The folly of the US retreat from Iraq

Jennifer Rubin:
There is no better example of the trouble wrought by President Obama and Hillary Clinton’s policy of retreat and retrenchment than the sight of Secretary of State John Kerry pleading with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to stop arming the Iranian axis.

Cliff May of the Foundation for Defense of Democracy explains: “The Iraqis are caught between a rock and a not-so-hard place. The rock is Iran, a powerful and ruthless neighbor who makes offers that are dangerous to refuse. The not-so-hard place, I’m afraid, is the U.S., beginning the moment we pulled out our troops.” He adds: “Remember that Iraq still has no air force – and American warplanes no longer patrol over Iraq.”

...

But it didn’t worry them enough, it seems, to have figured out how to leave a stabilizing force in Iraq. And the notion that the U.S. can “end wars” merely by bringing all our troops home has been proven once again to be utter folly. We leave; Iran’s reach extends. And another battlefield, Syria, grows ever more bloody and jihadist-friendly. John Bolton, the former ambassador to the United Nations, e-mails me, “If ever proof were needed that ‘ending’ the war in Iraq and being content to withdraw our forces was not something to boast about, Kerry’s visit proves it.”

... May observes, “Imagine that the U.S. had pulled out of West Germany in the late 1940s. Would Bonn have been able to stand up to Soviet bullying?”
... 
Retreat should not be considered a victory, even if Obama would like for us to think so.  Just because he opposed the liberation of Iraq does not mean he was wise to squander the victory we had won for the people of Iraq.  Maliki is also squandering  that victory by alienating the Sunnis and reigniting the sectarian conflict the surge had quailed.  He is also powerless to deny Iran the use of Iraq's air space because the US no longer is patrolling the skies.

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