…
ROMNEY: Excuse me. It’s a geopolitical foe, and I said in the same — in the same paragraph I said, and Iran is the greatest national security threat we face. Russia does continue to battle us in the U.N. time and time again. I have clear eyes on this. I’m not going to wear rose-colored glasses when it comes to Russia, or Mr. Putin. And I’m certainly not going to say to him, I’ll give you more flexibility after the election. After the election, he’ll get more backbone. Number two, with regards to Iraq, you and I agreed I believe that there should be a status of forces agreement.
ROMNEY: Oh you didn’t? You didn’t want a status of… [forces agreement]
OBAMA: What I would not have had done was left 10,000 troops in Iraq that would tie us down. And that certainly would not help us in the Middle East.
ROMNEY: I’m sorry, you actually — there was a — there was an effort on the part of the president to have a status of forces agreement, and I concurred in that, and said that we should have some number of troops that stayed on. That was something I concurred with…
ROMNEY: …that your posture. That was my posture as well. You thought it should have been 5,000 troops…
ROMNEY: … I thought there should have been more troops, but you know what? The answer was we got…
ROMNEY: … no troops through whatsoever.
OBAMA: This was just a few weeks ago that you indicated that we should still have troops in Iraq.
ROMNEY: No, I…
ROMNEY: …I’m sorry that’s a…
OBAMA: You — you…
ROMNEY: …that’s a — I indicated…
OBAMA: …major speech.
ROMNEY: …I indicated that you failed to put in place a status…
ROMNEY: …of forces agreement at the end of the conflict that existed.
OBAMA: Governor — here — here’s — here’s one thing…
OBAMA: …here’s one thing I’ve learned as commander in chief.
SCHIEFFER: Let him answer…
OBAMA: You’ve got to be clear, both to our allies and our enemies, about where you stand and what you mean. You just gave a speech a few weeks ago in which you said we should still have troops in Iraq. That is not a recipe for making sure that we are taking advantage of the opportunities and meeting the challenges of the Middle East.
Now, it is absolutely true that we cannot just meet these challenges militarily. And so what I’ve done throughout my presidency and will continue to do is, number one, make sure that these countries are supporting our counterterrorism efforts.
Number two, make sure that they are standing by our interests in Israel’s security, because it is a true friend and our greatest ally in the region.
Number three, we do have to make sure that we’re protecting religious minorities and women because these countries can’t develop unless all the population, not just half of it, is developing.
Number four, we do have to develop their economic — their economic capabilities.
But number five, the other thing that we have to do is recognize that we can’t continue to do nation building in these regions. Part of American leadership is making sure that we’re doing nation building here at home. That will help us maintain the kind of American leadership that we need.
Whether Barack cares to admit it or not –he “OWNS” Iraq
The Islamist blitzkrieg in Iraq is the direct result of President Obama’s failure to maintain an American military presence there. As David French has shown, when Obama took office the Islamist extremists were a subdued and nearly defeated force. With a continued American presence, they would have remained subdued.
Some Obama apologists argue that we could not maintain our military presence because the Iraqi government wanted us out, and thus would not negotiate a status of forces agreement with us. In reality, though, Iraqi prime minister Maliki and his government wanted a continued U.S. military presence, and it was Obama who never seriously negotiated for this to happen. His goal was a complete military withdrawal so he could boost that he ended the war in Iraq.
You don’t have to my word for this. Dexter Filkins, who covered the Iraq war for the New York Times, has written an article in the New Yorker that lays out the sorry history.
I urge you to read the whole thing, but here are relevant highlights:
Filkins confirms that the Iraqi government wanted a continued U.S. military presence. He writes:
The leaders of all the major Iraqi parties had privately told American commanders that they wanted several thousand military personnel to remain, to train Iraqi forces and to help track down insurgents. The commanders told me that Maliki, too, said that he wanted to keep troops in Iraq. But he argued that the long-standing agreement that gave American soldiers immunity from Iraqi courts was increasingly unpopular; parliament would forbid the troops to stay unless they were subject to local law.
So there was a sticking point that required negotiations. Unfortunately, the Obama administration did not seriously negotiate:
For several months, American officials told me, they were unable to answer basic questions in meetings with Iraqis — like how many troops they wanted to leave behind — because the Administration had not decided. “We got no guidance from the White House,” [one official] told me. “We didn’t know where the President was. Maliki kept saying, ‘I don’t know what I have to sell.’”
“The American attitude was: Let’s get out of here as quickly as possible,” Sami al-Askari, the Iraqi member of parliament, said.
That, of course, is what happened.
An islamic clusterf*ck of epic proportions such as the situation in Iraq was bound to occur when an anti-war, anti-American, left-wing extremist islamophile man child whose goal is to destroy the US (and everything else in his path), is put in charge.