As President Obama returns from a well deserved and earned two-week vacation in Hawaii – ok, being quite facetious here – I wonder if he did any reflection between rounds of golf. And why is it that the First Lady remained in Hawaii to celebrate her 50th birthday?
Regardless, I reflected upon the words of George Santayana, “Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it”. Reason being, as President Obama returns to Washington DC he is part of a repeat of history. After the fall of South Vietnam the rise of Southeast Asian communism ensued, Cambodia was embroiled in a five-year civil war, 1970-1975, resulting in the ascension of the Khmer Rouge. Under the brutal leadership of Pol Pot the following four years resulted in one of the most horrific acts of genocide.
It what would come to be known as the “Killing Fields” the Khymer Rouge reign contributed to the deaths of between 1.7 to 2.5 million. Pol Pot presided over a communist dictatorship that imposed a radical form of agrarian socialism on the country. His government forced urban dwellers to relocate to the countryside to work in collective farms and forced labor projects. The combined effects of executions, forced labor, malnutrition, and poor medical care caused the deaths of approximately 25 percent of the Cambodian population.
His death grip over the Democratic Kampuchea (funny how communists and socialists always call themselves Democratic) ended with the Cambodian-Vietnamese War.
Then as now, the liberal progressives of the Democrat (there’s that word again) party ardently protested and undermined the efforts of our military forces – then Vietnam, now Iraq. Then it was communism, now it is Islamic totalitarianism. Then it was the killing fields of Pol Pot, today the cities of Ramadi and Fallujah. Just as the Democrats abandoned Southeast Asia, now they have abandoned the Middle East.
President Obama as true to his colors, believed that a political promise was far more important than a strategic decision. Therefore, against the recommendations of Commanders on the ground, he decided against any residual force to remain in Iraq. There will be the detractors who will say, Americans were tired of fighting. My response is that America was not fighting, it was committed Men and Women, warriors, who had defeated a vile, vicious Islamic terrorist, jihadist enemy.
Just as men like my older Brother had embarked to fight in Vietnam, yet again, politicians let them down – some things never change.
Leadership, principled, courageous leadership, would have explained to the American people why a complete withdrawal of American military forces from Iraq would not bode well. Leadership would have reminded the American people of the killing fields of Pol Pot.
Leadership would have held a press conference and stated, “I have consulted with the Commanders on the ground in Iraq, combat leaders, and concur with their recommendation for a residual force. Our men and women in Iraq have done that which many, to include myself and others in my party said was impossible. Against all odds they persevered, displayed American warrior resolve, and defeated Al Qaeda and Islamic terrorism. Now, those of you would say, it is time to withdraw, retreat, claim victory, but that is not how we sustain these fragile gains. We will maintain a residual force in Iraq that will provide an external cordon for this fledgling but historic land and people to recover. We will position our forces along the borders with Syria and Iran in order to interdict any terrorist elements. As well, we shall station forces in northern Iraq to foster military to military relations with our Kurdish friends and ensure their security along with any Christian (Assyrian and Chaldean) minorities. This may not be a popular decision, but I am not here to be a popular person, but a strategic minded President, a visionary leader. I have studied history and recall what happened after our precipitous, and dishonorable, exit from Vietnam and the killing fields of Pol Pot and the bloodthirsty communists. We shall not abandon those who risked their lives to support our efforts in Iraq. We shall not steal defeat from the jaws of success. We shall not dishonor the sacrifices of so many who over these eight years gave the last full measure of devotion. We will not let up and now is the time, now is a moment when we can, and we will, drive a stake into the heart of Islamic terrorism and send a clear message, “you can run but America will ensure that you will die tired”.
Instead, America saw a charlatan, a political imposter who, with the aid of a complicit, propagandized media, made our Nation believe there was honor in retreating. That combined with the insidious lie, “Al Qaeda is decimated and on the run” now means that a new killing field is being harvested. It is happening on the ground where American blood was shed in order to plant the seeds of liberty and freedom from islamists.
Thanks to President Barack Hussein Obama the black Al Qaeda flag now flies in Fallujah and may soon fly in Ramadi, it already flies in Benghazi.
Secretary of State John Kerry has stated that we will not send US troops – he lies. Unlike the Vietnam where he went to visit, this enemy will not rest until they have restored a global caliphate, and it starts in the Middle East. Somewhere, sometime, we will have to send US troops, again.
I served in Operation Desert Shield/ Storm. I served in Operation Iraqi Freedom. And I spent two and a half years in southern Afghanistan supporting Operation Enduring Freedom as a civilian-military advisor to the Afghan National Army. I wonder how long it will be before the Taliban flag is flying once again in Kandahar?