Earlier today, Obama delivered a speech in Brussels, where he has been attending meetings connected to the EU and NATO.
When criticizing Vladimir Putin, Obama gave a very whitewashed portrayal of the Iraq War:
Moreover, Russia has pointed to America’s decision to go into Iraq as an example of Western hypocrisy. Now, it is true that the Iraq war was a subject of vigorous debate, not just around the world but in the United States, as well. I participated in that debate, and I opposed our military intervention there.America "sought to work within the international system," which it then chose to ignore when it did not get its way.
But even in Iraq, America sought to work within the international system. We did not claim or annex Iraq’s territory. We did not grab its resources for our own gain. Instead, we ended our war and left Iraq to its people in a fully sovereign Iraqi state that can make decisions about its own future.
Of course, neither the United States nor Europe are perfect in adherence to our ideals. Nor do we claim to be the sole arbiter of what is right or wrong in the world.
We are human, after all, and we face difficult decisions about how to exercise our power.
But part of what makes us different is that we welcome criticism, just as we welcome the responsibilities that come with global leadership. We look to the east and the south and see nations poised to play a growing role on the world stage, and we consider that a good thing.
Oh, and the Iraq War had nothing at all to do with oil. Nothing at all. US corporations didn't want to plunder any resources one bit.
Obama also conveniently forgets how he wanted to extend the troop presence, but such negotiations broke down because of Pentagon demands for immunity for such troops--a demand clearly in violation of Iraq's sovereignty.
The US left behind a very stable country!
The line about welcoming criticism is just too precious. It is not about Iraq per se, but I just had to include it.