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Obama, Democrats back in Iraq
The Hill ^ | 6/18/2014 | Alexander Bolton

Posted on 06/18/2014 3:26:37 AM PDT by markomalley

President Obama has called congressional leaders to the White House Wednesday to outline his plan for stopping Iraq’s spiral into chaos.

The effort is aimed at building support for possible military strikes on Iraq, as extremists in the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) threaten the capital city of Baghdad.

Obama is facing a war-weary public and Congress, and any request for authorization of military force risks rejection by lawmakers in both parties.

Yet Obama also risks watching Iraq descend into chaos on his watch, which would create a haven for al Qaeda-affiliated terrorist groups just more than three years after the president ordered the last U.S. troops out of the country.

That raises the stakes for Wednesday afternoon’s meeting with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), House John Boehner (R-Ohio) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).

By carefully building support among Congress’s leaders for more aggressive steps in Iraq, Obama could circumvent the need to ask Congress to approve a resolution authorizing force in Iraq in advance.

In 2013, Obama suffered an embarrassment when he decided to ask Congress to approve a resolution authorizing force against Syria for that country’s use of chemical weapons.

Both Republicans and Democrats turned on the president, who only avoided a painful legislative defeat, when Russian President Vladimir Putin brokered a chemical weapons deal that allowed Obama to save some face.

Both Reid and House Majority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) on Tuesday offered some early cover for Obama to take action without approval by Congress.

Both said the president did not need lawmaker approval to launch missile strikes.

“Under the existing authorization for the use of force, I think they have that [power],” said Hoyer, referring to a 2002 law that authorized President George W. Bush to use force in Iraq.

Reid, who has ardently defended Obama’s foreign policy decision in recent weeks, also said Tuesday that Congress did not need to grant additional approval.“In my opinion, I don’t think they need any more authority than they already have to do whatever they need to do,” he said.

Such views are likely to be controversial within the Democratic Party, where some can scarcely believe a president who came to power by opposing the war in Iraq might be on the verge of starting a new one.

Even Hoyer acknowledged he doesn’t know how many Democrats in the caucus agree with him on the issue. But he predicted a significant number would likely support such a military intervention.

Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.), who has co-sponsored legislation to repeal the 2002 resolution authorizing military force in Iraq, said Obama should consult with Congress.

“I certainly believe that the president always has to get congressional approval,” said Kaine, a member of the Foreign Relations Committee. “If there’s an emergency, you may need to come back and get a congressional ratification. That’s the way the process is supposed to work.”

Sen. Chris Murphy (Conn.), another Democrat on the Foreign Relations panel, backed Kaine’s point of view.

“If he’s asking for any sustained authorization, he’s got to go Congress. I think the Iraq AUMF is functionally obsolete,” said Murphy.

Murphy also questioned whether the broader authorization for use of military force passed after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, would give Obama authority to strike ISIS.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), a possible presidential candidate in 2016, said Obama could not rely on a resolution passed more than 10 years ago, when many members of Congress were not yet elected.

“A new war has started, and if people want to go be involved in a new war, the job of Congress is to vote on it,” he said. “I don’t think you can have a Congress of 10 years ago make a decision for the people here 10 years later.”

One of the biggest questions facing Obama and Congress is what can be accomplished by striking ISIS fighters with drones or warplanes.

Many lawmakers and administration officials say military action alone is not enough to restore the peace and insist that Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki must reform his government to be more inclusive of Sunnis.

But senior lawmakers have lost faith in al-Maliki, raising doubts about the wisdom of authorizing military force without a political plan in place.

Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), a defender of the Iraqi surge who lost to Obama in the 2008 race for the White House, have called for al-Maliki’s resignation.


TOPICS: Extended News; Foreign Affairs; Government
KEYWORDS: iraq; obama

1 posted on 06/18/2014 3:26:37 AM PDT by markomalley
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To: markomalley

> Even Hoyer acknowledged he doesn’t know how many Democrats in the caucus agree with him on the issue. But he predicted a significant number would likely support such a military intervention.

All Senate members that receive donations from military contractors support it.


2 posted on 06/18/2014 3:39:48 AM PDT by jsanders2001
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To: markomalley
Talking about the wrong war at the wrong place at the wrong time against the wrong enemy, we are about to commit every one of those mistakes.

The very first question one must ask before skipping off on some military adventure is: what is the national interest of the United States?

I have not heard this answered. My view is that the most important interest we have is to prevent Iran from getting the bomb. If we go to war against ISIS, and in doing so align ourselves either officially or de facto with Iran, we will be making a very bad mistake. If Iran gains possession of the territories recently taken by Isis, it will gain possession of the petrodollar stream which, combined with their incipient ability to fashion an atom bomb, and combined with their expanding missile program, changes the entire balance of power, not just in the Middle East but in the world. The potential ability of Iran to pass off such a bomb to terrorists who can simply walk it across our unguarded Mexican border is frightening.

Let one or two bombs explode in American city, planted by unknown terrorists, and we will surrender. I say again, we will surrender. That is because we will have no enemy to bomb, no enemy to invade, no way of preventing the next city being turned into glass. We will succumb to sharia.

As bad as Isis is, and their brutal nature should not be discounted, they are not the threat, Iran is.


3 posted on 06/18/2014 3:43:24 AM PDT by nathanbedford ("Attack, repeat, attack!" Bull Halsey)
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To: markomalley

“...which would create a haven for al Qaeda-affiliated terrorist groups ...”

But Al Qaeda is dead - Obama with his mighty pen and mobile phone wiped them from the planet...don’t these terrorists read the US news? (sarc/)

I’m glad I spent from 2003-2008 over there - plus another 2 yrs covering down on Iraq from the US...tie well spent I see...and the 17 guys I knew that are dead - plus the various others that lost a limb or two - or their face - or something else....glad we sacrifaced for a area of the world that didn’t want PEACE - doesn’t want a free republic - and want’s nothing more than shear violence to dominate their day-to-day lives...what a frack’n waste!


4 posted on 06/18/2014 3:53:38 AM PDT by BCW (Amazon: "Babylon's Covert War" - the Iraq conflict explained in detail)
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To: nathanbedford

I hope Iran goes in there - goes face-to-face with ISI and they get the same that Iranian militia dealt out to us from 2005 to 2009....I would love to see those cocky bastards who march up and down the streets in Tehran acting all bad arse with their white little gloves and baseball caps on get blown up - get mortared - have IED strikes on their patrols...let them have the experience of a lifetime - just like they did to us when we were there...let’s see how tough the Revolutionary Guard actually is...I’m beating ISI will not hold back any punches and the world will see these cowardly Persians run off the battlefield like the sissy’s they are!


5 posted on 06/18/2014 3:58:10 AM PDT by BCW (Amazon: "Babylon's Covert War" - the Iraq conflict explained in detail)
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To: markomalley
Yet Obama also risks watching Iraq descend into chaos on his watch...

You mean there is no chaos in Iraq right now?

6 posted on 06/18/2014 4:16:08 AM PDT by Senator_Blutarski
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To: markomalley
Republicans: Support only if every Democrat issues a written public apology to President Bush, VP Cheney and Condoleeza Rice, stating that the Republicans were right about Iraq.
7 posted on 06/18/2014 4:30:28 AM PDT by eCSMaster ("It is not the color of his skin, ... it is the blackness that fills his soul")
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To: markomalley

It’s not that we’re war weary, it is that we do not trust him with the well-being of our sons. He has rules of engagement that required our brave sons to take fire and not return it if the person firing was not clearly a terrorist. Since they don’t have uniforms, that would be in all cases. Sending our sons into war where they are standing before a firing squad with no ability to return fire is treason.


8 posted on 06/18/2014 4:42:55 AM PDT by gspurlock (http://www.backyardfence.wordpress.com)
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To: markomalley

President Obama has called congressional leaders to the White House Wednesday to outline his plan for stopping Iraq’s spiral into chaos.

Iraq has been in chaos for several hundred years. There are muslims there. Nothing Obama can do about that.


9 posted on 06/18/2014 5:07:24 AM PDT by SECURE AMERICA (I am an American Not a Republican or a Democrat.)
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To: markomalley

The congressional authority to go into Iraq in 2003 was never repealed. Zero can still do what he wants. Problem is, he’s not a leader. He leads from behind.


10 posted on 06/18/2014 5:11:29 AM PDT by DownInFlames
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To: markomalley

No Blood for Oilbama


11 posted on 06/18/2014 5:12:10 AM PDT by Cowboy Bob (They are called "Liberals" because the word "parasite" was already taken.)
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To: nathanbedford

“My view is that the most important interest we have is to prevent Iran from getting the bomb.... The potential ability of Iran to pass off such a bomb to terrorists who can simply walk it across our unguarded Mexican border is frightening.”

Since you identify Iran as the biggest threat perhaps that is a reason to remain engaged in Iraq -to counter Iran?

Iran is already exporting their oil from Basrah, Iraq under the pretention of being Iraqi oil. Why would you want to extend their control to Iraq’s southern oil fields? Who will oppose this?

Your position is a defacto capitulation to Iranian interests in Iraq and their support of worldwide terrorism. Iran cannot attack Israel until the US is out of the picture. So who will be the first to be nuked by Iran? And you want to handover southern Iraq to Iran thereby hastening the day of our demise?


12 posted on 06/18/2014 5:55:21 AM PDT by Justa
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To: markomalley

just get our people out and let them rip


13 posted on 06/18/2014 6:21:30 AM PDT by yldstrk ( My heroes have always been cowboys)
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To: Justa
My position is to avoid becoming Iran's Air Force in the Shiite war against Sunni Isis.

If there is going to be any bombing I do not propose playing at the margins but to go directly to the heart of Tehran and destroy the atomic works. It might be too late, it might not be physically feasible, but it is the best solution.

There is no chance that Obama will bomb Iran, he has already capitulated on that issue. The question is whether he will capitulate to Iran in Iraq as well.


14 posted on 06/18/2014 6:31:08 AM PDT by nathanbedford ("Attack, repeat, attack!" Bull Halsey)
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To: markomalley

So, is O’bama’s war plan to talk everyone to death? I have never seen anyone so slow to act when it really counts. What an embarrassment this Child President is!!


15 posted on 06/18/2014 6:41:18 AM PDT by johnnygeneric
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