It has taken most of 5 years for President Obama to clean up the economic mess left by the Bush administration…an economic disaster that former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke labeled as worse than the 1929 crash that led to the Great Depression.
Now the Obama administration is determined to clean up the mess created by the Bush administration’s decision to invade Iraq…a country that posed no real threat to the US. ISIS, aka ISIL and IS, began as al-Qaeda in Iraq in the vacuum created by the overthrow of Saddam Hussein. When Paul Bremer decided to “de-Ba’athify” Iraq following the invasion, Saddam’s former military officers were left with no jobs, no income and no future. The situation was further complicated when the US military following the directions of former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld left the Iraqi ammo dumps unguarded allowing the guerilla fighters to turn artillery shells into IEDs that kept US forces bogged down in Iraq for more than 9 years.
The Ba’athists and former Iraqi military officers became further alienated by the new Iraqi leadership who gave power to Shiites and marginalized Sunnis.
So here we go again. Round three in Iraq.
Only this time, we are doing it right. Although the Obama administration has been criticized for not committing ground troops, that is because they are being careful not to make the war on ISIS seem like another Christian crusade against the Muslim world. Instead, we have put together a coalition that includes the Arab nations of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, UAE, Jordan and the Kurdish Peshmerga.
It’s not perfect. No war is. But it’s unlikely to be another disaster on the scale of what Bush-Cheney gave us.