The recent recapturing of the city of Fallagua in the Anbar province of Iraq by Al Qaeda terrorists, is indeed a mournful day in the history of the United States and Iraq, as well as the entire Middle East. It has signaled the official resurgence of Al Qaeda and the decline of any hope for even a modicum of democratic rule in the region. And while it has been President Obama that actually snatched defeat from the jaws of victory in Iraq, it was President Bush who weakened those jaws to the point that they were so easily opened.
Mr. Bush's first major mistake was allowing the religious zealot Mohammed Hasan al-Maliki to grasp the reins of power from the much more moderate and level-headed Ayad Allawi. Allawi was placed into power with a combination of U.S. backing and the good blessings of Iraqi leadership formerly in exile during the Saddam Hussein regime. Mr. Allawi did not have the funding to beat Mr. Maliki in the Iraqi election, which saw the latter garnering almost unlimited financial support from Iran. Mr. Bush, knowing this and having the opportunity to help the United States' ally, Mr. Allawi, decided to pass and allow Mr. Maliki to take control of the country whose ground was stained with so many brave Americans' blood.
The other mistake that President Bush made was to leave all decisions about future involvement of U.S. troops completely to the discretion of his successor, Barack Obama. Mr. Bush could have made certain troop requirements and agreements with the Iraqi government a matter of U.S. law, but chose instead to trust his successor's loyalty to the Iraqi/U.S. common interests of liberty and security. Mr. Bush's miscalculation of Barack Obama's sense of duty to the higher calling of humanity resident in the library of the human spirit, contributed to the rebirth of Islamic inspired terrorism, not only in Iraq, but throughout the Middle East.
Believe me, there was no greater supporter of the Iraq war than myself, I still believe that it was the right thing to do. It removed a proven threat to the region, Saddam Hussein, who was a sponsor of terrorism and a menace to decency. But President Bush took no steps to insure that Saddam's weapons of mass destruction were not moved to Syria, where they recently were the instrument used to reduce U.S. influence while increasing the stature of Russia and their proxy. He also gave no real support to Ayad Allawi, a friend to peaceful and democratic ideals. Had Mr. Bush made the necessary decisions to weaken the influence of Al Qaeda in a more permanent way, they would not today be aided so greatly by the fecklessness and fraudulent ideology of Barack Obama.