They say hindsight is 20/20. In a time when many Americans wanted nothing more than to put the Iraqi war behind them and bring the troops home, former President George W. Bush’s warnings fell largely on deaf ears. Yet, in retrospect, President Bush’s words from a speech made in 2007 were chillingly prophetic.
They are all unfolding before our very eyes.
The speech was made on July 12, 2007, at a time when Congressional leaders and citizens alike were weary of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and pushing for withdrawal of American troops from Iraq. Bush did not believe that a withdrawal would be a wise or strategic move, predicting a number of likely outcomes in Iraq if the United States threw in the towel.
Part of the reason for the election in 2008 of President Barack Obama was the hope by some that Obama would end the war in Iraq. As promised, the United States began an 18-month process of withdrawal. CNN boasted of the exit of the last of U.S. troops from Iraq shortly before Christmas 2011, a move that the commanders on the ground advised against.
But that exit left a vacuum in Iraq, one which has all too quickly been filled by the Islamic State forces, the horrific terror organization that the world has come to know as ISIS or ISIL.
Former President Bush endured excoriation from the media and ridicule from the pundits for his position on Iraq. He was mocked and scorned. But, he was right.
“Every single thing that President Bush said there in that statement is happening today,” says Marc Thiessen, who was Bush’s speechwriter at the time of the 2007 speech. He recently appeared on The Kelly File with Megyn Kelly to discuss the speech he wrote for President Bush.
“It is point by point by point what we are seeing today,” according to Megyn Kelly. She calls Bush’s predictions “eerie.”
“I know some in Washington would like us to start leaving Iraq now. To begin withdrawing before our commanders tell us we are ready would be dangerous for Iraq, for the region, and for the United States. It would mean surrendering the future of Iraq to al Qaeda. It would mean that we’d be risking mass killings on a horrific scale. It would mean we’d allow the terrorists to establish a safe haven in Iraq to replace the one they lost in Afghanistan. It would mean increasing the probability that American troops would have to return at some later date to confront an enemy that is even more dangerous.”
This part of Bush’s speech begins at the 9:00 point.
“President Barack Obama did withdraw troops before the commanders on the ground said they were ready to do so,” reports Newsmax. Thiessen said although the commanders recommended leaving 20,000 troops in Iraq, Obama left none.
When the peacekeeping forces left, Al Qaeda’s successor, ISIS, the Islamic State, came into power and has quickly grown in strength. They were left unchecked, and now, the “mass killings on a horrific scale” predicted by President Bush are today’s daily headlines. These are just a few, as reported by The Inquisitr:
- ISIS Ethnic Cleansing: 670 Prisoners Murdered In Shia Prison Massacre, UN Reports
- Iraq: ISIS Massacres Hundreds More Yazidis, U.S Steps Up Airstrikes
- ISIS Video Emerges Online Purporting To Show Brutal Beheading Of Steven Sotloff
- ‘I Survived An ISIS Massacre‘: One Soldier’s Unbelievable ‘3 Days Of Hell’
- Report: ISIS Beheading Children In Iraq
ISIS has managed to carve out a huge territory in Iraq and Syria that it now controls, according to Thiessen.
The ill-advised, premature withdrawal from Iraq has led to the one thing that neither President Bush and his supporters nor his opponents ever wanted to see. It is a grim moment when the very thing that you knew would happen, and you never wanted to happen, happens. However, it is a moment of heaviness and sorrow, not one for gloating or saying “I told you so.”
President Bush made it clear that abandoning Iraq “would mean increasing the probability that American troops would have to return at some later date to confront an enemy that is even more dangerous.” To our horror, his words are coming to pass right before our eyes. The Islamist savages of ISIS make Al Qaeda look like child’s play, and they are drowning Iraq in the blood of innocents. One has to wonder how many now wish that America had heeded President Bush’s chilling warnings about Iraq.
[images via Bing, Jason Reed/Reuters and AFP]