Right before a piece on the threat of ISIL, Megyn Kelly on Thursday night ran with a video of President George W. Bush’s dire prophecy about Iraq back in 2007, during the surge, what she calls a “frighteningly accurate assessment” of what would happen if the administration bowed to critics and called a halt to operations.
To begin withdrawing before our commanders tell us we are ready … 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.
The obvious intent was to show that Bush predicted the rise of ISIL and that President Obama ignored the wise warnings of his predecessor and is solely to blame for the Islamic State. All Kelly had to do was re-write history, and this, because she has no shame – and in accord with Fox News’ business model of “lies for dollars” – she was more than happy to do.
What Megyn Kelly ignored, and what ignorant viewers of Fox News seem unaware of, is that the surge worked to the administration’s satisfaction and that consequently, just a year after making the above statement, President Bush signed SOFA, the the U.S.-Iraq Status of Forces Agreement.
It’s official name says it all, and this is probably why Kelly avoids mentioning it: Agreement Between the United States of America and the Republic of Iraq On the Withdrawal of United States Forces from Iraq and the Organization of Their Activities during Their Temporary Presence in Iraq.
Yes, that’s right, Megyn Kelly. SOFA, signed by President Bush, required that American combat forces leave Iraqi cities by June 30, 2009, and that by December 31, 2011 American troops withdraw completely from Iraq.
This is what that same President George W. Bush said about SOFA in November 2008, and you might note that it trumps his earlier warnings (because the surge has worked):
Earlier today, in another sign of progress, Iraq’s Council of Representatives approved two agreements with the United States, a Strategic Framework Agreement and a Security Agreement, often called a Status of Forces Agreement or SOFA. The Strategic Framework Agreement sets the foundation for a long-term bilateral relationship between our two countries, and the Security Agreement addresses our presence, activities, and withdrawal from Iraq. Today’s vote affirms the growth of Iraq’s democracy and increasing ability to secure itself. We look forward to a swift approval by Iraq’s Presidency Council.
Two years ago, this day seemed unlikely – but the success of the surge and the courage of the Iraqi people set the conditions for these two agreements to be negotiated and approved by the Iraqi parliament. The improved conditions on the ground and the parliamentary approval of these two agreements serve as a testament to the Iraqi, Coalition, and American men and women, both military and civilian, who paved the way for this day.
As the two agreements move to Iraq’s Presidency Council for final approval, we congratulate the members of the Council of Representatives for coming together to approve these historic agreements that will serve the shared and enduring interests of both our countries and the region.
I might draw Ms. Kelly’s particular attention to the part where Bush credits the success of the surge and the “courage of the Iraqi people” making this agreement possible. No warnings here of an Iraq in chaos, or the need to go back to roust a resurgent al-Qaeda.
President Bush was, in 2007, defending the surge, not arguing for a prolonged U.S. presence in Iraq after it was no longer needed. What is ignored is that by 2008, as SOFA demonstrates, the Bush administration had determined that Americans could safely go home, a process now blamed on Obama, despite Democratic opposition to Bush’s unilateral actions in making the SOFA agreement without consulting Congress.
This marks yet another sad attempt by Fox News and Megyn Kelly to smear President Obama with President Bush’s egregious errors in judgment. And to judge from comments about Kelly’s story on conservative sites, the willfully uninformed flock have bought the lies hook, line, and sinker.
Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen’s Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation www.mosmaiorum.org, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.