The Coming ‘There’s Nothing We Could Have Done’ Excuses
Sometimes you can see the administration-defending Washington conventional wisdom forming before your very eyes: “The Iraqi government was always weak and destined to collapse sooner or later. There’s nothing the Obama administration could have done.”
Even if, say, they asked for assistance a month ago and we turned them down.
As the threat from Sunni militants in western Iraq escalated last month, Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki secretly asked the Obama administration to consider carrying out airstrikes against extremist staging areas, according to Iraqi and American officials.
But Iraq’s appeals for a military response have so far been rebuffed by the White House, which has been reluctant to open a new chapter in a conflict that President Obama has insisted was over when the United States withdrew the last of its forces from Iraq in 2011.
We’ve seen a lot of this “There’s nothing the Obama administration could have done!” thinking recently, and we’ll probably see a lot more of it in the coming years: