President Obama interacts with children while flanked by First Lady Michelle Obama and Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Chairman David Archambault II during the Cannon Ball Flag Day celebration at the Cannon Ball Powwow Grounds on the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota
Man in the crowd: “We love Michelle too!” Pres. Obama smiles: “Of course you love Michelle. Who doesn’t love Michelle?” #PrezRezVisit
Today President Barack Obama issued a statement on the situation in Iraq.
He reiterated that the ISIS/ISIL advance was a threat to US interests. He was receiving regular briefings from his national security team, and was in contact with the Iraqi leadership.
But if the people who got Iraq into the state it is today expected words of comfort, they were in for a rude surprise.
Pres. Obama tore into the Iraqi leadership, castigating it for not working anywhere near hard enough to knit the country’s various ethnicities and religious confessions together into a viable state. He bemoaned that all the money which the US taxpayer has poured into building the Iraqi Army seems to have gone to waste, as a numerically inferior force of terrorists has overrun Iraqi Army posts, brigades just melting away without firing a shot.
This is the state in which Iraq finds itself. A Shi’a elite has replaced a Sunni Arab elite, and has operated along the same lines as the former elite under Saddam Hussein. Sunni Arabs are shut out of any real power. Frustration builds. A civil war which had been somewhat tamped down by the time US troops left has flared up to full force again. There are other Sunni groups fighting the central government besides ISIS. And Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki keeps trying to centralize power and entrench his new elite.
Of course, the mistake was invading Iraq in the first place. Jihadi groups did not exist in the Levant before George W. Bush’s geopolitical disaster. This was a disaster aided and abetted by a feckless media, too shellshocked by 9/11 and Bush’s popularity to ask any real questions. The country and the “coalition of the willing” rushed to war against a country whose major sin was that it stuck in the craw of the PNAC crowd.