The Administration Versus Reality

The Iraqi parliament has voted to direct the government to expel all foreign troops — meaning U.S. troops, of course. The prime minister is expected to sign it. As I understand it, this directive would not expel troops immediately but would work out a timeline for troops to leave.

Along with alarm over the death of General Soleimani, the Iraqis are understandably peeved that this military action was carried out in their country with no notice whatsoever.

Iraq’s Foreign Ministry filed a complaint via two letters to the President of the UN Security Council and UN Secretary General about the “American attacks and assaults against Iraqi military locations,” according to a Foreign Ministry Statement.

The complaint was also about the death of Al-Muhandis, the militia leader, and others on Iraqi soil.

“These attacks represent a serious violation of Iraqi sovereignty and the conditions of the presence of the American forces in Iraq,” the statement read, adding, “Iraq called on the Security Council to condemn the bombing and assassinations.”

This is not unreasonable.

SecState Pompeo said that the Iraqi people are fine with whatever the U.S. does, because we are their liberators, or something.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Sunday dismissed calls by Iraq’s caretaker prime minister for a timetable for all foreign troops to exit the country, in the wake of a U.S. strike that killed top Iranian military commander Qasem Soleimani, arguing that the Iraqi people want the United States to remain and continue the fight against terrorism.

Pompeo also blames the entire current situation on President Obama. Obama should have taken out Soleimani! Except that most of the deaths of U.S. troops attributed to Soleimani happened during George W. Bush’s watch, and he didn’t take out Soleimani either.

In fact, conscious decisions were taken under the George W. Bush administration, even when Soleimani was in the crosshairs, not to pull the trigger. Gen. Stanley McChrystal wrote last year, he had a shot in 2007 but let Soleimani go: “The decision not to act is often the hardest one to make—and it isn’t always right.”

But, um, sometimes the decision not to act is right. Notice that most of the people lining up to praise Trump’s actions are the same geniuses who thought invading Iraq in 2003 was a great idea. They don’t learn.

This happened yesterday:

President Donald Trump on Saturday warned Iran that a strike on “any Americans” or “American assets” in retaliation for the killing of its top general would result in the US targeting 52 sites — including “Iranian culture” sites.

But deliberately targeting cultural sites or cultural heritage sites could amount to a war crime.

Even better, now Iran is saying it is suspending all commitments to the 2015 nuclear deal. So much winning.