Boehner accuses President of ignoring Iraq, calls for US to send equipment
January 9th, 2014
01:10 PM ET
3 months ago

Boehner accuses President of ignoring Iraq, calls for US to send equipment

Washington (CNN) – House Speaker John Boehner Thursday accused President Obama of ignoring the threat of al Qaeda linked groups gaining power in Iraq and called for the U.S. to send "some equipment and some services" to help the Iraqis mount a counter-terrorism effort.

"Starting with the President delegating his responsibilities to the Vice President, the administration has chosen to spend much of its time and its energy trying to explain why having terrorists holding key terrain in the Middle East is not the president's problem," Boehner told reporters at his weekly press conference.

The Speaker said after much "blood and treasure" expended in the war in Iraq the progress made is "now threatened and in the case of Fallujah, it's been reversed," referring to a city that was the site of prolonged battles with U.S. forces and insurgents. Boehner said the Obama administration should have negotiated a "status of forces agreement" with Iraq, but "it failed to deliver."

The Speaker called on the President to personally address the issue, saying, "the United States has and will continue to have vital interests in Iraq. We must maintain a long term commitment to a successful outcome there. It's time that the president recognize this and get engaged."

Asked if Boehner supported sending any American troops to Iraq, he replied, "I don't think that is called for at this point and time."

For now the Speaker said "there is equipment and some services that would be very helpful to the Iraqis as they develop this counterterrorism strategy that's going to be necessary, especially this urban environment in Fallujah."

Asked about Boehner's comments, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid responded toughly: "(I heard) the Speaker blamed President Obama for Fallujah. That takes a lot of gall.”

Secretary of State John Kerry said Sunday that the United States will help the Iraqi government in the battle against al Qaeda-linked fighters in western Iraq, but he stressed it won't send troops.


Filed under: Iraq • John Boehner • President Obama
soundoff (46 Responses)
  1. just asking

    rs
    just asking
    why wouldn't obama want to help iraq in any way possible to keep it from slipping into the hands of al quada? wouldn't that be in the best interests of this country as well as iraq?
    ________________________________
    And just how much of a tax increase would you like to take JS to pay for another round of frollics in Iraq? You're always so worried about the bottom line. Bush's wars bankrupted us already, do you really want to go there again?
    -–

    nobody is talking about another invasion for aq few cities that have a problem. we already have drones in the region that could easily target them from the air. why wouldn't obama at least offer that sort of aid? or maybe a few special forces units to help coordiate with the iraqis?

    if obama has learned anything after the iran, syria, libya, egypt debalces, he'll offer this sort of help early when it can make a difference. otherwise he will have proven himself incapable of learning from his mistakes.

    January 9, 2014 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  2. Donna

    Where are all the lefties in this thread to keep the discussion about Obama and this request? Why all the lefties bringing up the past and others long out of office? Too funny....

    January 9, 2014 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  3. rs

    It never ceases to amaze me just how willing the Right is to invest in the well-being of other nations, governments and their leaders- all at great cost to us, while they refuse to invest a dime in our citizens, our infrastructure and our government.

    January 9, 2014 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  4. GOP = Greed Over People

    We taught the Iraqi army "how to fish" so, now it is time for them to "pull themselves up by the bootstraps" and step up and "take responsibility" for their own safety.

    January 9, 2014 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  5. Sniffit

    rs
    It never ceases to amaze me just how willing the Right is to invest in the well-being of other nations, governments and their leaders- all at great cost to us, while they refuse to invest a dime in our citizens, our infrastructure and our government.
    --

    I agree 100%. It is far better to let Al Quada takeover the western part of Iraq and use it to establish bases from which to attack within the region and even back here after they get their hands on some of those Syrian chemical weapons. We need all that money right here for food stamps.

    January 9, 2014 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  6. Rudy NYC

    rs

    It never ceases to amaze me just how willing the Right is to invest in the well-being of other nations, governments and their leaders- all at great cost to us, while they refuse to invest a dime in our citizens, our infrastructure and our government.
    -----------------
    It's simple. When they go off on another one of their "freedom and liberty" crusades, much of the money that's spent goes directly to the military industrial complex. They need gear and spare parts by ton. They need ammunition for small arms and bombs for the bombs for the big guns. They need missles and more missles. Follow the money. When you can't figure something out, then just follow the money.

    January 9, 2014 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  7. Romney is STILL NOT My Hero

    Orange Boehner needs to shut up. I thought the GOP was all about everyone fending for themselves. Who cares about the poor and needy at home, in the USA. (cut healthcare, unemployment, etc.). Let's just waste more time and money to help another country fight against itself. Yeah, good strategy!

    January 9, 2014 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  8. Silence DoGood

    @rs
    It never ceases to amaze me just how willing the Right is to invest in the well-being of other nations, governments and their leaders- all at great cost to us, while they refuse to invest a dime in our citizens, our infrastructure and our government.
    -----------–
    It is a moral invasion mentality. The Radical Right caused the Al Qaeda to show up. Bombs away! Innocents that get killed are probably the wrong religion so it's OK. And for our own US citizens, the "help" they offer is to come into our private lives and legislate morality and spend money doing it. (see Bush years spending US accounting website)

    January 9, 2014 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  9. ProudDem

    Donna

    Where are all the lefties in this thread to keep the discussion about Obama and this request? Why all the lefties bringing up the past and others long out of office? Too funny....
    ___________________________________________

    Probably the same reason the right is bringing up the President on all the Christie corruption news articles the last two days.

    January 9, 2014 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  10. ThinkAgain - If you want Congress to actually do something FOR the American people, vote out the Repub/tea bag majority

    @Donna: "Where are all the lefties in this thread to keep the discussion about Obama and this request? Why all the lefties bringing up the past and others long out of office? Too funny...."

    Gee, Donna, I thought all you righties were into personal responsibility ... and it's time for Iraq to take care of itself ... unless, of course, you'd like to waste more American treasure and lives ...

    January 9, 2014 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  11. mulwillie

    Wouldn't this Country and the thousands of people killed or injured been better off if Bush and Cheney had ignored Iraq.

    January 9, 2014 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  12. Silence DoGood

    @Donna "Why all the lefties bringing up the past and others long out of office?"
    Because the Bush/Cheney War Crimes trial hasn't taken place yet.

    January 9, 2014 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  13. ThinkAgain - If you want Congress to actually do something FOR the American people, vote out the Repub/tea bag majority

    The Bush administration was filled with chicken hawks and a president who'd spent 18 months AWOL during his "tour" of duty. And like everything else Bush and his cronies touched, the Iraq war was a mess. President Obama has done his best to clean it up; it's up to the Iraqi people now to succeed or fail.

    January 9, 2014 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  14. rs

    just asking

    rs
    just asking
    why wouldn't obama want to help iraq in any way possible to keep it from slipping into the hands of al quada? wouldn't that be in the best interests of this country as well as iraq?
    ________________________________
    And just how much of a tax increase would you like to take JS to pay for another round of frollics in Iraq? You're always so worried about the bottom line. Bush's wars bankrupted us already, do you really want to go there again?
    -–

    nobody is talking about another invasion for aq few cities that have a problem. we already have drones in the region that could easily target them from the air. why wouldn't obama at least offer that sort of aid? or maybe a few special forces units to help coordiate with the iraqis?

    if obama has learned anything after the iran, syria, libya, egypt debalces, he'll offer this sort of help early when it can make a difference. otherwise he will have proven himself incapable of learning from his mistakes.
    ______________________
    I am not convinced this a drone solution if we are talking about urban fighting with insurgents. By treaty, we are out of Iraq, the war is done, and there is no evidence they want us back. Special Forces? How many are we talking? Tens, hundreds? thousands? Seriously, if Al Qaeda is a threat to overrun the government of Iraq, there are way more serious issues at hand- like their newly erupting civil war. Nothing we can do about that- it is a byproduct of our own il-advised war. Nothing we do in Iraq will ever be cheap.
    Meanwhile, the GOP has gone to "military" as the solutions that the President solved laregely with diplomacy- or are the peaceful solutions reached in Iran, Syria, Libya et al without boots on the ground part of the "debacle" you are referring to?

    January 9, 2014 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  15. ThinkAgain - If you want Congress to actually do something FOR the American people, vote out the Repub/tea bag majority

    "Who cares about the poor and needy at home, in the USA. (cut healthcare, unemployment, etc.). Let's just waste more time and money to help another country fight against itself. Yeah, good strategy!"

    if Haliburton could make billions helping our country – including making billions go missing – the GOP would be all for it.

    No profit other than helping our own people? Nah, the GOP's not interested.

    January 9, 2014 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  16. rs

    Donna

    Where are all the lefties in this thread to keep the discussion about Obama and this request? Why all the lefties bringing up the past and others long out of office? Too funny....
    __________________________
    I think we should treat Iraq like the GOP treats the unemployed. "Military assistance just breeds dependence...".

    January 9, 2014 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  17. TONE

    AMERICANS throws these bums (GOP) out come november. first they cost us 24billion dollars with their temper tantrum, now they want us to spend billions more in Iraq to satisfy their donors of the military industrial complex rich people of course. What about Americans who need unemployment benefits my question is where does bonehead's priority lies, is it with the American people or is it with foreigners (Iraqis) .

    January 9, 2014 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  18. Wake up People!

    Typical Republikkkan. $crew the people of THIS country who lost their jobs when companies decided to move their business overseas. Forget the poor mothers who can't feed their children, but let's help a bunch of people who hate our guts, who resent us being in their country. And would murder every single one of us in a NY minute.

    January 9, 2014 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  19. Bill

    Sorry Boehner, not our problem.

    January 9, 2014 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  20. rs

    The Speaker called on the President to personally address the issue, saying, "the United States has and will continue to have vital interests in Iraq. We must maintain a long term commitment to a successful outcome there. It's time that the president recognize this and get engaged."
    _____________________
    Gee, Mr. Boehner- when are you and the House GOP going to "maintain a long term commitment to a successful outcome [here]" in the United States?

    January 9, 2014 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  21. Silence DoGood

    @rs
    Donna

    Where are all the lefties in this thread to keep the discussion about Obama and this request? Why all the lefties bringing up the past and others long out of office? Too funny....
    __________________________
    I think we should treat Iraq like the GOP treats the unemployed. "Military assistance just breeds dependence...".
    ------------–
    Yeah – they are just being lazy – time to get off the dole.

    January 9, 2014 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
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