Obama the unhappy warrior plunges back into Iraq

US President Barack Obama speaks on the phone with King Abdullah II of Jordan in the Oval Office of the White House on August 8, 2014 in Washington, DCHe was elected on a promise to end America’s “dumb war” in Iraq. Now, in launching US air strikes to counter a “barbaric” offensive by jihadist militants, a reluctant Barack Obama has reopened a chapter of recent American history he had once dared hope was finished. In 2012, he was proud to run for re-election as the man who a year previously had finally withdrawn US troops from a “stable, sovereign Iraq,” eight long years after his predecessor had sent them in. Now he becomes the fourth US president in a row to take military action there, after George Bush drove Iraqi troops from Kuwait, Bill Clinton bombed its air defenses and George W. Bush invaded.

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