McCain gets testy with HuffPo reporter: Obama lost Iraq, my friend

posted at 3:01 pm on June 13, 2014 by Allahpundit

Via the Free Beacon, I’m with DrewM on the blame question — which is not to say that Obama didn’t make things worse than they could have been. Says Drew:

Obama won the 2008 election in no small part because he promised to get the US out of Iraq. John McCain lost in no small part because he famously argued we should stay “100 years” if that’s what it took. The American people made their choice. To now say that having won on getting out of Iraq Obama should have instead turned around and adopted McCain’s losing policy idea is absurd.

This does not absolve Obama from his negligent inaction in the face of the [imminent] threat presented by the still growing ISIS invasion. That’s entirely on Obama and his band of national security incompetents. But the great “loss of Iraq”? That’s on the Iraqis. They were given a chance to build a decent country after Saddam’s removal and they squandered it.

Maliki, more than anyone else, lost Iraq by prioritizing Shiite hegemony over a better functioning state that would have required concessions to the Sunnis and Kurds. Maybe Iyad Allawi, a more secular Shiite who was respected by Sunni powerbrokers, would have done better as prime minister. We’ll never know. As for Obama’s contribution to Iraq’s looming “beyond Thunderdome” era, Dexter Filkins of the New Yorker makes the case:

When the Americans invaded, in March, 2003, they destroyed the Iraqi state—its military, its bureaucracy, its police force, and most everything else that might hold a country together. They spent the next nine years trying to build a state to replace the one they crushed. By 2011, by any reasonable measure, the Americans had made a lot of headway but were not finished with the job. For many months, the Obama and Maliki governments talked about keeping a residual force of American troops in Iraq, who would act largely to train Iraq’s Army and to provide intelligence against Sunni insurgents. (They would almost certainly have been barred from fighting.) Those were important reasons to stay, but the most important went largely unstated: it was to continue to act as a restraint on Maliki’s sectarian impulses, at least until the Iraqi political system was strong enough to contain him on its own. The negotiations between Obama and Maliki fell apart, in no small measure because of a lack of engagement by the White House. Today, many Iraqis, including some close to Maliki, say that a small force of American soldiers—working in non-combat roles—would have provided a crucial stabilizing factor that is now missing from Iraq. Sami al-Askari, a Maliki confidant, told me for my article this spring, “If you had a few hundred here, not even a few thousand, they would be coöperating with you, and they would become your partners.” President Obama wanted the Americans to come home, and Maliki didn’t particularly want them to stay.

The trouble is, as the events of this week show, what the Americans left behind was an Iraqi state that was not able to stand on its own. What we built is now coming apart. This is the real legacy of America’s war in Iraq.

Obama wanted out, true, but that’s partially Maliki’s fault too. He made it easy for him. Remember, one of the White House’s conditions for leaving some troops in place was legal immunity in Iraqi courts for U.S. soldiers stationed there. Maliki refused. The occupation was unpopular and so Iraq’s leadership, moronically, decided it was better to appease popular sentiment by refusing to budge on immunity than to make a deal guaranteeing an American presence just in case, say, thousands of barbarians with heavy weapons came sweeping down from Syria towards Baghdad. Obama could have and should have pushed harder for a rump U.S. force to give Washington leverage in pressuring Malaki on concessions. Go figure that Maliki, prizing his own power more than national stability, resisted. But look: Even if a deal had been made and 1,000 Americans were left in country to help train the Iraqi army, how would that have neutralized ISIS? The genesis of all this is in Syria. Had Maliki made nice with the Sunnis in Iraq, there still would have been a threat from the north; it might have developed more slowly and been resisted more vigorously by Iraqi Sunnis, but slow or not, there was no chance Obama would have sent more U.S. troops to reinforce the thousand already there. It was always the Iraqis’ fight. To blame Obama for the country’s disintegration is to play the old game (usually played by leftists and libertarians vis-a-vis interventions) in which all bad developments abroad are somehow a function of White House policy. Ain’t so.

As for McCain, it’s fine to note O’s role in all this but, as Drew suggests, this guy is uniquely badly suited to be the GOP’s loudest mouthpiece on Iraq. Having the most stalwart interventionist in Congress trumpeting a lost “victory” in a war that devastated the GOP electorally is insane. He went one on one with The One on this issue six years ago and got destroyed for it. And Phil Klein is certainly right, I think, that no matter how bad things get in Iraq over the next few weeks or months, American voters will support Obama’s do-nothing (or do-little) approach to handling it. At one point here, McCain describes ISIS as an “existential threat” — not just to Iraq but to the United States. (Say what?) If he’s serious about that, then presumably he supports any measures necessary, up to and including boots on the ground, in the name of heading it off. Run on that idea this fall and see how it turns out.


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Obama just surrendered Iraq today.

Thousands of Americans are in danger of being beheaded, tortured or kidnapped today.

Obama is golfing.

faraway on June 13, 2014 at 3:03 PM

John McCain lost in no small part because he famously argued we should stay “100 years” if that’s what it took have nothing to fear from an Obama presidency.

More accurate.

Judge_Dredd on June 13, 2014 at 3:05 PM

http://youtu.be/azqKG6zqAbU

Tard on June 13, 2014 at 3:06 PM

Soiled his depends, eh?

Cheese Wheel on June 13, 2014 at 3:06 PM

For once , Mccain is right.

the_nile on June 13, 2014 at 3:06 PM

faraway
Obama just surrendered Iraq today.
Thousands of Americans are in danger of being beheaded, tortured or kidnapped today.
Obama is golfing.

I am having flashbacks to the charred bodies of soldiers in Iraq hanging from the bridge pre-surge.

Absolutely horrific.
This is going to get ugly .

can_con on June 13, 2014 at 3:08 PM

Longing for the day that McCain goes away.

Bigbullets on June 13, 2014 at 3:08 PM

The idea that somehow Iraq was ‘won’ is the biggest myth going around.
First of all the country was a sh#thole. It wasn’t a prize to begin with.
Secondly, the artificial peace was never sustainable because American resources were not going to be there forever. (Ron Paul warned us about this).
Thirdly, The issue here is Islam. The religion is inherently violent.
How do you win a war fought on a false premise?

weedisgood on June 13, 2014 at 3:09 PM

can_con on June 13, 2014 at 3:08 PM

You mean things or going to get uglier.

Cherokee on June 13, 2014 at 3:11 PM

I am having flashbacks to the charred bodies of soldiers in Iraq hanging from the bridge pre-surge.

Absolutely horrific.
This is going to get ugly .

can_con on June 13, 2014 at 3:08 PM

*Contractors.

antisense on June 13, 2014 at 3:11 PM

(Ron Paul warned us about this).

weedisgood on June 13, 2014 at 3:09 PM

That just explained everything I need to know about you. Foreign policy from a xenophobe.

Judge_Dredd on June 13, 2014 at 3:12 PM

Obama just surrendered Iraq today.

Thousands of Americans are in danger of being beheaded, tortured or kidnapped today.

Obama is golfing.

faraway

He has surrendered America,so why not Iraq too?

xblade on June 13, 2014 at 3:12 PM

No, it’s Islam. You can’t bring civilization to those people. They never had it. They need to earn it.

Oil Can on June 13, 2014 at 3:12 PM

Can anyone name anybody that Obama has gotten along with politically? Pretty much told anybody that does not have his nose in King Barky the Incompetents arse to piss off. I guess not playing well with others is just another sign of how super scary smart the guy is.

jukin3 on June 13, 2014 at 3:13 PM

Having the most stalwart interventionist in Congress trumpeting a lost “victory” in a war that devastated the GOP electorally is insane. He went one on one with The One on this issue six years ago and got destroyed for it.

Most polls had McCain tied or ahead of obozo in early September and then the market crash came. McCain made several errors relating to that and his lead vanished for good. Despite the public opposition to Iraq at that time he was winning until his economic short comings were exposed.

Flange on June 13, 2014 at 3:14 PM

I am having flashbacks to the charred bodies of soldiers in Iraq hanging from the bridge pre-surge.

Absolutely horrific.
This is going to get ugly .

can_con on June 13, 2014 at 3:08 PM

I think those were (American) private contractors, not US soldiers, if I’m remembering right. Not that it makes it any less horrific.

whatcat on June 13, 2014 at 3:14 PM

Obama wanted out, true, but that’s partially Maliki’s fault too.

Problems started with Obama not supporting the more “inclusive moderate” opposition to Maliki.

the_nile on June 13, 2014 at 3:15 PM

Can anyone name anybody that Obama has gotten along with politically? Pretty much told anybody that does not have his nose in King Barky the Incompetents arse to piss off. I guess not playing well with others is just another sign of how super scary smart the guy is.

jukin3 on June 13, 2014 at 3:13 PM

The talibans love him.

the_nile on June 13, 2014 at 3:16 PM

I’m more concerned with the invasion on our southern “border” than I am about Iraq. This is business as usual for the Middle East. The people IN our country are a more immediate threat.

Dan_Yul on June 13, 2014 at 3:17 PM

Obama Released ISIS Leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi From US Custody In 2009

Why such a ferocious individual was deemed fit for release in 2009 is not known. One possible explanation is that he was one of thousands of suspected insurgents granted amnesty as the US began its draw down in Iraq.

ISIS Leader To U.S.: “Soon We Will Be In Direct Confrontation”

Resist We Much on June 13, 2014 at 3:17 PM

I think those were (American) private contractors, not US soldiers, if I’m remembering right. Not that it makes it any less horrific.

whatcat on June 13, 2014 at 3:14 PM

*Contractors.

antisense on June 13, 2014 at 3:11 PM

Yes, I believe you are both correct which I why I did not say US soldiers.

can_con on June 13, 2014 at 3:18 PM

this guy is uniquely badly suited to be the GOP’s loudest mouthpiece on Iraq. Having the most stalwart interventionist in Congress trumpeting a lost “victory” in a war that devastated the GOP electorally is insane. He went one on one with The One on this issue six years ago and got destroyed for it.

Yes, but you’re talking politics, McCain is talking substance. He got destroyed in 2008 while saying what he is saying now. But he also happened to be right about this one.

Chuckles3 on June 13, 2014 at 3:19 PM

Maliki, more than anyone else, lost Iraq by prioritizing Shiite hegemony over a better functioning state that would have required concessions to the Sunnis and Kurds. Maybe Iyad Allawi, a more secular Shiite who was respected by Sunni powerbrokers, would have done better as prime minister. We’ll never know.

Saddam Hussein was a homicidal SOB for a reason.

Robert Spencer…

http://www.aleteia.org/en/world/article/the-fall-of-iraq-5809214739972096

American analysts had naively hoped that both Sunnis and Shi’ite would have been able to put all this behind them. Then-Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice complained in January 2007: “There’s still a tendency to see these things in Sunni-Shia terms. But the Middle East is going to have to overcome that.”

Seven years later, they still haven’t. In fact, the idea that the Sunni-Shi’ite divide, which is 1,400 years old and goes all the way back to the murky origins of Islam, is something that can without undue difficulty be “overcome” is a sterling manifestation of the general superficiality of Washington’s analysis of the Middle East, during both the Bush and the Obama administrations.

Unbeknownst to the analysts and policymakers who have influenced Washington policy for decades now, the Sunni-Shi’ite divide cannot be bridged by negotiations, or by bribes (“aid”), or by anything but the full surrender of one group to the other — which is not going to happen.

sharrukin on June 13, 2014 at 3:21 PM

Yes, but you’re talking politics, McCain is talking substance. He got destroyed in 2008 while saying what he is saying now. But he also happened to be right about this one.

Chuckles3 on June 13, 2014 at 3:19 PM

Yup . AP conflates the game with reality.

the_nile on June 13, 2014 at 3:21 PM

He went one on one with The One on this issue six years ago and got destroyed for it.

That didn’t make him wrong. McCain was right by insisting we keep forces in Iraq “for the next hundred years” and what’s happening there today proves it beyond a shadow of a doubt. I honestly don’t know how anyone could argue how McCain was wrong in his assessment. Unpopular is one thing but give credit where it was due. Obama never should have pulled American forces out. Now we will ultimately have to refight the Iraq war all over again to stave off a middle east meltdown. In fact I’m buying stock in Haliburton. The future is crystal clear.

HotAirian on June 13, 2014 at 3:22 PM

This does not absolve Obama from his negligent inaction in the face of the [imminent] threat presented by the still growing ISIS invasion. That’s entirely on Obama and his band of national security incompetents.

The U.S. had the ISIS terrorist who’s leading this terrorist takeover of Iraq in custody in Baghdad — and Obama ordered him released.

What’s happening today in Iraq is just a coming attraction of what will be happening next year (or sooner) in Afghanistan, after the Taliban 5 get re-connected to their terror networks there.

And if Americans think this madness is going to stay confined to the middle east, they’re as foolish and naive as they were before 9/11.

AZCoyote on June 13, 2014 at 3:25 PM

I really don’t like it when liberals or Hot Air editors distort the past. We DID win the Iraq war, and McCain didn’t lose the election because of Iraq. He was actually up in the polls for a while, but the public turned to Obama after the housing bubble burst and he famously “suspended” his campaign. People thought he looked goofy and they trusted Obama on the economy. Iraq didn’t push Obama over the finish line, and it didn’t hurt McCain. The country was so peaceful it was a non-issue.

MikeRuss on June 13, 2014 at 3:26 PM

Like it or not, the reality is the US completely overturned order in Iraq. As soon as we left, shockingly, the fragile structure in place crumpled. Now we have to do something to keep the situation from going full-Rwanda, but I’ll be damned if I’ll support putting American soldiers back in harms way.

Obama, figure out a way to fix this mess you’ve made far worse. Deploy all those drones you love, idgaf. Do something.

TarasBulbous on June 13, 2014 at 3:27 PM

And if Americans think this madness is going to stay confined to the middle east, they’re as foolish and naive as they were before 9/11.

AZCoyote on June 13, 2014 at 3:25 PM

Obama has declared GWOT over, perception is reality! Ignorance is strength!

the_nile on June 13, 2014 at 3:30 PM

At one point here, McCain describes ISIS as an “existential threat” — not just to Iraq but to the United States. (Say what?)

Come on…if you don’t think an Al Qaeda based state that overlaps parts of Syria and Iraq won’t have repercussions to the safety of the US and our allies (do we still have those) in the long term then you’re smoking something good.

Now whether the American people are willing to do what we need to do to stop it is another thing…

nextgen_repub on June 13, 2014 at 3:31 PM

And if Americans think this madness is going to stay confined to the middle east, they’re as foolish and naive as they were before 9/11.

AZCoyote on June 13, 2014 at 3:25 PM

Great Arizonan minds think alike…

nextgen_repub on June 13, 2014 at 3:32 PM

Like it or not, the reality is the US completely overturned order in Iraq. As soon as we left, shockingly, the fragile structure in place crumpled. Now we have to do something to keep the situation from going full-Rwanda, but I’ll be damned if I’ll support putting American soldiers back in harms way.

Obama, figure out a way to fix this mess you’ve made far worse. Deploy all those drones you love, idgaf. Do something.

TarasBulbous on June 13, 2014 at 3:27 PM

“full-Rwanda” isnt the problem , al-qaida/taliban on steroids are.

the_nile on June 13, 2014 at 3:32 PM

Like, the artificial peace in Japan and German circa 1946…

blink on June 13, 2014 at 3:28 PM

Those were civilized countries. They were actual nations which Iraq never was. Iraq was never going to be a democracy.

sharrukin on June 13, 2014 at 3:32 PM

You can make up crap all you want. When Obama took office, Iraqi’s were voting and operating a fledgling and functioning and, yes, imperfect democracy.

Obama has since stopped all of that. It doesn’t matter why or how or who made promises to who. Obama screwed it up.

HopeHeFails on June 13, 2014 at 3:32 PM

John McCain lost in no small part because he famously argued we should stay “100 years” if that’s what it took have nothing to fear from an Obama presidency.

More accurate.

Judge_Dredd on June 13, 2014 at 3:05 PM

He’s a nice guy.

ladyingray on June 13, 2014 at 3:32 PM

Wars are expensive. We can’t let the ISISes of the world draw us into every conflict. America needs impulse control. Without that we will be fighting wars for the Black Sea to the Indian Ocean. No one else ever offers to stick their neck out. A few of those crazies in isis are Europeans, so does the EU has plan to help out. NO? I didn’t think so.

I am sure the reason Obama is reluctant to listen to McCain is because he remembers what happened the last time he and Lindsey shamed him into bombing Libya. And afterward when sh!t went south all he got as a thank you was Benghazi hearings.

coolrepublica on June 13, 2014 at 3:32 PM

Mika is the blonde Jamooo/Jeantel on TV, always.

Schadenfreude on June 13, 2014 at 3:33 PM

Mika is the blonde Jamooo/Jeantel on TV, always.

Schadenfreude on June 13, 2014 at 3:33 PM

Then what is cr?

Judge_Dredd on June 13, 2014 at 3:35 PM

I am having flashbacks to the charred bodies of soldiers in Iraq hanging from the bridge pre-surge.

Absolutely horrific.
This is going to get ugly .

can_con on June 13, 2014 at 3:08 PM

can_con:

This sounds like Benghazi,..The Sequel:)
=========================================

200 U.S. contractors surrounded
by jihadists in Iraq

Friday, June 13th, 2014 by Jerome R. Corsi
******************************************

NEW YORK – About 200 Americans under contract with the Department of Defense at Balad Air Force Base in Iraq are trapped by the al-Qaida-inspired jihadists who have seized control of two cities and are now threatening Baghdad, according to WND sources.

The sources, private contractors who have recently returned to the U.S. from Iraq, said Friday their former colleagues effectively have been abandoned by the U.S. military and are fighting for their lives against an army of jihadists surrounding the base who belong to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, or ISIS.

The U.S. contractors are at Balad to help the Pentagon prepare the facilities for the delivery of the F-16 aircraft the Obama administration has agreed to provide the Iraqi government.

The surrounded Americans said they currently are under ISIS fire from small arms, AK47s, and rocket propelled grenades, or RPGs.

Balad Air Force Base has been under attack since Wednesday, when ISIS rebels seized the nearby town of Tikrit, the birthplace of Saddam Hussein.

(More..)
========

http://www.wnd.com/2014/06/200-u-s-contractors-surrounded-by-jihadists-in-iraq/

canopfor on June 13, 2014 at 3:35 PM

Actually, I don’t believe the US should engage at all. Not even air strikes. At this point it is up to the Iraqis to fight their own fight. The PM could have had our help but didn’t want it. He should lie in the bed he made.

I was for going their at first, and it was worth fighting for.

Now, the Iraqis can sleep in the beds they made…

…and if they really think the Iranians are their friends, they’ll see..

ladyingray on June 13, 2014 at 3:35 PM

I am sure the reason Obama is reluctant to listen to McCain is because he remembers what happened the last time he and Lindsey shamed him into bombing Libya. And afterward when sh!t went south all he got as a thank you was Benghazi hearings.

coolrepublica on June 13, 2014 at 3:32 PM

Um, that would have been the Three Valkyries:

Hillary Clinton

Samantha Power

Susan Rice

Have you forgotten R2P?

Resist We Much on June 13, 2014 at 3:35 PM

Obama has declared GWOT over, perception is reality! Ignorance is strength!

the_nile on June 13, 2014 at 3:30 PM

Yes, and didn’t Obama also recently declare that those 5 Talibani terrorists in Gitmo weren’t really much of a threat to Americans?

I bet if anyone had asked Obama five years ago, he’d have said the very same thing about the ISIS terror leader currently murdering his way through Iraq (who Obama also released from U.S. custody).

Obama is a fool.

AZCoyote on June 13, 2014 at 3:38 PM

Bullsheeeeit rationalization…

Gohawgs on June 13, 2014 at 3:38 PM

Soiled his depends, eh?

Cheese Wheel on June 13, 2014 at 3:06 PM

…yep!…his “Friends” are marching on Baghdad!

KOOLAID2 on June 13, 2014 at 3:38 PM

Come on…if you don’t think an Al Qaeda based state that overlaps parts of Syria and Iraq won’t have repercussions to the safety of the US and our allies (do we still have those) in the long term then you’re smoking something good.

Now whether the American people are willing to do what we need to do to stop it is another thing…

nextgen_repub on June 13, 2014 at 3:31 PM

And if america scales back , someone else fills the vacuum like iran , russia and china. So it fast becomes a “close” term problem.

the_nile on June 13, 2014 at 3:38 PM

the artificial peace was never sustainable because American resources were not going to be there forever.

weedisgood on June 13, 2014 at 3:09 PM

The only reason Germany and Japan are successful today is because we stayed on for decades after the war. We didn’t leave the Nazi’s in charge of Germany after the WW2 for a very good reason. They would have ended up coming back into power much like the same bad actors in Iraq today. It’s a damn shame with all the historian’s on the White House staff no one bothered to talk to any of them. We’ve been down this road before.

HotAirian on June 13, 2014 at 3:39 PM

So North Dakota is an Indian Country eh,..Hopey’s first one!!

WTF!!

Barack Obama
18m
Air Force One arrives in Bismarck, ND, for Obama’s 1st Indian Country visit as president – @nedrapickler

Nedra Pickler @nedrapickler · 9m

Air Force One arrival in Bismarck, N.D., for Obama’s first Indian Country visit as president

canopfor on June 13, 2014 at 3:40 PM

AP, you couldn’t be more offbase. Who cares what obama campaigned on. He pulled out of Iraq without leaving a stabilizing force behind which we have done in every conflict. Heck, we still have troops in Japan and Germany. Obama bears all the blame because he pulledout the troops, not Bush. I don’t care what silliness he campaigned on, it was an idiotic move and the same will happen in Afghanistan. It’s like reading the stitches on the fastball.

Ta111 on June 13, 2014 at 3:41 PM

Bush started the war.

Obama surrendered.

How many Americans will die today?

faraway on June 13, 2014 at 3:41 PM

You can plant crops in poison soil but they will not grow very well or for very long. Obviously Juan McVain never belonged to 4H.

VorDaj on June 13, 2014 at 3:41 PM

Funny how the Middle East was the cradle of civilization and now its a black hole for civilization.

Xanatos90 on June 13, 2014 at 3:41 PM

Democracy isn’t needed for stability, and a stabilization force can most certainly support Democracy.

blink on June 13, 2014 at 3:36 PM

They aren’t going to be a democracy so if you want a long term stable government then someone like Al-Sisi, Assad, or Saddam Hussein is what you need. Since Iraq has three significant ethnic grouping you will need someone nasty.

Democracy won’t survive in that place and I don’t believe the US would install a dictator.

sharrukin on June 13, 2014 at 3:42 PM

Daniel Pipes (DanielPipes.org) seems to be as on target as anyone and more so than most, and way more than Juan McVain.

“Republicans: Republicans unfairly blame the ISIS victories on Barack Obama: no, George W. Bush made the commitment to remake Iraq and he signed the “Status of Forces Agreement” in 2008 that terminated the American military presence in Iraq at the close of 2011. For the Republican Party to move progress in foreign policy, it must acknowledge these errors and learn from them, not avoid them by heaping blame on Obama [there certainly is no shortage of things to legitimatly blame on Obama that's for sure].

Democrats: The execution of Osama bin Laden three years ago was an important symbolic step of vengeance. But it made almost no difference operationally and it’s time for Obama to stop crowing about Al-Qaeda being defeated. In fact, Al-Qaeda and its partners are more dangerous than ever, having moved on from terrorism to conquering territory. The well being of Americans and others depend on this reality being recognized and acted upon.

Western policy: This is basically a Middle Eastern problem and outside powers should aim to protect their own interests, not solve the Middle East’s crises. Tehran, not we, should fight ISIS.”

VorDaj on June 13, 2014 at 3:43 PM

Longing for the day that McCain goes away.

Bigbullets on June 13, 2014 at 3:08 PM

Yeah. I’m longing for the day Obama goes away too.

tomshup on June 13, 2014 at 3:44 PM

Actually, I don’t believe the US should engage at all. Not even air strikes. At this point it is up to the Iraqis to fight their own fight.

ladyingray on June 13, 2014 at 3:35 PM

You’re OK with AQ beheading or capturing up to thousands of Americans still in Iraq?

faraway on June 13, 2014 at 3:44 PM

What was Obamas argument for intervening in Libya and then Syria?

the_nile on June 13, 2014 at 3:44 PM

Xanatos90 on June 13, 2014 at 3:41 PM

It was a cradle long before Islam was invented by a goat herder. Then it became an uncivilized black hole.

HotAirian on June 13, 2014 at 3:45 PM

Mittens Weighs In-Vanishing Point:

Retweeted by The Associated Press
AP Politics @AP_Politics · 3h

Romney slams Obama, says all that US fought for in Iraq could vanish http://apne.ws/1kw6yNF
==============================

Romney: All US fought for in Iraq could vanish
By MICHELLE L. PRICE and KEN THOMAS
— Jun. 13, 2014 1:01 PM EDT
***************************

PARK CITY, Utah (AP) — Republican Mitt Romney criticized President Barack Obama’s handling of foreign policy, telling financial backers at his annual conference Friday that everything the nation fought for during the lengthy Iraq war could vanish.

The 2012 Republican presidential nominee said at the start of his annual ideas summit at a luxurious Utah resort that the foreign policy agenda pushed by Obama, his former rival, Vice President Joe Biden and former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has been a “monumental bust.”

“Tragically, all we’ve fought for in Iraq, all that 4,500 American lives were shed to gain, is on the cusp, potentially, of vanishing,” Romney said.

Romney added his voice to a number of Republicans who have accused Obama of being slow to respond in Iraq following the capture of two cities by an al-Qaida inspired militant group and concerns it could push toward Baghdad. He spoke shortly before Obama told reporters from the South Lawn that he was weighing a range of options to halt the violent Islamic insurgency.

In his 15-minute address to about 300 former campaign donors and supporters, Romney pointed to a number of global hot spots, noting that Syria is in its third year of civil war, North Korea has carried out nuclear missile tests and Russia has captured Crimea.

The conference is expected to include speeches by a number of potential 2016 Republican presidential candidates, including Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, Romney’s running mate; New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie; Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul; and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.

Romney has quietly worked to develop a kingmaker status in the Republican party’s effort to capture a majority in the Senate this fall and win back the White House in 2016.

“I lost the election. We lost the election,” Romney said. “But I and we will continue to fight.

http://bigstory.ap.org/article/romney-all-us-fought-iraq-could-vanish

canopfor on June 13, 2014 at 3:45 PM

canopfor on June 13, 2014 at 3:35 PM

IIRC, Corsi is the one who started the whole birther thing … he had better be right this time.

gh on June 13, 2014 at 3:45 PM

Obama won the 2008 election in no small part because he promised to get the US out of Iraq. John McCain lost in no small part because he famously argued we should stay “100 years” if that’s what it took. The American people made their choice. To now say that having won on getting out of Iraq Obama should have instead turned around and adopted McCain’s losing policy idea is absurd.

This doesn’t logically follow.

He won the election. He lost the war. These things aren’t mutually exclusive. McCain is right: Obama did lose the war. Regardless of whatever he campaigned on or whatever he promised, he lost the war. To conflate the two because you can’t keep the two types of “won” straight in your head is silly.

cptacek on June 13, 2014 at 3:46 PM

Obama won the 2008 election in no small part because he promised to get the US out of Iraq. John McCain lost in no small part because he famously argued we should stay “100 years” if that’s what it took. The American people made their choice.

Obama won because the average person is a moron. The liberals infiltration of the culture and educational system is complete.

I recall when GWB went on TV after 9/11 and said the war against terror was going to be a long one and we must remain steadfast. I laughed at the TV and said “good luck with that”.

Too many people have too many comforts and absolutely no attention span to care about anything except maintaining those comforts.

McCain sold it badly – he didn’t pander to the voter’s feelings so that they would “feel good” about voting like they did with Obama, but a hard truth (look at how effective US involvement has been in S. Korea – just think of what the despots in N. Korea would have done without the US) shouldn’t be summarily ignored because it makes someone actually have to think.

It’s over and will continue to get worse until those with wits have had enough.

kim roy on June 13, 2014 at 3:46 PM

Like, the artificial peace in Japan and German circa 1946 was never sustainable because American resources were not going to be there forever, Dude. Like, right, man?

blink on June 13, 2014 at 3:28 PM

The Muslims are a different breed.

weedisgood on June 13, 2014 at 3:46 PM

House Foreign Affairs Committee held a hearing on February 5

(CNSNews.com) – Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), issued a rare audio message back on January 21 in which he flatly stated his group’s intention to march on Baghdad and move into “direct confrontation” with the United States.

“Our last message is to the Americans. Soon we will be in direct confrontation, and the sons of Islam have prepared for such a day,” Baghdadi said. “So watch, for we are with you, watching.”

gh on June 13, 2014 at 3:49 PM

Have to wonder what Netanyahu is thinking right about now.
And Putin.
Seriously doubt either one is off playing golf for the weekend.

leftamark on June 13, 2014 at 3:50 PM

Just call it what it is. Obama is a lazy progressive piece of garbage. Many, most, if not all of our current problems are due to having a lazy, shiftless, elitist, progressive piece of trash in the oval office that appoints other lazy, elitist, pieces of trash to administration offices.

It’s far past time to flush the toilet.

Ask yourselves, what could this freaking idiot screw up next that might cost us our country? If you are smart and have an imagination, obama will probably end up making your worst fears come true. Time to start pushing for an ouster.

Hell, I’d be happy with elections THIS year after a military coupe overseen by the house, senate, and the supreme court.

DO IT!

Diluculo on June 13, 2014 at 3:51 PM

This is hilarious coming from someone that allows her emotions to control her decisions.

And it’s especially hilarious that you blame McCain for Obama’s war in Libya.

Tell us all again how we should provide air support for Iran.

blink on June 13, 2014 at 3:34 PM

Are you serious? OMFG! XD. You’re the guy who hijacked a thread about open carry and singlehandedly wrote 300 comments of 500 hundred arguing that carrying an assault weapon to eat fried chicken at a restaurant is an excellent idea.

Sit tight while I suck in the irony if your comment. Don’t move. I am not done. Yeah that’s the spot. Ok go now, I am going to lay on this floor right over there and LMFAO.

coolrepublica on June 13, 2014 at 3:52 PM

What was Obamas argument for intervening in Libya and then Syria?

the_nile on June 13, 2014 at 3:44 PM

Obama said we had a “responsibility to protect” (R2P) the people in Libya. Then, after we had destroyed the existing government and the country fell into chaos and AQ and other terrorists moved in, that “responsibility” apparently evaporated into thin air. After that, we left the besieged Libyan people to their own devices, and didn’t even protect our own ambassador and his staffers from the terrorists.

In Syria, Obama drew a famous “red line” and dared Assad to cross it, which he promptly did. Obama then turned tail and ran, claiming it had never been his red line in the first place (it was “the world’s red line, Obama said — so “the world” needed to act to enforce it, not Obama).

As I said, he’s a fool.

AZCoyote on June 13, 2014 at 3:52 PM

So , is it time that we start poking for our own damn oil now ?

burrata on June 13, 2014 at 3:54 PM

so Allah no one is going to point out that McCain and Obama both backed defacto arming Isis in Syria?

That *is* what happened and a good part of why Ogabe is hesitating on air strikes is the likelihood our own stingers will be used for ShorAD work by the opfor….

Ah well screw it…

Obama had no issues using Air Ops to topple two sovereign nations w/out Congressional permission and too few on the right flamed him for it….

if the American people and media are okay with our being Al Qaeda LLC’s allies who am I to argue?

harlekwin15 on June 13, 2014 at 3:56 PM

Funny how the Middle East was the cradle of civilization and now its a black hole for civilization.

Xanatos90 on June 13, 2014 at 3:41 PM

Detroit and Timbuktu were both very prosperous at one time too. Things change.

Flange on June 13, 2014 at 3:56 PM

I have yet to hear a cogent argument that this debacle in Iraq right now is not Obama’s fault. He inherited a war won by the US and then flushed it down the toilet by his inability or ignorance to not leave troops and bases behind in a routine status of forces agreement. I live in a large military town and every Iraq vet I know is beyond furious at what Obama has done.

Ellis on June 13, 2014 at 3:58 PM

The Muslims are a different breed.

weedisgood on June 13, 2014 at 3:46 PM

Not enough to make a strategic difference in how you close out a war. The Nazi’s, the Japanese Empire and Muslims shared the same common goal. World domination by violence. You treat them all the same. By denying them the government of their immediate choice after their defeat. It worked on the Nazi’s. It worked on the Japanese and it will work on the Iraqi’s. It takes a couple of generations to purge out the die hards and you don’t quit until those generations are long gone.

HotAirian on June 13, 2014 at 3:58 PM

Ancient Hatreds Tearing Apart The Middle East: How 1,400-Year-Old Feud Between Shia And Sunni Muslims Flared Into Life With The Fall Of Dictators Like Gaddafi And Saddam… And Threatens To Swallow Iraq

Resist We Much on June 13, 2014 at 3:25 PM

SEND IN NASA! They can tell stories together over a campfire of Islam’s contributions to science, math, and engineering…from a thousand years ago. Peace in our time!

xNavigator on June 13, 2014 at 3:59 PM

Obama said we had a “responsibility to protect” (R2P) the people in Libya. Then, after we had destroyed the existing government and the country fell into chaos and AQ and other terrorists moved in, that “responsibility” apparently evaporated into thin air. After that, we left the besieged Libyan people to their own devices, and didn’t even protect our own ambassador and his staffers from the terrorists.

In Syria, Obama drew a famous “red line” and dared Assad to cross it, which he promptly did. Obama then turned tail and ran, claiming it had never been his red line in the first place (it was “the world’s red line, Obama said — so “the world” needed to act to enforce it, not Obama).

As I said, he’s a fool.

AZCoyote on June 13, 2014 at 3:52 PM

Sketchy guy.

the_nile on June 13, 2014 at 4:00 PM

If you want to blame the real culprits for the mess in Iraq and the Middle East in general, blame the British with the stupid British Mandate for Palestine, the whole ME morphed from there. Drawing straight lines on a map and calling them a “Country” is what got us all into this mess in the first place.

Johnnyreb on June 13, 2014 at 4:00 PM

It sickens me, the loss of life and the suffering and the sacrifices our troops made over there, only to have a bunch of barbarians plunder and murder their way through the country. There’s plenty of blame to go around, but McCain can get off his high horse and stop blathering and work with people to find a solution. And if Bergdahl was worth saving, they better start with a plan to get Americans out of there, and fast.

scalleywag on June 13, 2014 at 4:01 PM

Meghan McCain would have been a better interviewee. (Who’s she banging these days anyway? Or maybe it would be easier to list who she isn’t.)

But I digress…

I’m in DC, and this is a real cultural problem. The older Vietnam era guys are really stuck in this ‘stay the course’ mentality, meanwhile completely ignoring the bigger picture.

Iraq was a failure from day one. Sorry to sound repetitive on this site, but until we declare war on all Muslims (as we should) everything else is lost.

John, I appreciate your service, but you’re just wrong.

WhatSlushfund on June 13, 2014 at 4:02 PM

Corsi Phillip Berg is the one who started the whole birther thing …

gh on June 13, 2014 at 3:45 PM

Gohawgs on June 13, 2014 at 4:04 PM

You sound like the terrible Americans that supported dictators like the Shah.

Yeah, I did support the Shah and I thought Carter should have continued to support him. His fall was a disaster.

Again, a stabilizing force can most certainly support Democracy anywhere.

blink on June 13, 2014 at 3:58 PM

Because inside every little third worlder is an American just struggling to get out?

I think they have their own beliefs, their own history, their own culture, their own philosophies, and they don’t want what we are selling.

They have sat just across the Mediterranean for 1,300 years and have shown not the slightest interest, but I am sure that you have the dazzling argument that is going to clinch the deal…right?

sharrukin on June 13, 2014 at 4:06 PM

The US is supposed to be the “adult in the room”. Regardless of what little boy wonder ran on in 2008, he still owns the results of Iraq. We broke it, it was our responsibility to fix it and that doesn’t happen in five freaking years.

Wendya on June 13, 2014 at 4:06 PM

How long have we been in Korea?

That is all that needs to be said. It’s obvious, the government did not have time to fully develop, we pulled out and it toppled.

What is their confusion about? We did win, but winning does not mean “forever”, and it doesn’t mean, we won and the “season” is over.

You win a war…but if you don’t sustain your win, it will revert.

We have troops in Germany, don’t we? We had them on the ready for decades…first against East Germany, than later against Russia, the “game” shifted. We had to keep “winning”, that is what happens.

If you won all the chips in a poker game, do you get up and walk away from the table and not take the chips, expecting them to be their next week?

right2bright on June 13, 2014 at 4:07 PM

Maybe it’s time for Obama to put on “Big Boy pants”

J_Crater on June 13, 2014 at 4:08 PM

Gohawgs on June 13, 2014 at 4:04 PM

I stand corrected.

Corsi did write a book on it though

gh on June 13, 2014 at 4:08 PM

I think they have their own beliefs, their own history, their own culture, their own philosophies, and they don’t want what we are selling.

They have sat just across the Mediterranean for 1,300 years and have shown not the slightest interest, but I am sure that you have the dazzling argument that is going to clinch the deal…right?

sharrukin on June 13, 2014 at 4:06 PM

We don’t need to have a dazzling argument a photo will do….here

right2bright on June 13, 2014 at 4:10 PM

J_Crater on June 13, 2014 at 4:08 PM

Doesn’t weaning come first?

gh on June 13, 2014 at 4:10 PM

Believe me. I’m looking forward to countering more of your hypocritical nonsense in this thread.

blink on June 13, 2014 at 4:02 PM

I am sorry you have me confused with commenters who love to type 300 comments on 500 comment thread. Haha. My training as a day trader thought me the value as impulse control, so if you think you are going to get me to give enough sh!t to go on a 300 comment rant you are mistaken. I just happen to have a comment limit on every thread on hot air except QOTD. So if you want a chance to yap it up with me, I am sorry you will need to wait until later. But be warned I make no guarantee I will be in the mood.

Peace out!

coolrepublica on June 13, 2014 at 4:10 PM

The only reason Germany and Japan are successful today is because we stayed on for decades after the war. We didn’t leave the Nazi’s in charge of Germany after the WW2 for a very good reason. They would have ended up coming back into power much like the same bad actors in Iraq today. It’s a damn shame with all the historian’s on the White House staff no one bothered to talk to any of them. We’ve been down this road before.

HotAirian on June 13, 2014 at 3:39 PM

So you are advocating putting US troops in a Muslim country for how long?
How long should America be in Iraq?

weedisgood on June 13, 2014 at 4:11 PM

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