Speaking in Brussels, Obama dismissed suggestions by Russia and its supporters that the Iraq war undercuts the United States’ credibility in criticizing Russia’s incursion into Crimea in Ukraine.
“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,” Obama said. “I happened to oppose our military intervention there.”
Obama added: “But even in Iraq, America sought to work within the international system. We did not claim or annex Iraq’s territory, nor did we grab its resources for our own gain. Instead, we ended our war and left Iraq to its people and a fully sovereign Iraqi state could make decisions about its own future.”
This is perhaps the most asinine thing the president has said in the entirety of his presidency. The invasion of Iraq was an illegal, preventive war based on lies. It got hundreds of thousands of people killed and cost trillions of dollars. The U.S.-backed dictator of Iraq, Nouri al-Maliki, is ruling the nation with an iron fist, as the country slips back into civil war. Nothing but chaos, ruin, and rivers of blood resulted from the criminal invasion. For Obama to even dare to compare Crimea to Iraq is a sick joke.
Obama also rejected comparisons to Kosovo:
Obama then made a similar point about Kosovo, which Russian President Vladimir Putin has cited as another example of the West not walking the walk.
“…NATO only intervened after the people of Kosovo were systematically brutalized and killed for years,” Obama said. “And Kosovo only left Serbia after a referendum was organized – not outside the boundaries of international law – but in careful cooperation with the United Nations, and with Kosovo’s neighbors. None of that happened in Crimea.”
The people of Kosovo were indeed oppressed. But NATO’s bombing of Serbia had the immediate consequence of sharply increasing Serb atrocities of Albanians in Kosovo, not the other way around. The vast majority of the violence occurred after the bombing began, so Obama is inverting the chronology. But even with his fictional chronology, it doesn’t change the fact that the NATO action was a violation of international law, and thus, quite relevant.