'The tide of war is receding, and the soul of Baghdad remains, the soul of Iraq remains," Vice President Joe Biden said at Camp Victory, by the Baghdad airport, earlier this month, in the countdown to the official end of the Iraq war. In truth, the receding tide Mr. Biden glimpsed was that of American power and influence in Iraq and in the Greater Middle East.
This wasn't something the people of that region pined for. These are lands that crave the protection of a dominant foreign power as they feign outrage at its exercise. Nor was it decreed by the objective facts of American power, for this country still possesses all the ingredients of influence and prestige. It was, rather, a decision made in the course of the Obama presidency—the ebb of our power has become a self-fulfilling prophesy.
(photo credit: The U.S. Army)