Yesterday, on Larry King Live, Vice President Joe Biden stated that the Iraq war could be one of the greatest successes of the Obama Administration. That is quite a shift of opinion. Considering that the success of Iraq is largely due to the “surge” that was ordered by President Bush and President Barack Obama and Biden have been the chief critics of the surge.
In 2007 then Senator Barack Obama said that the surge would not work. In fact, he stated in an MSNBC interview that the surge would actually increase violence in Iraq. Obama played coy, only saying that he did not think the surge would work. Whereas, Biden stated that the surge was a failure:
The purpose of the surge was to bring violence in Iraq down so that its leaders could come together politically. Violence has come down, but the Iraqis have not come together… There is little evidence the Iraqis will settle their differences peacefully any time soon.
In 2007, General Petraeus testified before Congress saying that the surge was starting to work and that there could be military reductions as soon as summer of 2008. This is when Obama started to change his tune, saying that the surge did not go as he expected. Luckily, for us, and the US military, Obama was wrong on the surge. While on the campaign trail Obama further conceded that the success of the surge was beyond his “wildest dreams” stating:
The surge has succeeded in ways that nobody anticipated
Well, almost nobody. President Bush and General Petraeus thought that there was a good chance that the surge could work, and that is why they proceeded with it. Now that violence in Iraq is down and a seemingly stable government, Biden is lauding the Obama Administration’s success in being able to bring troops home this summer. Trouble is, that is what the plan was before Obama got into office. The Status of Armed Forces Agreement was ratified by the Iraqi Parliament in November of 2008 when George Bush was still in office. The agreement called for the removal of troops in most Iraqi cities by 2009 and a complete withdrawal of US Troops by the end of 2011. The Obama Administration loves to point out things that were “inherited” from the Bush Administration, but they seem to be taking credit for something good that they truly did inherit.