Well, it's not like we didn't know this was going to happen. He practically screamed it constantly during his campaign.
"Flying unannounced into a still-dangerous war zone, President Barack Obama told U.S. troops and Iraqi officials alike Tuesday it is time to phase out America's combat role in a conflict he opposed as a candidate and has vowed to end as commander in chief.
With violence diminished but hardly disappearing — a car bomb killed eight Iraqis just hours before Obama's arrival — the president met with Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and emphasized that "we strongly support" steps to unite political factions, including integrating minority Sunnis into the government and security forces."
Bear in mind that he went there to talk to troops after announcing some pretty hefty cuts in the military budget. Talk about first class...
The bombings alone show that Iraq is mostly won, but hardly subdued. We're leaving too early...
"Iraqis 'need to take responsibility for their own country,"'Obama told hundreds of cheering soldiers gathered in an ornate, marble palace near Saddam Hussein's former seat of power.
'You have given Iraq the opportunity to stand on its own as a democratic country. That is an extraordinary achievement,' he told some 600 troops, saluting their efforts during six years of American fighting and losses."
While I totally agree that Iraqis need to take responsibility for their country, the question is whether they're ready to do it or not. It's a fledgling democracy. It could be a success or it could dissolve in a bloody civil war. I'd rather that it be concrete and not a fleeting 'opportunity.' It won't be any kind of achievement if Iraq collapses into civil war. What it will be is a waste of American lives for absolutely nothing. I don't understand why liberals are so clueless on this.
Have we made major strides in the last year and a half in Iraq? Absolutely. However, Iraq at this point could be likened to a brittle, fragile crystal. If rapped hard enough, it'll shatter into hundreds of pieces. A withdrawal from Iraq will give a green light to the Iranians, who have been watching with bated breath just across the border. They're patiently waiting for us to leave and they'll go right back to interfering with Iraqi internal politics. The Sunnis, who are still very much distrustful of the Kurds and Shiites, will watch warily for any signs of revenge.
Personally, I think it'll happen. It is entirely possible that the Kurds will break away, causing problems for not only Iraq, but also Iran and Turkey, which have significant minorities of Kurds. The Shiites will undoubtedly be supported by the Iranians if they decide to take over the government. Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States have already said that they would support the Sunnis in a civil war. This has the potential to get out of control very quickly.