Puts in issue why U.S. didn’t reach Status of Forces Agreement years ago, but why didn’t U.S. at least offer help months ago before ISIS gained control of much of country?
President Obama gave a press conference this morning on Iraq before heading out for vacation:
A particularly controversial portion was the assertion (starting at 7:50 of video) that it wasn’t his decision to pull U.S. troops out of Iraq.
Obama says puzzled by second-guessing of pulling out Iraq troops: "As if this was my decision"
— Zeke Miller (@ZekeJMiller) August 9, 2014
The President is being pilloried by conservative experts and pundits after his remarks this morning.
It's hard to know which is worse: That Obama believes the nonsense he's peddling on #Iraq. Or that he doesn't – and says it anyway.
— Stephen Hayes (@stephenfhayes) August 9, 2014
Obama: I really wanted to keep troops in Iraq in 2012 but my speech writers wouldn't let me.
— John Podhoretz (@jpodhoretz) August 9, 2014
The progressives at VOX aren’t buying it either.
This new Obama line “I never wanted to leave Iraq, Maliki made me” strikes me as maybe not 1000% accurate.
— Max Fisher (@Max_Fisher) August 9, 2014
The lack of American troops in Iraq is widely believed by military and political to have set the power vacuum that the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria has filled with their terror campaign. Obama blames the Iraqi government for not wanting a Status of Forces Agreement — but most experts have debunked that excuse.
As National Review’s Andrew McCarthy rightly points out, Obama isn’t solely to blame for the lack of a SOFA…
Look, I will stipulate that the president’s signature recklessness is abundantly evident in Iraq. He heedlessly withdrew U.S. forces, making no effort to preserve the security gains they achieved in routing al-Qaeda, even as it became obvious that the withdrawal had evaporated those gains and invited the terror network to return with a vengeance.
Still, it was not Obama who agreed to the withdrawal schedule. It was President Bush. And it was not Obama who turned Iraq into an Islamic-supremacist state seething with anti-American and anti-Semitic hatred. Long before Obama came to power, Iraq was an Islamist country, rife with Sunni and Shiite militants who agreed on little else besides their devotion to sharia and their abhorrence of the West.
… but most observers note that Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton didn’t care seriously about negotiating a SOFA with Iraq because they didn’t want U.S. forces to stay in the first place.
In addition, nearly every American would tell you that Barack Obama’s main platform running for President in 2008 in the first place was ending the war in Iraq on his timeline.
He even celebrated the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq during the 2012 campaign.
No, Obama never intended to leave Iraq. Never made a big thing out of it at all. Certainly never mentioned it in 2012 pic.twitter.com/g8RNaSu3Kf
— Tim Stanley (@timothy_stanley) August 9, 2014
The facts of the matter remain that Obama ran on a platform of withdrawal, not victory. And when the Iraqi government pleaded since last August for help against ISIS, Barack Obama didn’t answer the call.DONATE
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