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. Donna

    Obama will never admit he screwed up in Iraq and lost it to AQ Expecting him to demonstate leadership, even to correct his own mistakes, is asking far too much of this disinterested bystander. Gates book reveals the real Obama. He's a surrender monkey that thinks the USA has too much power and is the bad guy.

    January 9, 2014 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  2. Silence DoGood

    "House Speaker John Boehner Thursday accused President Obama of ignoring the threat of al Qaeda linked groups gaining power in Iraq"
    Bush lied about Al Qaeda being in Iraq. Bush sent 1000's to their death based on lies (al Qaeda, WMD), in reaction to Bush's war Al Qaeda then came in. Can we complete the Bush War Crimes trial first before we make stuff up about Obama? We the people voted Obama in to get us OUT not back in.

    January 9, 2014 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  3. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Oh okay, yeah.
    The President, according to Boehner is ignoring Iraq's call in much the same way that Gov. Christie ignored the calls of the mayor of Fort Lee but worse, much worse. Of course..
    I see how this is supposed to roll and deflect from the REAL scandal that is currently occupying every news network from here to Wassilla: Governor Christie's Bridgegate.

    January 9, 2014 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  4. Tampa Tim

    But John, how are you wing nuts going to pay for it?

    January 9, 2014 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  5. Boomer in Mo

    The screw up was invading Iraq in the first place. Saddam was keeping a lid on Iran and was never a direct threat to us. By going in we created intense hatred of America that was far worse than what had been whipped up by Al Queda previously. By invading Iraq, we took hour eye off of Afghanistan and that war is still dragging on. We should have just tolerated Saddam, maybe helping those working against him in Iraq. As Gates said in his book, Americans are too quick to go to war.

    January 9, 2014 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  6. king

    aahhh this no good for nothing speaker, which is probably the worst in America's history,is scouring for anything to throw at this president. why dont you call a session and do some legislating for a change to send equipment down their. you the one that boasted you have the power of the purse for everything. you just want the president to come up with something then you and your right winged fanatic dive down like chicken hawks to play politics and end up voting against it anyway like you have been doing for the past 5 years. you guys are bend on not making this president look good in any form nor shape. if it wasn't this president using his executive powers to accomplish a lot of agenda we would be in hot water right now. so mr boener please shut your trapper and allow the president to do what must be done.

    January 9, 2014 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  7. Tampa Tim

    Donna, you didn't read any book. Gates admitted that Obama exhibited leadership skills with bin Laden and a host of other incidents. "Surrender monkey" would be a good name for the guy who did not care where bin Laden was.

    January 9, 2014 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  8. Malory Archer

    Donna

    Obama will never admit he screwed up in Iraq and lost it to AQ Expecting him to demonstate leadership

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    The ONLY screwup was going into Iraq to begin with, and EVERYBODY tried to warn the U.S. against it, but someone had "daddy issues". Now here we are!

    January 9, 2014 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  9. Warren

    Can you say warmonger? Which of his major government contract contributor called and wanted him to say this?

    January 9, 2014 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  10. drake mallard

    Dick Cheney had a different view of invading Iraq in 1994, as evident in
    this discussion of the first Iraq war, a war where he was the Secretary
    of Defense.

    After you take down Saddam Hussain's government, he asks, "then what are
    you gonna put in its place? That's a very volatile part of the world,
    and if you take down the central government in Iraq, you can easily end
    up seeing pieces of Iraq fly off... it's a quagmire ... if you try to
    take over Iraq... How many additional American causalities was Saddam
    worth? Our judgment was not very many, and I think we got it right."

    The interview is available at YouTube,

    Cheney '94: Invading Baghdad Would Create Quagmire

    January 9, 2014 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  11. rs

    So, Mr. Boehner- you'll hold the U.S. economy hostage again over the ACA and the debt ceiling (no surpirse); you won't even bring to a vote the extension of unemployment compensations for even just three months- yet you want the U.S. to reinvest in the rabbit hole of lost money, lies and death that is Iraq.
    You Republicans are a delusional lot. That war already cost: $2 trillion, 5,000 servicemen and women killed, tens of thousands more wounded; 125,000 Iraqi civilians killed, and 2 million more made refugees.
    And you want to go back...... right!

    January 9, 2014 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  12. 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?

    it appears obama, even after 5 years in office has learned absolutely nothing. he ha snot learned from his mistakes. you act and help early when trouble like this crops up. you do not let it fester until it it explodes in a huge fireball like syria did.

    obama total lack of a foreign policy and a will to defend our own national interest is a total disgrace.

    January 9, 2014 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  13. Name jk. Sfl. GOP CRUZ lee&rubio 24billion dallar LOSS of your tax money conservatives,the garbage of America.

    We should send the GOP idiots there to protect THEIR oil contracts that they rigged in the bush Cheney whitehouse. These GOP crooks are traitors to America and should get jobs with the oil companies that they are stooges for, the GOP doesn't work for the American people but for the oil company lobby!!!!!

    January 9, 2014 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  14. ThinkAgain - If you want Congress to actually do something FOR the American people, vote out the Repub/tea bag majority

    @Donna: "He's a surrender monkey that thinks the USA has too much power and is the bad guy."

    Laughable as always, Donna. And I bet you voted TWICE for this guy, the one who lied us into Iraq, ignored the advice of his military generals on needed initial troops strength, had no plan and in general left it as yet another mess for President Obama to clean up:

    “I mean, are we going to have some kind of nation-building corps from America? Absolutely not.” – October 2000, GW Bush in debate with Al Gore.

    January 9, 2014 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  15. drake mallard

    There was no al Qaeda in Iraq before your invasion. Al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein were mortal enemies.

    In 2006, while Bush was still president, a National Intelligence Estimate found that the war in Iraq increased Islamic radicalism and worsened the terror threat to the United States. Last March, the New York Times looked back on the 10 years in Iraq since Bush invaded with promises of fighting terrorism and bringing a model of democracy that would serve as a beacon for the rest of the Middle East. The paper reported, “The most depressing measure of the failure may lie in the voices of ordinary Iraqis who tell reporters that they wish Iraq could return to the way it was under Saddam, for all its miseries.”

    January 9, 2014 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  16. Rudy NYC

    The American people are not behind another military operation in Iraq. Let me take this opportunity to remind the right wing war mongers that it was Pres. Bush who had negotiated the end of the SOFA with Iraq. The Iraqis were content to not extend the agreement, and Pres. Obama accepted THEIR decision to determine the path of THEIR future. The recent violence in major urban centers are the risk that the Iraqis wanted to take, which means it is NOT THE DUTY of the United States to repulse.

    It's unfortunate, but it's not our fight, most especially when we have not been invited to it.

    January 9, 2014 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  17. ThinkAgain - If you want Congress to actually do something FOR the American people, vote out the Repub/tea bag majority

    Boehner and the GOP oppose President Obama because they've got NOTHING to offer our nation except failed policies: news at 11.

    * yawn *

    January 9, 2014 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  18. Larry in Houston

    hey bonehead, why don't you study up on your history – In 1967 Johnson sent tanks & all sorts of fighter jets over into another country.....and the war only lasted 7 days

    January 9, 2014 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  19. Lynda/Minnesota

    "I see how this is supposed to roll and deflect from the REAL scandal that is currently occupying every news network from here to Wassilla: Governor Christie's Bridgegate."

    In which case the media will end up sounding like just saying and I've got to admit even the media isn't going to want to go that route for very long.

    January 9, 2014 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  20. 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?

    January 9, 2014 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  21. Larry in Houston

    @drake mallard – you are absolutely correct, not to mention spot on, on this one....I'm sure if Cheney had it to do over again, they would have left Saddam in there.....at least we wouldn't be "policing" that country till the end of time, like we are now...

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

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

    Boehner accuses President of ignoring Iraq, calls for US to send more money to defense contractors

    FIFY

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

    "it appears obama, even after 5 years in office has learned absolutely nothing. he ha snot learned from his mistakes. you act and help early when trouble like this crops up. you do not let it fester until it it explodes in a huge fireball like syria did."

    Says the guy who called for impeachment over Obama's exercise of his War Powers Act powers to intervene in Libya. we get it, dude. You're going to take whatever position is necessary to criticize Obama even if I means directly contradicting yourself within the span of a few sentences. YAWN.

    January 9, 2014 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  24. ProudDem

    You know, I love how the right says Obama failed in Iraq...but they never actually say how anyone would have succeeded. What was their grand plan? The Suni and Shia factions have been warring for 1300 years. As soon as we left, whenever we left, they were going to start it up again. So, the only two options would be...genocide of one of the factions and building a wall around the country so that none can ever enter again...or us staying in a foreign country forever, or at least until religion stops being a motive for killing someone. So, oh great and wise thinkers who say we failed by leaving...what was your plan exactly?

    January 9, 2014 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  25. GOP = Greed Over People

    The Orange Oracle makes NO mention of how the GOP House intends to "pay" for the equipment, yet spends weeks putting off an UI extension, all while whining it must be paid for.

    There appears to be no worries about "deficit spending" when it benefits the corporate "people" engaged in war machine production, only when the spending affects the lives of real people!

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