News / USA

In Congress, Few Firm Ideas on Iraq Conflict

US Lawmakers Speak Out on Iraq Conflict, Offer Few Concrete Ideasi
X
June 17, 2014 11:26 PM
Swift gains by radical Sunni militants in Iraq are provoking widespread concerns among U.S. lawmakers of both major political parties. But few are going on record as to what the United States should do in response. As VOA Senate correspondent Michael Bowman reports, Iraq’s deteriorating security situation comes at a time when Americans show little enthusiasm for U.S. military re-engagement in the country.

VIDEO: Swift gains by radical Sunni militants in Iraq provoke widespread concerns among U.S. lawmakers of both major political parties, but few are going on record as to what the United States should do in response. Michael Bowman has more.

Michael Bowman
Swift gains by radical Sunni militants in Iraq are provoking widespread concerns among U.S. lawmakers of both major political parties.

But few are going on record as to what the United States should do in response.

Iraq’s deteriorating security situation comes at a time when Americans show little enthusiasm for U.S. military re-engagement in the country.

Three years after the departure of U.S. forces, sectarian conflict is engulfing Iraq, with militants of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant seizing large swaths of territory.

The situation requires an urgent U.S. response, according to Republican Senator Mitch McConnell.

“The administration must act quickly to provide assistance to the Maliki [Iraqi] government before every gain made by U.S. and allied troops is lost, and before ISIL expands its sanctuary-from which it can eventually threaten the United States,” he said.

But McConnell, like most U.S. lawmakers, is not saying precisely what the Obama administration should do. Such caution is no surprise, says Ohio State University political scientist John Mueller.

“I think they’re being vague because they don’t know what to do," he said. "One alternative, of course, is to give up and no one seems to want to say that so they have to huff and puff and pretend to want to do something and mostly what will happen will probably be very little in a situation that seems disastrous.”

Many Republicans are blasting the Obama administration for failing to leave a residual U.S. military force in Iraq after 2011.

“The president withdrew the entirety of our force without successfully negotiating a capable remaining U.S. presence," McConnell said. "Such a force would have preserved the gains made on the ground by mentoring our partners and assisting with command and control and intelligence sharing.”

But many Democrats accuse Republicans of hypocrisy, noting that America’s withdrawal from Iraq was set in motion by former Republican President George W. Bush.

“To say that President Obama should be able to negotiate a long-term agreement with [Prime Minister] Maliki, when President Bush was unable to do so, is utterly absurd,” said Congressman Brad Sherman, a Democrat.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid agrees.

“We should not be sending our men and women back to Iraq," he said. "Those who attack President Obama for bringing our troops home are flat wrong.”

New polls show the American public overwhelmingly wants no U.S. troops in Iraq, with fewer than 20 percent linking the current fighting to the withdrawal of U.S. forces.

Even so, Republicans say Iraq is the latest example of U.S. weakness on the world stage under a Democratic administration, an argument whose viability Mueller doubts.

“I think the public opinion has been very much on the Democratic side — basically all [Democrats] have to do is say, ‘Do you want to get into another war? How many American troops do you want to lose in the Middle East?’”

Meanwhile, the news from Iraq remains grim with Sunni militants holding ground less than one hundred kilometers from Baghdad.

You May Like

UN Watchdog Urges Israel to Probe Possible Gaza War Crimes

More than 2,100 Palestinians, most of them civilians, were killed in a 51-day war in Gaza, along with 67 Israeli soldiers and six civilians in Israel More

New Kenyan 'Thin SIMs' Poised to Transform African Mobile Money

Equity's new technology is approved in African nation for one-year trial, though industry leader Safaricom says thin SIMs could lead to data theft and fraud More

Solar's Future Looks Brighter

New technology and dropping prices are contributing to a surge in solar power More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Not Again from: Canada
June 18, 2014 3:47 PM
Absolute avoidance needs to be ensured, that any involvement by the US/West is not perceived as a war against Sunni Muslims; such a perception would seriously complicate the fight on terrorism with a global negative impact; it is for that specific reason that the US/Allies needs to demand the formation of a national unity government, in which all major ethnic/religeous groups of Iraq are fairly and well represented. In essence, it must be clear that it is a war to democratize, and ensure equal representation for all Iraqis, and rid Iraq of dangerous terrorists, that have done great harm to Sunni Muslims in Syria and in Iraq. Maliki's powers need to be reduced, in such a gvmt, to ensure all sides see it is a progressive gvmt that will benefit all. It is all a tall order, without political consensus, the situation will just continue to deteriorate.
Involvement, military, before real consensus is achieved, trough the unity gvmt, could have disastrous long term consequences for Iraq, and even the West.


by: huron from: europe
June 17, 2014 9:01 PM
Why cant US reporters look at the facts.
1 Turkey refused to accept ISIS was a terrorist Organization until June 5th 2014. It allowed free access of ISIS in and out of Turkey to Syria and Kurdistan.
2 the Sunny Governor of Mosul was warned of an ISIS attack on June 6th. Yes D-Day commemoration in France. Also informed was the KRG Government of Kurdistan.
3 Both the above did nothing, plus Mosul Governor was a Suuny Baathist and immediatley told the Sunny arm of the Iraq Army to lay down there weapons or be killed, those that did not were killed by ISIS and the others fled to Kurdistan who allowed ISIS into Mosul.
4 The Mosul Govenor as installed with ISIS two former Baathists of Saddam Hussein. Hashim Jamas, former official in Ba’ath Regime, and Abduljawad Zaynon, Mosul’s governor when Ba’ath was still ruling.
5 Fugitive Tariq Hashemi who murdered of Shia people escaped out of Baghdad and was given shelter in Kurdistan and then Turkey , both refused to hand him over.he was welcomed into Saudi Arabia and help organize ISIS attack with Mosul Govenor and the Kudistan, Turkey assisted as well.
Reaction when Mosul was taken.by Tariq Hashemi. MESOP : MOSUL – A SUNNI-SADDAMIST CONGRATULATION
6 Saddam Hussein’s daughter Raghad gave an interview last week in when mosul fell, she praised the uprising and in particular the work of “Uncle Izzat Senior Commander to Saddam Hussein.
7 This was allowed to occur when the turkish Government and Kurdistan Government made an ileagl deal to smuggle and sell oil ..Baghdad stood upto this by the Kurd leaders and Sunny Corrupt lpeople in Erdogan Government. They linked up with TONY HEYWOOD the former BP chief who destryoed the Gulf or Mexico when he failed to act on the known Oil rig problem.

Its all about the oil and the Turkish and KRG corruption that allowed and worked with ISIS. They have done this to avoid the election result in Baghdad Iraq which Maliki and the Shia partys won.

How can turkey be a member of Nato when it as assisted Jahbat al Nursa and ISIS for the last two years..

President Obama summoned the Turksih diplomate on this several times telling them to close routes in and out of Syria and stop supporting ISIS.
All Fact.
The Turkish and Kurdistan Governments only closed the routes and road sin when they had allowed extra ISIS forces in and to team up with forner dictator Saddam Hussien Baathist in Iraq and Syria

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid