Think about it for a moment.
We’re going to be hearing during tonight’s debate about two things President Obama bills as his banner foreign policy achievements – killing Osama Bin Laden and ending the Iraq War.
But it turns out George W. Bush shares success for the former and is owed most of the credit for the latter.
It was the capabilities built by Bush and the much-aligned Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld that helped track Bin Laden down and that allowed us to end his worthless existence. Obama took the advice of all his advisers – save the vice president, who opposed the operation – and okayed the mission to take him out.
I give him more credit than some others do for not waiting for more information before moving. But really, the risk of not acting at the point he did was too high, both for the country and him politically. If he let Bin Laden slip away, things would have gone very badly for Obama.
The Iraq war success is Bush’s. The surge that won it was opposed by every Democrat in town, including this one, who had the following to say in January 2007.
The only substantial effect Obama has had on Iraq is to increase the danger there of a relapse in violence by withdrawing all our troops instead of making sure some stayed around so we could continue to influence the situation.
But of course, it makes a good talking point during a campaign to say he “ended the Iraq war.”
If Gov. Mitt Romney is smart, he’ll use these facts to poke holes in Obama’s argument that he’s a modern day Patton.