The Iraq Spectator

The Collapse of the Liberal World Order

The Iraq War is over, and the squeegee men return to New York.

By 8.14.14

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President Obama has ended the Iraq War.” So says the White House blog, the headline preserved in the amber that is the Internet. The date: October 21, 2011 at 2:18 Eastern Daylight Time. Along with a video of the president saying this, a statement on the site has been helpfully provided, partially excerpted here:

In 2008, in the height of the presidential campaign, then-Senator Obama made a promise to give our military a new mission: ending the war in Iraq.

As the election unfolded, he reiterated this pledge again and again — but cautioned that we would be “as careful getting out of Iraq as we were careless getting in.”…

Now, that promise will be wholly fulfilled. Today, President Obama announced that the rest of our troops will be home by the holidays.…

But this moment represents more than an accomplishment for the President. It marks a monumental change of focus for our military and a fundamental shift in the way that the our nation will engage in the world….

[As the President announced:] “The United States is moving forward, from a position of strength. The long war in Iraq will come to an end by the end of this year.”

Meanwhile, here at home the New York Post has headlined: 

Squeegee men are back terrorizing NYC streets

For the unfamiliar, “squeegee men” are guys who swoop down on your car while you are stuck at a light or in traffic, and — unasked — briskly start wiping your windows and then demand cash. They were once upon a time seen as the personification of crime that ran rampant in New York City. They were banished by Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, who used them as a symbol of what had gone wrong in city after decades of liberal rule. Reports the Post

They were the ultimate symbol of the lawlessness and blight of the 1980s and early 1990s — and now they’re making a comeback.

Squeegee men are menacing motorists across New York City, including spots near the Holland, Lincoln and Queens-Midtown tunnels, as well as the Queensboro Bridge, The Post has learned.

Residents and drivers who pass through the areas said the panhandlers are spraying and wiping windshields without permission to shake down drivers for cash.

Their sudden return is an ominous sign according to the proven “broken windows” theory that has kept the city safe by having cops crack down on minor offenses to prevent bigger, violent crimes. 

Meanwhile, out in Chicago, fourteen people were shot and killed over the recent July 4th holiday weekend, with USA Today reporting that the “14 killed over the holiday weekend are among 82 shot in Chicago from late Thursday to early Monday morning.”

All this before the endless stories about someone somewhere in America losing their health coverage due to Obamacare, or the latest on Lois Lerner’s “lost” e-mails or the thirty-six year record low in the workforce participation rate and on and on.

What are Americans seeing here? What do the rise of ISIS in Iraq, the return of the squeegee men in New York, the murder numbers out of Chicago, the endless stories on health care losses, IRS bureaucrat Lois Lerner — what do all of these events have in common?

This is the fulfillment of the liberal worldview crashing in on itself. A view of utopia — all of it. Every last bit of it. It was never real — it could never be real.

Take for instance this jewel from then White House aide — and now CIA Director — John Brennan. Back in 2011 Brennan gave a speech on the Obama strategy in foreign policy, saying this:

Our strategy is also shaped by a deeper understanding of al-Qa’ida’s goals, strategy, and tactics. I’m not talking about al-Qa’ida’s grandiose vision of global domination through a violent Islamic caliphate. That vision is absurd, and we are not going to organize our counterterrorism policies against a feckless delusion that is never going to happen. We are not going to elevate these thugs and their murderous aspirations into something larger than they are.

Today, ISIS has declared itself precisely what Brennan assured was “absurd” — the headline from the Associated Press reading:

ISIS declares new Islamic caliphate

BAGHDAD — The Al Qaeda breakaway group that has seized much of northern Syria and huge tracks of neighboring Iraq formally declared the creation of an Islamic state on Sunday in the territory under its control. 

The spokesman for the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, Abu Mohammed al-adnani, made the announcement in an audio statement posted online. Islamic extremists have long dreamed of recreating the Islamic state, or caliphate, that ruled over the Middle East in various forms for hundreds of years. 

Abu Mohammed al-Adnani declared the group’s chief, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, as the new leader, or caliph, of the Islamic state, and called on those living in areas under the organization’s control to swear allegiance to al-Baghdadi and support him.

As if this weren’t enough to illustrate the inanity of the liberal “visionary” in the White House, did you catch the name of the new “caliph” of the Islamic caliphate that couldn’t possibly exist? That would be Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. And who is he?

Yes, that’s right. This is the very same Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi who was being held at Camp Bucca, a one-time U.S. military prison in Umm Qasr near Basra, Iraq. Al-Baghdadi spent four years at Camp Bucca and then…he was released in 2009. The Washington Post reported the closing of Camp Bucca this way: “In Iraq, Chaos Feared as U.S. Closes Prison.”

And as al-Baghdadi was freed he said to his American captors: “I’ll see you guys in New York.” Today, al-Baghdadi is leading ISIS. Oh, and by the way? Camp Bucca was closed and won a glowing review recently in the New York Times not only because it was closed in the Obama-era — it’s now a hotel. With a project member boasting that “We are trying to create a more homey atmosphere” than was provided the previous occupants — like the now-head of ISIS. Really. You can’t make it up. Perhaps when Mr. al-Baghdadi gets finished swallowing the rest of Iraq he can come for a stay.

This is what the Liberal World Order looks like. A breathtaking naïveté compounded with an addiction to a utopian view in which, with just this or that twist of the right dial, life can be perfected by imperfect human beings.

It never works, of course, because it can’t work. Yet that never stops those who loudly profess they believe in “science” — which is supposed to be evidence-based — but refuse to understand the evidence of history.

Evil exists. The real world exists. Wishing it weren’t so, not to mention pretending that it isn’t so is a dangerously foolhardy venture that inevitably can only bring tragedy.

Yet here we have President Obama playing the role of what a friend of mine called a “mystic dreamer.” Standing there in the White House proclaiming that he has “ended the Iraq War.” Sending out his terrorism adviser and soon-to-be CIA director to ridicule the notion of an Islamic caliphate as “absurd.” Releasing al-Baghdadi — thoroughly under American control — only to find out that he has vanished into the crowd and has now reappeared as the “caliph” of the global caliphate that could never, according to liberal scripture, be possible.

On the domestic front, this is the same kind of “mystic dreaming” by lesser liberals — mayors in New York and Chicago, Secretaries of Health and Human Services, IRS bureaucrats and more — that have produced exactly the results others not caught up in all this utopian mumbo-jumbo predicted they would create.

Newsflash: President Obama did not end the war in Iraq — he has revved it up. That global caliphate is headed by a man that any rational observer would never have released from prison in the first place. In New York, the squeegee men rousted by Mayor Giuliani have returned under the reign of Mayor de Blasio — not coincidentally nicknamed “Red Bill.” In Chicago, the mayor possessed about gun control has seen 82 people shot in one holiday weekend. And on and on it goes.

Make no mistake. This is all of a piece. This is what happens when Americans fall for someone who sees himself as destined to change the world by just pretending reality doesn’t exist.

The president has ended the war in Iraq? The idea of a global caliphate is “absurd”? Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is released from a military prison, the prison is closed and turned into a hotel? In this day and age of the legalization of marijuana, perhaps that old stand-by question from the 1960s should be asked of those responsible: “What are they smoking?!”

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About the Author
Jeffrey Lord is a former Reagan White House political director and author. He writes from Pennsylvania at jlpa1@aol.com.