Along with the rest of the neocon crew, Andrew Bolt is blaming the collapse of the Iraqi state on Obama’s withdrawal of US troops in 2011. Exactly how Obama was supposed to repudiate an agreement signed by Bush, and maintain an occupation force against the wishes of the Iraqi government (he tried, but failed to negotiate an extension) is not explained. But, no matter.
At least Bolt and the rest warned us that Iraq was still too fragile to be left on its own, and that an indefinite occupation was needed. Well not exactly. Here he is in 2009, gloating over the fact that Obama was going slow on withdrawal and thereby disappointing his supporters. That could be read either way, I guess, but there’s no warning that Bush’s timetable needed changing.
More striking is this piece from 2007, claiming that “the war has been won“. Here’s what he has to say about future prospects
Violence is falling fast. Al Qaida has been crippled.
The Shiites, Kurds and Marsh Arabs no longer face genocide.
What’s more, the country has stayed unified. The majority now rules.
Despite that, minority Sunni leaders are co-operating in government with Shiite ones.
There is no civil war. The Kurds have not broken away. Iran has not turned Iraq into its puppet.
And the country’s institutions are getting stronger. The Iraqi army is now at full strength, at least in numbers.
The country has a vigorous media. A democratic constitution has been adopted and backed by a popular vote.
Election after election has Iraqis turning up in their millions.
Add it all up. Iraq not only remains a democracy, but shows no sign of collapse.
If I were an American reading that, I would have said it was time to bring the boys and girls home, as Bush agreed to do in October 2008.