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Published On: Mon, Jun 16th, 2014

America divided over Iraq response, Obama calls for unity in Baghdad

President Obama has ordered drone surveillance flights over Iraq, but no air strikes as the country is spiralling into turmoil with sectarian violence. A senior administration official said on Sunday that the emphasis is for Iraq’s leaders to set aside differences and form a new national unity government.

President Barack Obama meets with senior advisors in the Roosevelt Room.  2/16/09. Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

President Barack Obama meets with senior advisors in the Roosevelt Room. 2/16/09. Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

The United States, this official said, has asked Iraq’s prime minister, Nuri Kamal al-Maliki, a Shiite, to work with the Kurds, to seek to persuade the disaffected Sunni minority that the next government will be an “ally not an adversary” and to overhaul Iraq’s routed army. All three groups must be adequately represented in Baghdad, he added.

Pentagon officials have confirmed on Sunday the embassy employees have been and will be evacuated. The State Department added that the US would remain “fully equipped to carry out its national security mission” in Iraq despite the evacuation of some embassy workers, as Republicans slammed the Obama administration over the growing Middle East crisis.

“The temporary relocation of some embassy personnel is being facilitated aboard commercial, charter and State Department aircraft as appropriate. The US military has airlift assets at the ready.”

The statements came as Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (Isis) fighters threatened Baghdad, the State Department warned US citizens in the country to “maintain security awareness at all times” and reports of the murder of captured government troops caused widespread anger among Shias as Sunni extremists are instigating heightened violence.

photo donkeyhotey  donkeyhotey.wordpress.com

photo donkeyhotey donkeyhotey.wordpress.com

The South Carolina Republican Lindsey Graham argued Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union” for more intervention in the country against these Sunni militants: “The stubborn-headed president we have, who thinks he knows better than everybody else, who withdrew troops and exposed this country to the inevitable, needs to change his policies quickly. If he does, we can still save this,” Graham told  the guest hosts.  

“Get into the game, Mr. President. You can – leaders are judged not by the fact that they never make a mistake, but how they adjust to their mistakes. Bush made plenty of mistakes. I have made plenty of mistakes. Obama has made plenty of mistakes. But we have an opportunity – and time is running out – to turn this around. Get involved with airpower. Stop the march toward Baghdad. Deal with Syria. But get a new government in place as quickly as you can that will bring the Iraqis back together for a counteroffensive.”

“This administration has repeatedly underestimated the threat,” former Presidentail candidate Mitt Romney said Sunday on NBC’s Meet the Press. He confirmed he not running for Presidnet in 016, but widened his criticism to Hillary Clinton’s time as Secretary of State, calling her tenure a “monumental bust.”

Meanwhile Obama supporters are blaming the Iraqis: “Iraqi domestic politics made it impossible to reach a deal. Iraqi public opinion surveys consistently showed that the U.S. military presence was deeply unpopular,” writers Colin Kahl for Politico. “Ayad Allawi and Sunni politicians aligned with the Iraqiyya coalition supported a continued U.S. presence, but they knew that most of their Sunni constituents did not.”

CNN’s Aaron David Miller writesw “Obama, don’t get sucked into Iraq III“:

Most of Obama’s detractors engage in what I call “woulda/coulda/shoulda” criticism. That is to say, if the President had only invested more time and effort in negotiating a status of forces agreement with the government of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, left a residual presence there, enforced his chemical weapons red line in Syria and backed the moderate opposition there, we wouldn’t be seeing the ISIS jihadi rampage playing out in both countries.

But given the limited amount of intervention this administration, Congress, and the public would support, even under the best of circumstances, the U.S. could not have stopped the dynamic that is occurring.

About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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  1. Angelena Egnor says:

    I think that UN must be interfere in the Iraq situation and must be trying to be peace situation in the iraq.

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