Rick Santorum is living up to his name today. In the wake of the Paris terror attacks, he is claiming that President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton created the Islamic State. This is true in the same way that President Bush kept America safe from terror attacks.
“ISIS is a creation of a political decision by Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama to abandon Iraq — against all of our generals’ recommendations, against all of the policy recommendations.
“Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, under her watch, decided politics above the security of our country and the stability and security of the world.”
The Status of Forces Agreement dates from the presidency of George W. Bush. It was this agreement which dictated that American troops be withdrawn from Iraq. To ignore it would have led, for all intents and purposes, to American forces illegally invading Iraq for a second time.
The Islamic State, which Santorum claims is a result of the SOF, also predates the Obama presidency, being an offshoot of Al Qaeda of Syria, which came into existence before U.S. troops were withdrawn in accordance with the SOF.
Al Qaeda, as is also well known, did not exist in Iraq until the invasion of President George W. Bush in 2003, for the simple reason that Saddam Hussein opposed Al Qaeda and would not let them operate inside Iraq. Though Iraqi intelligence officers and representatives of Al Qaeda had met in Sudan in 1994 or 1995, these meetings led nowhere. This fact was noted by the 9/11 Commission:
“We have seen no evidence that these or earlier contacts ever developed into a collaborate operational relationship. Nor have we seen evidence that Iraq cooperated with al Qaeda in developing or carrying out any attacks against the United States.”
The result of these two facts is that the author of all our woes here is not President Obama, but President Bush and his team of war criminals.
These are the simple, inescapable facts. Thus, Rick Santorum is a liar.
As Daniel Byman, Professor of Security Studies at Georgetown University, wrote in his book, Al Qaeda, The Islamic State, and the Global Jihadist Movement (my review can be found here),
The Islamic State is Al Qaeda’s most important progeny and its greatest nemesis. The Islamic State grew out of Al Qaeda in Iraq, and both groups objectives, enemies, and tactics are all part of the broader Jihadist movement that Al Qaeda so long sought to unify and lead.
Beginning as Jund al-Sham and then becoming Jamaat al-Tawhid wal Jihad (Group of Monotheism and Jihad,
Following 9/11…the group became Al Qaeda in the Land of the Two Rivers, usually referred to as Al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) in 2004. In 2006 it merged with several smaller groups and changed its name briefly to the Majlis Shura al-Mujahedin, and then quickly again merged with several other small groups, assuming the name the Islamic State of Iraq (ISI), though it was often just referred to as AQI.
ISI kept that name until 2013, when its large presence in Syria led it to add “al-Sham” (the Arabic term for Greater Syria) thus making it the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham, or alternately, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria often simply referred to by its acronym, ISIS.
Indisputably then, the Islamic State was not created by President Obama but by President Bush as a result of his toppling of the regime of Saddam Hussein. This is a Republican problem – yet another Republican problem inherited by President Obama and now being conveniently laid at his door.
Yet according to the uninformed, dishonest and delusional Santorum, President Obama “is either uninformed, dishonest or delusional and probably all three.”
Santorum’s conclusion, based on an appallingly inaccurate false premise is therefore that,
“Barack Obama [and] Hillary Clinton have created the most dangerous world that any new president is going to have to assume the leadership of. That’s why your decision is so important. You are going to have to make a tough decision.”
It’s not really a tough decision at all when the lies are so brazen.
According to the Florida GOP, “The Sunshine Summit will provide a unique platform for presidential candidates to share their vision for the nation while discussing the key issues facing the American people,” but what it really provides is a “unique platform” for propagating lies.
You’ve got to give Santorum credit for turning facts on their head in so brazen a fashion. His words are certainly in the finest tradition of Republican politicians since the end of the Bush presidency.
Santorum’s lies don’t change facts, however, and the facts show Santorum to be a scoundrel and a liar of the worst sort. But then, that’s just today’s Republican Party for you.
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.