Iraq is melting down, and this is an unfortunate thing for its people. But one thing it is not is a sign of Obama “squandering victory” or some such. Neocons always want to rewrite even the very recent past. They want intervention, they want it always, and they think we’re all too stupid to remember what disasters they have led us to.
Iraq has been in a low level state of civil war since we left. Occasional bombing campaigns in Baghdad and elsewhere were not uncommon. Their now-somewhat-capable military has kept things to a dull roar, but the best measure of a country’s level of violence, “Would you visit as a tourist?,” is decidedly no.
Note that the al Qaeda affiliate taking over Mosul is also the group fighting Assad in Syria, which these same neocons said we should have bombed and destroyed last fall. Do these people even have coherent thoughts? It does not appear so. Indeed, Obama is incompetent in nearly every area. But Iraq’s internal security is not his job, he cannot control things there any more than America could when it had 135,000 troops in Iraq, and its destiny is ultimately something it will have to determine on its own. We should maintain friendly relations, and we should strike al Qaeda wherever we find it, but we should be under no illusions we are or can be responsible for Iraq’s internal security. Indeed, the most irresponsible thing we could do for its security would be to attack Assad and further embolden these multinational al Qaeda crazy people, just as bombing Iraq would allow jihadists to tap into Iraqi nationalist sentiment.
But for neocons, the answer is always more war and more occupation, everywhere, all the time.