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Barack Obama delivers speech defending US invasion of Iraq

Barack Obama ran for office attacking the US invasion of Iraq and promising to immediately end the conflict. He even stated “I go in, troops come home.” Once elected he completely reversed this position and formally adopted the withdrawal timeline that George W. Bush had set.

Now he has taken his flip flop a giant leap forward by defending the US invasion of Iraq during a speech in Holland.


President Obama is on the receiving end of scorn for remarks made during a high-profile speech in Brussels on Wednesday in which he defended the U.S. invasion of Iraq in an attempt to chastise Russia for recent developments in Crimea and Ukraine.

Speaking to the international community about the ongoing crisis in Ukraine and fending off repeated accusations that the U.S. has lost its moral authority given the invasion of Iraq and other breaches of international law in recent years, Obama said:

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.

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.

But instead of tamping down accusations of hypocrisy, Obama inflamed it.

Responding to the speech on FireDogLake, DSWright shot back: “Worked within the international system? So if Russia had gone to the UN to get a resolution, failed, then annexed Crimea it would have been OK?”

During the US invasion of Iraq:

The US invaded a country where no one wanted to be invaded. There was massive death and destruction.

The US government places the Iraqi death toll at 109,032. Most other surveys place the death toll at much higher numbers. Iraq also say an explosion in cancer rates, birth defects, and other illnesses.

4,486 US soldiers died during the Iraq War. Many more US mercenaries and other US citizens died in Iraq.

Russian “invasion” of Crimea:

Crimea voted to secede and join Russian in a public referendum. There was record voter turnout and the referendum passed with over 90%.
Russian is slowly taking possession of Crimean assets in a process that has been mostly peaceful and uneventful.

The number of people who have died so far in the Ukraine is two. There are two members of the Ukrainian military that have been killed. Both of those deaths were most likely caused by domestic extremists, not the Russian military.