News / Middle East

Obama Weighs in on Iraq Crisis

Obama Weighs in on Iraq Crisisi
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Michael Bowman
June 22, 2014 8:54 PM
President Barack Obama continues to rule out sending U.S. combat forces to Iraq, while voicing concern about Sunni militants who have seized large swaths of territory north of Baghdad. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the Iraqi crisis has emboldened critics of Obama’s foreign policy, including an architect of the Iraq War launched in 2003: former Vice President Dick Cheney.
Michael Bowman
President Barack Obama continues to rule out sending U.S. combat forces to Iraq, while voicing concern about Sunni militants who have seized large swaths of territory north of Baghdad. Meanwhile, the Iraqi crisis has emboldened critics of Obama’s foreign policy, including an architect of the Iraq War launched in 2003: former Vice President Dick Cheney.
 
Thousands of Iraqi Shi'ites race to Baghdad to defend it against militants of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) who continue to capture towns and threaten the country's oil infrastructure.
 
A potential refugee crisis is brewing amid shortages of fuel and medicine elsewhere in the country.
 
President Obama says the situation could spread more broadly in the Middle East, but continues to limit the scope of potential U.S. involvement.
 
“American forces will not be returning to combat in Iraq, but we will help Iraqis as they take the fight to terrorists who threaten the Iraqi people, the region and American interests as well," says Obama.
 
But America is shrinking from the world stage with disastrous results, according to former Vice President Dick Cheney.
 
“We have left a big vacuum in the Middle East by our withdrawal from Iraq with no stay-behind agreement, by the commitment he (Obama) made a couple weeks ago that we are going to completely withdraw from Afghanistan with no stay-behind agreement.  They (the Obama administration) are still living back in the day when they claimed, ‘We got [Osama] bin Laden, the terrorism problem is solved.'  That was not true then; it is even less true today,” said Cheney, speaking on ABC’s This Week program.
 
The Iraq War remains one of America’s least popular military engagements, and polls show little support for another armed U.S. intervention in Iraq.  Democratic Senator Harry Reid heaped scorn on Cheney.
 
“If there is one thing this country does not need, it is that we should be taking advice from Dick Cheney on wars,” said Reid.
 
But many Republican lawmakers, and some Democrats, say the United States must consider a more muscular response to terrorist-fueled militancy engulfing the Middle East. Among them is Senator John McCain.
 
“They will pose a direct threat to the security of the United States.  I say to the critics who say do nothing and let them (Iraqis) fight it out, you cannot confine this conflict to Iraq and Syria,” said McCain.
 
Iraq’s government has requested U.S. air strikes targeting Sunni militants, an option President Obama has neither ruled in or out.

U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has said air strikes will be of little use without what he termed a more “inclusive government in Iraq.”

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by: PrisonPlanet from: Philippines
June 23, 2014 12:55 AM
History is your friend. Isolationism was tried prior to WWII. Didn't work too well. Won't work now.
Fast forward Afghanistan prior to 9/11. Taliban ruled Afghanistan. Al Qaeda was free to train Terrorists and make attacks beyond the border of Afghanistan.
ISIS is an element of Al Qaeda. With history and hindsight, it seems obvious that ISIS should not be allowed to take over anywhere.
USA has troops in South Korea, Germany, and Japan. After the hostilities; and there was peace. A mistake in Iraq not to leave the same support. The lesson needs to be learned for Afghanistan.

by: Stephen Cook from: Wichita, Kansas, USA
June 22, 2014 7:30 PM
Go Obama ! Keep us out of war. Secure our borders and home ground by any means necessary. Disentangle us from useless foreign partnerships. Meet any and all attacks on our home ground with frightful force ... no holds barred. Utilize our natural resources for us here at home. Downsize all the "boots on the ground" type forces to a bare minimum and increase our nuclear deterrent and air / space forces by an order of magnitude. To sum up, we have everything we need right here in the USA to provide for a good and happy life for each of us. Let the rest of the world make it on it's own ... and mess with us if it dares.

by: Ben warren from: Palo Alto
June 22, 2014 6:54 PM
Why does the media quote Dick Cheney? A failed man who has caused the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people.

by: meanbill from: USA
June 22, 2014 6:35 PM
TRUTH BE TOLD -- It was this US President Obama who said, (Assad must go), and he authorized the US CIA and Special Forces to arm and train the Sunni Muslim extremists/terrorists in the Sunni Muslim countries of Jordan and Turkey, to kill the Assad led Shia Muslims in Syria, and now the Maliki led Shia Muslims in Iraq.... (he bowed to the Wahhabi Sunni Saudi King, didn't he?)

This US President did say, "Qaddafi is dead, and the world is a safer place" (and also promised) "Bin Laden is dead, and the world is a safer place" (and worst of all) "Al-Qaeda is on the run, and it's leadership has been decimated"

WILL SOMEBODY TELL OBAMA? --- Yea, Al-Qaeda is on the run, running through the middle East, Asia, Africa, North Africa, heading for Europe, and then the Americas, (ever since), the US, EU, and NATO countries interfered in the politics of the Islamic countries of Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Yemen, and Syria, bringing violence, killings, destruction and wars, that continues on to this day, backing Sunni Muslim against Shia Muslim.....

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