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Paul Greenberg -
August 16, 2014

"I think this is going to take some time," our president warned last Saturday as he took off for a vacation on Martha's Vineyard, maybe because he felt he had to offer some explanation as Iraq collapsed along with his foreign policy in general. What was once Iraq is now divided, like ancient Gaul, into three parts -- Shi'a, Sunni and Kurdish -- all of which are themselves crumbling. So now Barack Obama tells us that it may take some time to put Iraq together again after it fell apart in record time once he withdrew American forces there in such haste. And according to a purely arbitrary timetable he considerately announced well in advance, lest the enemy be surprised.

The war this president claimed to have ended there three years ago is back -- if   
it ever went away. But to this president, history is one of the plastic arts. He can reshape it any time. And often does. Now he tells us it'll take a while to end the war there. You think? The way it always takes more time to rebuild something than to destroy it? The bloody consequences of his own decision to withdraw from Iraq prematurely continue to haunt him, which may be why he's still trying to rationalize it. Even as, little by little, he's being forced to reverse it.

After all the blood and treasure America sacrificed to hold Iraq together, this president and both his secretaries of state (Hillary Clinton and then John Kerry) have managed to squander the hard-won gains achieved there in no time at all. Now there's change you can really believe in...

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The End of Iraq