I was opposed to G.H.W. Bush's invasion of Iraq back in 1991.
Iraq was never a real threat to the USA and the USA has gained nothing there.
Take a look at what's going on there right now.
Those people will be fighting over religion way off into the future, with or without anyone's help.
The Status of Forces Agreement Explained.
Here's why it fails: Any residual U.S. force we might have left in Iraq would have been minimal and in a non-combat role, somewhere on the order of 2Ė3,000 [troops]. . . .  We could not have stayed unless the Iraqi government let us stay ó Iraq is a sovereign nation and the al-Maliki government wanted American troops to leave. . . .  The status-of-forces agreement, the basic framework upon which American withdrawal was based, came from the administration of George W. Bush.
These claims donít jibe with what we know about how the negotiations with Iraq went. Itís the White House itself that decided just 2Ė3,000 troops made sense, when the Defense Department and others were proposing more. Maliki was willing to accept a deal with U.S. forces if it was worth it to him ó the problem was that the Obama administration wanted a small force so that it could say it had ended the war. Having a very small American force wasnít worth the domestic political price Maliki would have to pay for supporting their presence. In other words, itís not correct that ďthe al-Maliki government wanted American troops to leave.Ē That contradicts the reporting thatís been done on the issue by well-known neocon propaganda factories The New Yorker and the New York Times. Prime Minister Maliki did say in public, at times, that he personally couldnít offer the guarantees necessary to keep U.S. troops in the country, but itís well-established that behind closed doors, he was interested in a substantial U.S. presence. The Obama administration, in fact, doesnít even really deny it: For Dexter Filkinsís New Yorker story, deputy national-security adviser Ben Rhodes didnít dispute this issue, he just argued that a U.S. troop presence wouldnít have been a panacea.
And Hayesís third point, that the Bush administration signed the status-of-forces agreement that included U.S. troopsí leaving at the end of 2011, is utterly meaningless: The agreement was supposed to be renegotiated eventually, to provide a long-term presence with U.S. troops in a different role. Thatís why the Obama administration, however half-heartedly and with little regard for the fate of Iraq, did try to renegotiate it. And itís why the Maliki government was open to these negotiations ó the situation on the ground was very different in 2011 than it had been when Bush signed the agreement in 2008.
Time: "Iraq's Government, Not Obama, Called Time On U.S. Troop Presence." An October 2011 Time article titled "Iraq's Government, Not Obama, Called Time on the U.S. Troop Presence," explained that U.S. troop withdrawal from Iraq was "an overwhelmingly popular demand among Iraqis":
But ending the U.S. troop presence in Iraq was an overwhelmingly popular demand among Iraqis, and Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki appears to have been unwilling to take the political risk of extending it. While he was inclined to see a small number of American soldiers stay behind to continue mentoring Iraqi forces, the likes of Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, on whose support Maliki's ruling coalition depends, were having none of it. Even the Obama Administration's plan to keep some 3,000 trainers behind failed because the Iraqis were unwilling to grant them the legal immunity from local prosecution that is common to SOF agreements in most countries where U.S. forces are based. [Time, 10/21/11]AP: SOFA Negotiations Thwarted By Iraqi Government. In October 2011, the Associated Press reported that negotiations for a SOFA were stymied after the Iraqi government refused to grant American troops legal immunity:
But talks ran aground over Iraqi opposition to giving American troops legal immunity that would shield them from Iraqi prosecution. Legal protection for U.S. troops has always angered everyday Iraqis who saw it as simply a way for the Americans to run roughshod over the country. Many Iraqi lawmakers were hesitant to grant immunity for fear of a backlash from constituents.
"When the Americans asked for immunity, the Iraqi side answered that it was not possible," al-Maliki told a news conference Saturday. "The discussions over the number of trainers and the place of training stopped. Now that the issue of immunity was decided and that no immunity to be given, the withdrawal has started." [The Huffington Post, 10/22/2011]The New York Times: "Iraqis Were Unwilling To Accept" Terms Of SOFA. An October 2011 New York Times article provided details of the complicated negotiations between the U.S. and Iraq for a status of forces agreement (emphasis added):
Over the last year, in late-night meetings at the fortified compound of the Iraqi president, Jalal Talabani, and in videoconferences between Baghdad and Washington, American and Iraqi negotiators had struggled to reach an agreement. All the while, both Mr. Obama and the Iraqi prime minister, Nuri Kamal al-Maliki, gave the world a wink and nod, always saying that Iraq was ready to stand on its own but never fully closing the door on the possibility of American troops' staying on.
Through the summer, American officials continued to assume that the agreement would be amended, and Mr. Obama was willing to support a continued military presence. In June, diplomats and Iraqi officials said that Mr. Obama had told Mr. Maliki that he was prepared to leave up to 10,000 soldiers to continue training and equipping the Iraqi security forces. Mr. Maliki agreed, but said he needed time to line up political allies.
This month, American officials pressed the Iraqi leadership to meet again at President Talabani's compound to discuss the issue. This time the Americans asked them to take a stand on the question of immunity for troops, hoping to remove what had always been the most difficult hurdle. But they misread Iraqi politics and the Iraqi public. Still burdened by the traumas of this and previous wars, and having watched the revolutions sweeping their region, the Iraqis were unwilling to accept anything that infringed on their sovereignty. [The New York Times, 10/21/11]
And here's the kicker:
Fareed Zakaria: Who lost Iraq? The Iraqis did, with an assist from George W. Bush - The Washington Post
Some commentators have blamed the Obama administration for negotiating badly or halfheartedly and perhaps this is true. But hereís what a senior Iraqi politician told me in the days when the U.S. withdrawal was being discussed: ďIt will not happen. Maliki cannot allow American troops to stay on. Iran has made very clear to Maliki that its No. 1 demand is that there be no American troops remaining in Iraq. And Maliki owes them.Ē He reminded me that Maliki spent 24 years in exile, most of them in Tehran and Damascus, and his party was funded by Iran for most of its existence. And in fact, Malikiís government has followed policies that have been pro-Iranian and pro-Syrian.
But nonetheless, when we did leave we left them with a pretty solid foundation. One if they built on it, the Iraqiís would have probably led to peace and stability. But Miliki decided to tear a lot of that foundation apart and prosecute the Sunni instead of incorporating them. It is Miliki that bears the brunt of the responsibility for what we are seeing in Iraq today. At least in my opinion. Now keep in mind as bad as things seems in Iraq today, it could get better tomorrow, or worse.
Was it worth it or was it one huge mistake, I suppose history will have to decide that as 20, 30, 50, 100 years from now historians will have the advantage of knowing how all this played out. We do not. There are many days when I wake up, I look back to my war, the Vietnam War and say to myself, it didnít have to turn out this way. I just hope and pray those soldiers and fly boys who fought in the Iraq War do not in their future wake up and say to themselves, it didnít have to turn out this way.
Early voting in Georgia. On the 20th of October this old Goldwater conservative voted against both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton by casting my vote for Gary Johnson. Neither Trump or Clinton belong within a million miles of the Oval Office.
Unfortunately, Maliki was already bought and paid for, politically. If it was Obama's choice, then I think your argument would be perfectly legit.