Did Bush not "keep the U.S. force strength in Iraq largely intact until the next president takes over "? Honey , Obama's troops left Iraq, not Bush's. It's a little thing called Commander in Chief.
Oh, Sweetie, I’m sure your non sequitur is fine. If you want to hitch your wagon to the wisdom of the Bush Administration’s choice and schedule of force levels in Iraq, I’m sure that’s fine for you to do, too.
Yes, I’m sure I’ve heard of the notion of ‘commander in chief’ somewhere before, but thanks for taking out the time to mansplain it to me that way.
Bush's agreement to the total withdrawal of American forces was arguably the only thing he got right about that war, even if it came in the last few days of his administration. It couldn't have been easy for him to accept, but Maliki would not be convinced. The Iraqi president knew to whom he answered, and it wasn't Bush.
Bush’d made a rhetorical point of his deep misreading of the lessons of America's war in Vietnam. Comparing Iraq to Vietnam, he said “We'll succeed unless we quit.” The utter collapse of the U.S. economy in his last months in office must have taxed his immense intellect for him to've accidentally signed the SOFA he did, locking in the timetable for the complete American withdrawal.
Another, different lesson one could take from the American loss in Vietnam might have been that the U.S. never understood the conflict, never could’ve achieved its war aims on the terms it did understand and was willing to fight it with, and that no amount of ‘Vietnamization’ of the war was going to change what would happen as the U.S. withdrew. Let me remind you the national debt mushroomed to pay for that misguided adventurism.
Applied to the Iraqi civil war, those seem more accurate lessons than the lesser Bush’s version.
"Because of Barack Obama the mission in Iraq ended."
— Barack Obama on Thursday, November 3rd, 2011 in a campaign ad