Last night on Glenn’s program featured a segment titled ‘Enabling the Enemy’ that breaks down Obama’s horrific foreign policy mistakes. In many instances these mistakes are the exact same ones the Bush administration made. Obama promised a new era of foreign policy -- but has anything changed? Blaze head writer Dan Andros and head researcher Jason Buttrill break it down.
Dan: Hi, this is Dan Andros, head writer for The Glenn Beck Program, along with Jason Buttrill, who is former military intelligence and the chief researcher here at TheBlaze. Over the next couple days, we’re going to be going through explaining something that is really important. It’s just how badly America’s foreign policy has failed. Not surprisingly, the press hasn’t paid much attention to the details of this administration’s foreign policy and the results.
What we want to look at is the last twelve years here, because six of them have been under Bush, and now we’ve had six under Obama’s administration, and how much has changed really, because he promised a big change. Really not much has changed at all. In fact, I think it’s gotten worse. I think the argument we’re going to make here over the next couple days is that the administration is actually enabling the enemy instead of degrading and destroying them as they had promised.
That is quite a claim, and so we’re going to try to unpack that over here in the next few episodes of this. We’re going to start here, with the beginning of the Iraq war. This is obviously under Bush in 2003. Ever since then, there’s been a disturbing trend where Christians are fleeing Iraq in record numbers. Explain the history there, what’s happening, and why it matters.
Jason: Since after the Iraq war, since after the invasion, around 2003, there was around 1.5 million Christians in Iraq. Think about that. These are Christians that have survived multiple genocides, so there was around 1.5 million Christians there. These were Christians that have been there since the time of the apostles. When the apostles converted the Assyrians, the Assyrians were one of the most ancient peoples in the lands. After 2003, these Christians slowly started disappearing. From 1.5 million Christians, today there are 200,000 Christians left.
It’s insane, 1.3 million Christians have been wiped off the face of the earth, and it’s not just the people that are getting slaughtered, it’s national heritage sites. It’s the places that you’ve learned about in Sunday school, the tombs of Jonah, the tombs of Daniel. Those places have been destroyed. So, they’re not only trying to get rid of Christians, they’re trying to erase our history. They’re trying to not only make sure that we don’t go forward in the region, they’re trying to make sure that we never existed at all.
Dan: Okay, so the crazy thing is that ISIS which was founded in Iraq as Al Qaeda in Iraq, they just invaded Iraq from Syria as an outside invading force, which is well, how did that happen? You say the answer to how that came about is kind of crucial to explaining all of the foreign policy mistakes that we’re making right now. Can you explain that a little bit more?
Jason: Al Qaeda had always been an organization that was extremely brutal. We’ve seen that. We’ve see the multiple videos they did, but we never saw them go to what you see ISIS doing right now. You say why is that? Well, it’s not only us that are realizing that. Even Al Qaeda’s own imams are noticing that too. Imam Maqdisi, who is one of their most influential imams, he came out and called ISIS a deviant. Why is that?
ISIS created a political and geographic framework for the caliphate. They provided what Al Qaeda wanted to create, so why would Maqdisi come out and say that they’re a deviant? In 2003, this was one of our first mistakes after the Iraq war, which was probably the actual first mistake. What we’ll track now is in 2003, Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld, he disbanded the Iraqi military. What he should have done was he should have kept the Iraqi military in place.
Now, these are guys that were trained in the West, some of them. They went to Western schools. They were professionals. They were generals, they were officers in Saddam’s army. Not all of them were bad. Some of them were Christians even. Not all of them were bad guys. What they should’ve done is kept that infrastructure in place and handed them over to the new Iraqi government. They didn’t do that.
So, what were they doing? They were pissed. They didn’t have nothing to do, so what they did was they went to some of these jihadi organizations that were fighting American troops.
Dan: Because now you’ve got a whole legion of people who are not only pissed, don’t have a job anymore, they’ve got to get something to eat, they’re also loyal to Saddam, and they have no reason not to be loyal to Saddam now.
Dan: And more of an ax to grind.
Jason: Exactly. So, this landed a lot of them in prison camps, more specifically what you’ve probably heard about, Camp Bucca. Camp Bucca housed some of all of ISIS’s current members. Many of their high-ranking membership came from Camp Bucca. There were three specific guys. They met up with the young man named al-Baghdadi, who you know now is the current caliph.
Now, these three guys, these are older gentlemen. They were generals in Saddam’s intelligence apparatus. These were very intense, serious dudes, and if you think about nowadays, you see the brutality of ISIS, and it shocks us. People are forgetting that this was something that we had just saw about ten years ago from the Saddam regime. Their actions are the reason why the majority of us, of Americans, gave our consent and said yes, go in and stop them.
Dan: Right, because he gassed his own people.
Jason: Gases his own people. He would beat people to a pulp and have dogs finish it off and chew them up and kill them. Decapitations, it was crazy.
Dan: On par with how awful ISIS is.
Jason: Exactly, and that’s what we’re getting too. So, these three intelligence guys, they meet up with Baghdadi. They get out of prison. Baghdadi actually gets out first. He’s a nobody. Baghdadi is a nobody. He had no jihadi links whatsoever. He was known to be hanging out with some jihadi folks. That’s what got him arrested. He stayed in for a matter of months.
Dan: Right. That’s how he got out because they didn’t have any hard evidence that this guy was active on the battlefield.
Jason: Exactly. They couldn’t hold him, so he gets out. He gets out, he goes straight to Zarqawi, which is the head of Al Qaeda in Iraq. He goes and hangs out with him. Pretty soon these three intelligence guys, they get out, and they go link up with Zarqawi and Baghdadi.
Dan: Zarqawi was like enemy number one at the time. I remember when they had the picture cards out. They had the ace of spades and everything else. He was one of the top guys on there besides bin Laden at the time.
Jason: He was one of the top guys. He met bin Laden. That’s how you actually became a leader in a certain providence for Al Qaeda. You had to be vetted by the man. Osama bin Laden had to sign off on you. That’s the only way you could get into Al Qaeda. He signed off on Zarqawi. Zarqawi was legit.
Zarqawi dies in the US bombing raid. Somehow Baghdadi slips into his spot. He had never met Osama bin Laden. This was before Osama bin Laden was killed. This was around 2010-ish. He had never met him. He had no fighting experience.
Dan: He didn’t have the cred, but somehow he gets boosted up there. How does that happen?
Jason: A man that had nothing but two things, he had a PhD in Islamic studies, and he came from the correct tribe that Muhammad was descended from, the Quraysh tribe. At some point along this time, they split from Al Qaeda. They make a split. Baghdadi makes a huge public statement that he is no longer in support of Al Qaeda. A guy with no jihadi street cred whatsoever, he’s now in control of one of Osama bin Laden’s Al Qaeda terror groups. How did that happen?
Dan: He would never have been approved for that by bin Laden.
Jason: Never would have been approved for that, and he had no approval for it because they eventually split, and now Al Qaeda is calling them a deviant. Why is that?
Dan: So, it kind of begs the question, who was recruiting who in that prison? Because the answer to it, if it goes the way we think it does, would lead us to believe that we’re actually still fighting Saddam Hussein’s loyalists and Saddam Hussein in Iraq in this battle against ISIS. It’s not just a rogue force that came out of nowhere. It’s born out of our own foreign policy mistakes, and it’s just the first in a whole series of them. We’ll pick up with more of those next time.