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

China’s Influence Grows With New Infrastructure Bank

Multibillion-dollar China-backed and BRICS-supported Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank seen as possible challenger to such lenders as IMF, World Bank More

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

Rabbi Michel Serfaty makes the rounds in his friendship bus to encourage dialogue and break down barriers between the two groups More

Post-deal Iran Leaders Need 'Economic Momentum' to Solidify

Economists say deal could inject more than $100 billion into coffers - not enough to entirely rescue ailing economy - but maybe adequate to create 'economic momentum' 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.
US Gay Marriage Ruling Yields Real-life Impacti
X
Michael Bowman
June 28, 2015 10:05 PM
Friday’s landmark Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage throughout the United States is an outcome few thought possible just years ago, and shows a nation that increasingly tolerates and even celebrates the hopes and aspirations of gay people. VOA’s Michael Bowman spoke to a same-sex couple that will benefit from the high court ruling, and to a Christian scholar who is apprehensive about its potential consequences for America’s faith community.
Video

Video US Gay Marriage Ruling Yields Real-life Impact

Friday’s landmark Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage throughout the United States is an outcome few thought possible just years ago, and shows a nation that increasingly tolerates and even celebrates the hopes and aspirations of gay people. VOA’s Michael Bowman spoke to a same-sex couple that will benefit from the high court ruling, and to a Christian scholar who is apprehensive about its potential consequences for America’s faith community.
Video

Video Syrians Flee IS Advance in Hasaka

The Syrian government said Monday it has taken back one of several districts in Hasaka overrun by Islamic State militants. But continued fighting elsewhere in the northern city has forced thousands of civilians from their homes. In this report narrated by Bill Rodgers, VOA Kurdish Service reporter Zana Omer describes the scene in Amouda, where some of the displaced are taking refuge.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video S. Korea Christians Protest Gay Rights Festival

The U.S. Supreme Court decision mandating marriage equality nationwide has energized gay rights supporters around the world. Gay rights remain a highly contentious issue in a key U.S. ally, South Korea, where police did a deft job Sunday of preventing potential clashes between Christian protesters and gay activists. Kurt Achin reports from Seoul.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Nubians in Kenya Face Land Challenges

East Africa's ethnic Nubians have a rich cultural history that dates back thousands of years, but in Kenya they are facing hardships, including the loss of lands they have lived on for generations. They say the government has reneged on its pledge to award them title deeds for the plots. VOA's Lenny Ruvaga reports.
Video

Video Syrian Refugees Return to Tal Abyad

Syrian refugees in Turkey confirm they left their hometown of Tal Abyad because of intense fighting and coalition airstrikes, not because Kurdish fighters were engaged in ethnic cleansing, as some Turkish officials charged. VOA Kurdish Service reporter Zana Omer, in Tal Abyad, finds that civilians coming back to the town agree, as we hear in this report narrated by Roger Wilkison.
Video

Video Military Experts Question New Russian Tank Capabilities

Russia has been showing off its new tank design – the Armata T-14. Designers claim it is 20 years ahead of current Western designs - and driving it feels like playing a computer game. But military analysts question those assertions, and warn the cost could be too heavy a burden for Russia’s struggling economy. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.
Video

Video In Syrian Crisis, Social Media Offer Small Comforts

Za’atari, a makeshift city in Jordan, may be the only Syrian refugee camp to tweet its activities, in an effort to keep donors motivated as the war in Syria intensifies and the humanitarian crisis deepens. Inside the camp, families say mobile phone applications help hold together families that are physically torn apart. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Chemical-Sniffing Technology Fights Australia's Graffiti Vandals

Cities and towns all over the world spend huge amounts of resources battling graffiti writers who deface buildings, public transport vehicles and even monuments. Authorities in Sydney, Australia, hope a new chemical-sniffing technology finally will stop vandals from scribbling on walls in the passenger areas of commuter trains. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Cambodia Struggling to Curb Child Labor

Earlier this year a United Nations report found 10 percent of Cambodian children aged 7-14 are working – one of the highest rates in the region – and said one in four children in that age bracket are forced to quit school to help their families. Although the child labor rate has dropped over the past decade, Cambodia has a lot more to do – including keeping more children in school. Robert Carmichael reports for VOA from Phnom Penh.

VOA Blogs