U.S. focus shifts away from airstrikes in Iraq

Officials: Obama has made no final decisions
Associated Press
Jun 19, 2014

 

President Barack Obama is not expected to approve imminent airstrikes in Iraq, in part because there are few clear targets that could blunt a fast-moving Sunni insurgency, U.S. officials said Tuesday.

Officials said Obama had made no final decisions and didn't rule out the possibility that airstrikes ultimately could be used, particularly if a strong target becomes available. But officials said the strikes were not the current focus of the administration's ongoing discussions about how to respond to the crumbling security situation in Iraq.

The president planned to brief top congressional leaders on the matter at the White House on Wednesday.

The officials insisted on anonymity because they were not authorized to publicly discuss the ongoing deliberations by name.

Beyond airstrikes, the U.S. also has been weighing the possibility of sending a small contingent of special operations forces to Iraq to help train that country's security forces. Officials also have been looking at ways to boost the intelligence available to Iraqi forces.

More broadly, the Obama administration is also pressing for Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to take steps to make his Shiite-dominated government more inclusive. Obama said last week that any short-term U.S. military actions in Iraq would not be successful unless they were accompanied by political changes by the government in Baghdad.

Despite those calls, there were ominous signs Tuesday of open warfare between Shiites and Sunnis, the two main Muslim sects. Nearly four dozen Sunni detainees were gunned down at a jail north of Baghdad, a car bomb struck a Shiite neighborhood of the capital, and four young Sunnis were found slain.

During the United States' eight-year presence in Iraq, American forces acted as a buffer between the two Islamic sects, albeit with limited success. But U.S. forces fully withdrew at the end of 2011 when Washington and Baghdad could not reach an agreement to extend the American military presence there.

But the Obama administration has been forced to rethink its relationship with Iraq after the al-Qaida inspired group Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant quickly took control of key Iraqi cities last week. Obama has already notified Congress that he is sending nearly 300 forces in and around Iraq to secure the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad and additional American assets.

Comments

deertracker

Not our problem. Stay out of it.

JudgeMeNot

0-bama = failure.

Donegan

Stumbling from one crises to the next without a care in the world other than avoiding blame. Those on the left believe we need MORE government because the cluster***k we have now isn't big enough.

coasterfan

Sorry, Donegan, but the Iraq war of 2004 was the biggest American military blunder of the past 100 years, and we can thank Republicans Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld, etc. for that. Republicans have yet to own up to the WMD lie they used to garner support for the invasion, much less the $2 trillion the war cost us. So, we're not interested in what Republicans have to say about the current Iraq situation.

Besides, we've seen what happens with smaller government and less regulation: bank/mortgage crisis of 2007 which led to the biggest recession in 90 years. BP Oil Spill in the Gulf, Explosion at Fertilizer plant in Texas and contamination of water supply by coal plant in W.Virginia.

Anti-regulation also means anti-safety. Personally, it's more important to me that we have clean air, clean water and a safe food supply.

Contango

Re: "the biggest American military blunder of the past 100 years,"

You never were good at History were you?

Nah. I'd rank Wilson's involvement in The Great War which helped to set the next European land war in motion and LBJ escalating Vietnam.

Again: U.S. forces were ALREADY in Iraq prior to the invasion.

Contango

Re: "bank/mortgage crisis of 2007 which led to the biggest recession in 90 years."

Your pal, Mr. Krugman called for a housing bubble.

Also, Tresy. Secy. Rubin, (ex-Goldman Sacs) under Pres. Clinton worked to remove Glass-Steagall.

Git yer facts straight.

Donegan

You are conveniently forgetting about the bi-partisan vote that allowed Bush to go in again. Face it If the Dems were so gullible to believe Bush they should not have been in office. That's the problem with the left, Never willing to own up to the fact they are complicit to the problems created.
Government is force, The larger the government the more force. Simple concept to everyone except those who cannot think for themselves. Whether you want it or not the government will get smaller and the waste fraud and abuse you support will go as well.

coasterfan

Wrong. Congress voted to invade BASED ON false information about WMDs.
It's now known that Bush/Cheney lied about it. Plain and simple.

If Republicans were TRULY interested in halting government waste/ spending, they would rein in the out-of-control spending on Defense. America spends more than the NEXT 13 highest spending countries combined.

As far as 'governmental force', your point of view is exactly what Eisenhower warned us about...the Military Industrial Complex. Sorry, but if I'm looking for responsible, cost-effective war strategy, Republicans are not the people with the answers.

Anyone truly paying attention knows that the only people who gained by the Iraq War were Halliburton and their buddies. What's that you say? Cheney was involved with Halliburton, who made $39.5 Billion on the Iraq War? So, he had personal gain/motive to go into Iraq in the first place? Funny how Fox/Republicans don't want to discuss that.

Donegan

So the Dems were that stupid. If they are so gullible they should have never held office. Weird how you continue to blame and try to avoid responsibility for your party when everyone can see they are just as bad if not worse than those they oppose.
Not only the military complex but the IRS and alphabet agency's you people love to create and fund. I agree Bush and Cheney pushed for war, So whats your excuse for the Dem votes?
Liberal logic "Bush tricked us so we aren't responsible" Lets put into layman's terms "Democrats are mentally disabled and are dangerous to the republic because they are too stupid to see through blatant lies from the opposition"

coasterfan

Re: Dem votes for the 2004 Iraq invasion, I already covered that (see above). Bush/Cheney provided false information and Congress voted after receiving that misinformation.

So, in your world, the blame isn't with a president who lied on a hugely important national issue that resulted in the deaths of thousands of Americans, but rather with the people who got fooled. Interesting.

Perhaps you should consider that the Republican congressmen were equally duped, since the vote was near unanimous. It's also interesting to note one of the few who was NOT in favor of going into Iraq in 2004: Barack Obama.

We Democrats are, as a group, better educated than Republicans. We are pro-education, pro-science and don't deny things like Climate Change and evolution, because overwhelming amounts of evidence show that the scientists are correct. A higher % of us have college degrees and the top 10 states with the highest % of people without HS diplomas are Red states.

So, please, continue telling us how anti-intellectual conservatives are smarter than we Dems.

Donegan

No You are wrong. I do blame that president (Who i believe was honestly a idiot) But i also place blame with those who are supposed to be a check on the presidents stupidity. If they were duped they should not even be there yet you morons keep re-electing them.
Your deflection does nothing to take away the fact that your party shares responsibility for this mess. They agreed with a idiot, Therefore they themselves are idiots. Aren't you glad your defending a party of idiots?
(Its funny to watch you squirm trying to prove how smart you are with absolutely no facts to back it up)

jazzbo

Are you unstable much ?

Donegan

As i have stated before you are either another of Dogs names or a clone. One sentence quips with nothing of substance to offer.....to anything.

jazzbo

I don't care what you stated - You seem VERY unstable.

Donegan

Says the guy that post using 3 different names.

jazzbo

OOOh , you're an unstable clever one , Sherlock.

Nobody can get anything past you.

bwahahahahahahha

jazzbo

But seriously , Donegan , what sense would it make if I did have 3 names ?
What advantages would there be ?
List them.
Come on Sherlock , youre a real clever guy.

Darwin's choice

Well, you could be a d bag three times! Wait.....

jazzbo

Wait ? Wait for what ? Wait for you to say something stupid again ?

Donegan

You are relatively new so just add this to the list that is Big Dogs. Simple concept.
As for making sense when did you ever have any?

jazzbo

Ridiculous concept - something a child would think.

Im ready for your reasons as for why it would advantageous for me to have 3 names.

Or are you just deflecting and dodging ?
( Of course you are )

Darwin's choice

Because then you'd be able to see that you are an incredible douchebag when you look at the posts you make.

obama/failing

jazzbo

Darwin / turd

Darwin's choice

Well, buttlicker, you would know about turds, being thats what your diet from your messiah has been for all these failure years!

You're still a douchebag, dog!

obama/failing

jazzbo

Yea , I know about turds by looking at you.

Darwin / still a loser

anthras

Re:"Wrong. Congress voted to invade BASED ON false information about WMDs.
It's now known that Bush/Cheney lied about it. Plain and simple."

Mr Coasterfan, As you can see many of the following quotes made by the Democrats were prior to even 9/11 and If Bush & Cheney were keeping up with the news maybe they thought the WMD's existed because of what the Democrats were saying. Actually some of the chemical WMD's are so lethal that they could still be stored maybe buried in Iraq as just a small amount would cause catastrophic destruction.

Also just to let you know that if you continue to accuse Bush & Cheney of lying about the WMDs I will continue to remind you of what the Democrats said.

"Without question, we need to disarm Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal, murderous dictator, leading an oppressive regime ... He presents a particularly grievous threat because he is so consistently prone to miscalculation ... And now he is miscalculating America's response to his continued deceit and his consistent grasp for weapons of mass destruction ... So the threat of Saddam Hussein with weapons of mass destruction is real..."
- Sen. John F. Kerry (D, MA), Jan. 23. 2003

"One way or the other, we are determined to deny Iraq the capacity to develop weapons of mass destruction and the missiles to deliver them. That is our bottom line."
- President Clinton, Feb. 4, 1998

"If Saddam rejects peace and we have to use force, our purpose is clear. We want to seriously diminish the threat posed by Iraq's weapons of mass destruction program."
- President Bill Clinton, Feb. 17, 1998

"We must stop Saddam from ever again jeopardizing the stability and security of his neighbors with weapons of mass destruction."
- Madeline Albright, Feb 1, 1998

"He will use those weapons of mass destruction again, as he has ten times since 1983."
- Sandy Berger, Clinton National Security Adviser, Feb, 18, 1998

"[W]e urge you, after consulting with Congress, and consistent with the U.S. Constitution and laws, to take necessary actions (including, if appropriate, air and missile strikes on suspect Iraqi sites) to respond effectively to the threat posed by Iraq's refusal to end its weapons of mass destruction programs."
Letter to President Clinton.
- (D) Senators Carl Levin, Tom Daschle, John Kerry, others, Oct. 9, 1998

"Saddam Hussein has been engaged in the development of weapons of mass destruction technology which is a threat to countries in the region and he has made a mockery of the weapons inspection process."
- Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D, CA), Dec. 16, 1998

"Hussein has ... chosen to spend his money on building weapons of mass destruction and palaces for his cronies."
- Madeline Albright, Clinton Secretary of State, Nov. 10, 1999

"We begin with the common belief that Saddam Hussein is a tyrant and a threat to the peace and stability of the region. He has ignored the mandate of the United Nations and is building weapons of mass destruction and th! e means of delivering them."
- Sen. Carl Levin (D, MI), Sept. 19, 2002

"We know that he has stored secret supplies of biological and chemical weapons throughout his country."
- Al Gore, Sept. 23, 2002

"Iraq's search for weapons of mass destruction has proven impossible to deter and we should assume that it will continue for as long as Saddam is in power."
- Al Gore, Sept. 23, 2002

"We have known for many years that Saddam Hussein is seeking and developing weapons of mass destruction."
- Sen. Ted Kennedy (D, MA), Sept. 27, 2002

"The last UN weapons inspectors left Iraq in October of 1998. We are confident that Saddam Hussein retains some stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons, and that he has since embarked on a crash course to build up his chemical and biological warfare capabilities. Intelligence reports indicate that he is seeking nuclear weapons..."
- Sen. Robert Byrd (D, WV), Oct. 3, 2002

"I will be voting to give the President of the United States the authority to use force -- if necessary -- to disarm Saddam Hussein because I believe that a deadly arsenal of weapons of mass destruction in his hands is a real and grave threat to our security."
- Sen. John F. Kerry (D, MA), Oct. 9, 2002

"There is unmistakable evidence that Saddam Hussein is working aggressively to develop nuclear weapons and will likely have nuclear weapons within the next five years ... We also should remember we have always underestimated the progress Saddam has made in development of weapons of mass destruction."
- Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D, WV), Oct 10, 2002

"In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons stock, his missile delivery capability, and his nuclear program. He has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists, including al Qaeda members ... It is clear, however, that if left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will continue to increase his capacity to wage biological and chemical warfare, and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons."
- Sen. Hillary Clinton (D, NY), Oct 10, 2002

"We are in possession of what I think to be compelling evidence that Saddam Hussein has, and has had for a number of years, a developing capacity for the production and storage of weapons of mass destruction."
- Sen. Bob Graham (D, FL), Dec. 8, 2002

JudgeMeNot

Once again for coasternut:

Democrat Quotes on Iraq Weapons of Mass Destruction

"One way or the other, we are determined to deny Iraq the capacity to develop weapons of mass destruction and the missiles to deliver them. That is our bottom line."
--President Bill Clinton, Feb. 4, 1998

"If Saddam rejects peace and we have to use force, our purpose is clear. We want to seriously diminish the threat posed by Iraq's weapons of mass destruction program."
--President Bill Clinton, Feb. 17, 1998

"Iraq is a long way from [here], but what happens there matters a great deal here. For the risks that the leaders of a rogue state will use nuclear, chemical or biological weapons against us or our allies is the greatest security threat we face."
--Madeline Albright, Feb 18, 1998

"He will use those weapons of mass destruction again, as he has ten times since 1983."
--Sandy Berger, Clinton National Security Adviser, Feb, 18, 1998

"[W]e urge you, after consulting with Congress, and consistent with the U.S. Constitution and laws, to take necessary actions (including, if appropriate, air and missile strikes on suspect Iraqi sites) to respond effectively to the threat posed by Iraq's refusal to end its weapons of mass destruction programs."
Letter to President Clinton, signed by:
-- Democratic Senators Carl Levin, Tom Daschle, John Kerry, and others, Oct. 9, 1998

"Saddam Hussein has been engaged in the development of weapons of mass destruction technology which is a threat to countries in the region and he has made a mockery of the weapons inspection process."
-Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D, CA), Dec. 16, 1998

"Hussein has ... chosen to spend his money on building weapons of mass destruction and palaces for his cronies."
-- Madeline Albright, Clinton Secretary of State, Nov. 10, 1999

"There is no doubt that ... Saddam Hussein has reinvigorated his weapons programs. Reports indicate that biological, chemical and nuclear programs continue apace and may be back to pre-Gulf War status. In addition, Saddam continues to redefine delivery systems and is doubtless using the cover of a licit missile program to develop longer-range missiles that will threaten the United States and our allies."
Letter to President Bush, Signed by:
-- Sen. Bob Graham (D, FL), and others, Dec 5, 2001

"We begin with the common belief that Saddam Hussein is a tyrant and a threat to the peace and stability of the region. He has ignored the mandate of the United Nations and is building weapons of mass destruction and th! e means of delivering them."
-- Sen. Carl Levin (D, MI), Sept. 19, 2002

"We know that he has stored secret supplies of biological and chemical weapons throughout his country."
-- Al Gore, Sept. 23, 2002

"Iraq's search for weapons of mass destruction has proven impossible to deter and we should assume that it will continue for as long as Saddam is in power."
-- Al Gore, Sept. 23, 2002

"We have known for many years that Saddam Hussein is seeking and developing weapons of mass destruction."
-- Sen. Ted Kennedy (D, MA), Sept. 27, 2002

"The last UN weapons inspectors left Iraq in October of 1998. We are confident that Saddam Hussein retains some stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons, and that he has since embarked on a crash course to build up his chemical and biological warfare capabilities. Intelligence reports indicate that he is seeking nuclear weapons..."
-- Sen. Robert Byrd (D, WV), Oct. 3, 2002

"I will be voting to give the President of the United States the authority to use force -- if necessary -- to disarm Saddam Hussein because I believe that a deadly arsenal of weapons of mass destruction in his hands is a real and grave threat to our security."
-- Sen. John F. Kerry (D, MA), Oct. 9, 2002

"There is unmistakable evidence that Saddam Hussein is working aggressively to develop nuclear weapons and will likely have nuclear weapons within the next five years ... We also should remember we have always underestimated the progress Saddam has made in development of weapons of mass destruction."
-- Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D, WV), Oct 10, 2002

"He has systematically violated, over the course of the past 11 years, every significant UN resolution that has demanded that he disarm and destroy his chemical and biological weapons, and any nuclear capacity. This he has refused to do"
-- Rep. Henry Waxman (D, CA), Oct. 10, 2002

"In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons stock, his missile delivery capability, and his nuclear program. He has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists, including al Qaeda members ... It is clear, however, that if left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will continue to increase his capacity to wage biological and chemical warfare, and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons."
-- Sen. Hillary Clinton (D, NY), Oct 10, 2002

"We are in possession of what I think to be compelling evidence that Saddam Hussein has, and has had for a number of years, a developing capacity for the production and storage of weapons of mass destruction."
-- Sen. Bob Graham (D, FL), Dec. 8, 2002

"Without question, we need to disarm Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal, murderous dictator, leading an oppressive regime ... He presents a particularly grievous threat because he is so consistently prone to miscalculation ... And now he is miscalculating America's response to his continued deceit and his consistent grasp for weapons of mass destruction ... So the threat of Saddam Hussein with weapons of mass destruction is real..."
-- Sen. John F. Kerry (D, MA), Jan. 23. 2003

Donegan

Interesting reading. http://m.us.wsj.com/articles/sun...
The terrorist seemed to have taken over a facility full of WMD's that do not exist.

Darwin's choice

COASTERFAN, YOU'RE A LIAR! And an incredibly ignorant teacher.
Get your attention failure boy? Here's a little news for you, wmd boy, since you hide behind that comment about five thousand times!

"WHOOPSIE: MSM just reported on the WMD's that IRAQ never had

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Like it or not, George W. Bush has now officially and forever been completely vindicated.

Although numerous Democrats, including Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Al Gore, John Edwards, John Kerry, Nancy Pelosi, and others, claimed from 1998 through 2002 that Hussein had WMDs, they labeled President George W. Bush a liar after the war in Iraq began for having made similar statements, despite the fact that the Democrats overwhelmingly voted for the war.

Every Democrat, including Obama, Reid, Pelosi and Wasserman-Shultz, who called George W. Bush a liar and every other hateful name in the book, including every MSNBC host, owes him a huge apology.
The UK Telegraph reports on this seizure of WMDs in Iraq.
Isis jihadists have seized a chemical weapons facility built by Saddam Hussein which contains a stockpile of old weapons, State Department officials have told the Wall Street Journal:
U.S. officials don’t believe the Sunni militants will be able to create a functional chemical weapon from the material. The weapons stockpiled at the Al Muthanna complex are old, contaminated and hard to move, officials said.
Nonetheless, the capture of the chemical-weapon stockpile by the forces of the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham, known as ISIS or ISIL, the militant group that is seizing territory in the country, has grabbed the attention of the U.S.
“We remain concerned about the seizure of any military site by the ISIL,” Jen Psaki, the State Department spokeswoman, said in a written statement. “We do not believe that the complex contains CW materials of military value and it would be very difficult, if not impossible, to safely move the materials.”

They continued with reporting on Saddam Hussein’s history of using these weapons.
The remaining chemical weapons from Saddam Hussein’s regime are stored in two sealed bunkers, both located at the Al Muthanna Chemicals Weapons Complex, a large site in the western desert some 80km north west of Baghdad.
This was the principal manufacturing plant for both chemical agents and munitions during Saddam Hussein’s rule.
Thousands of tonnes of chemical weapons were produced, stored and deployed by the Saddam Hussein regime. Iraq used these weapons during the Iran – Iraq War (1980 to 198 and against the Kurds in Halabja in 1988.

The chemical weapons that were seized from the facility include mustard gas, Sarin, Tabun, and VX."

Contango

Saw how Pres. Obama is calling for al-Maliki to resign.

Kinda like he's helping ISIS overthrown the govt.

Incompetence in the WH at its worst.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/20...

coasterfan

Nah. For Incompetence in the WH, please rewind to 2000-2008. W wrote the book.

Contango

Re: "2000-2008."

Thanks for confirming that you're BAD at History.

2001-2009 :)

---------------

So what are you suggesting that the Incompetent-in-Chief do about the situation in Iraq?

Come into the present, Sport.

grumpy

Actually you are both wrong if you are counting the years of bush. They were the 8 years between 2001 and 2008. You both had 9 years in your posts.

Contango

Re: "you are both wrong,"

Nope.

In office: "January 20, 2001 – January 20, 2009"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geo...

grumpy

Most folks don't round up when it is only 20/365ths, but if you wish to do so it is fine with me.

Darwin's choice

Coaster can't help being stupid, a "teacher" and a demorat troll, add a union member and you have the trifecta of idiotacracy!

obama/failing

coasterfan

Yes, shame on me for being a retired teacher. Apparently, now I've earned quotation marks, too! Teachers, of course, helped Darwin get to where he is today (wherever THAT is...). Without an education, Darwin would be even less intelligent than he is now.

And, of course, unions helped earn higher salaries for all workers, including those in non-union professions. So, unions helped Darwin's Choice, too.

We Dems are smart enough to know this: just because someone disagrees with me, doesn't mean they are an idiot. However, if you ignore the huge failings of the Bush presidency, but call out Obama for much smaller failings, you don't come off as an observant person. Your anti-education stance won't likely convince anyone of your intelligence, either.

Two things I've learned: the people who are absolutely certain that they are correct are almost always the least intelligent people you'll see, regardless of the topic (religion, politics). The people who resort quickest to name-calling are the ones who have the least convincing ideas.

I

So, you're smart enough to know that you might not be that smart. Here's a third thing you need to learn: People who strut around crowing about how smart they are, usually aren't. How do we know that Obama is the smartest president, ever? Because he told us so! LOL!

wasthere

And don't forget that coasterfan calls himself a "closet" atheist, but yet feels the need to tell everyone. Always looking for acceptance. That's sad.

JudgeMeNot

You a retired teacher, how pathetic you are.

Darwin's choice

YOU have had nothing to do with where I am today, except to be on this blog disputing the blatant lies you post every time you post!

What is your mission here? Do you really think you're still "teaching"?
You daily wear your azz on your face, with the bs you spew, and then try to convince all how wonderful you and the demorat party are!

You are a pathetic troll!

obama/still failing

jazzbo

coasterfan
Thu, 06/19/2014 - 4:09pm

- Im just now seeing this , and you are right.

Fromthe419

He better check with Yellen at the FED and China to see if they are willing to fund yet another military adventure.

Hollie Newton

mission accomplished...

 

KURTje

Non-veteran wrong again.