Alison Lundergan Grimes opposes sending troops to Iraq; Addison Mitch McConnell is responsible for chaos there *UPDATE*

In a statement released to the Associated Press, Alison Lundergan Grimes said she opposes sending American troops back to Iraq and, in standing with President Obama, says she believes the solution must come from the Iraqi people.

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In a statement released Friday to The Associated Press, Grimes called the situation very dangerous and concerning. But she said ultimately the fight is up to the people of Iraq. Grimes said the United States should play a supportive role by providing useful intelligence.

The Bush administration’s 2003 invasion toppled a stable, though despotic, government and plunged America and ultimately Iraq into a quagmire of sectarian violence.
Many on the Republican side over the last few days have rushed to blame Barack Obama for the civil war that’s engulfing the Gulf state. Some have said America must send its troops back to Iraq, while others say America never should have pulled its troops out — instead, apparently, they believe we should have just left American soldiers there to continue to die in a war that never had a reason and then just dragged on senselessly.
If, perchance, you’re the type of that believes the withdrawal of US troops is the cause of the violence in Iraq, then you can blame Mitch McConnell. Mitch McConnell was one of the earliest leaders in Washington to advise President Bush that the US must withdraw its troops from Iraq:
In his new memoir, “Decision Points,” Bush writes that McConnell came to the Oval Office in September 2006, with the midterm elections fast approaching. McConnell told Bush that his unpopularity was going to cost the GOP control of Congress, the 43rd president writes in the book. When Bush asked for McConnell’s advice, the Kentucky senator told Bush he should withdraw some troops from Iraq, according to the memoir.
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Granted, McConnell made the suggestion not with the interests of American soldiers in mind but rather — and as usual — with his own interests in mind, but still. (Dick Cheney later confirmed President Bush’s story, which McConnell has never tried to deny.)

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And if, perchance, you believe that the withdrawal of US troops under Barack Obama was a huge mistake from an obviously inept President who in all likelihood hates America… well, Addison Mitchell McConnell has something important to tell you:

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In a 2010 speech to Commerce Lexington, McCconnell said that credit for the end of combat operations and the withdrawal of US troops in Iraq was not an accomplishment of Barack Obama’s but rather of George W. Bush who had the “determination and will to carry out the plan that made [this] announcement possible.” 

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“It sure makes things easier when you reject your own campaign rhetoric about how the surge — the Petraeus plan — shouldn’t happen and wouldn’t work,” McConnell said at the Commerce Lexington Public Policy Luncheon. “[And] it makes it easier to talk about fulfilling a campaign promise to wind down our operations in Iraq when the previous administration signs the security agreement with Iraq to end our overall presence there.”

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McConnell hasn’t yet responded to Grimes’ statement on not sending troops back to Iraq now, but he’s in a great position to do so. Almost anything he says will mesh with something he’s said previously. Over the years, Mitch McConnell has taken a position on almost every side of the issue… each time, with his own interests foremost in his mind. 

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But two things are clear:

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1) Mitch McConnell had been calling for the withdrawal of US troops since way back in 2006 and is thus responsible for the chaos occurring today in Iraq;

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2) Even if you don’t agree with the 1st proposition, you really must agree with Mitch McConnell that the only way today’s chaos could have been made possible is because of George W. Bush’s determination to end our overall presence there.

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Mitch McConnell released a statement on his most recent position on Iraq. Somewhat surprisingly, McConnell agrees completely with President Obama that the US must “act quickly to provide assistance to the Maliki government before every gain made by U.S. and allied troops is lost, and before ISIL expands its sanctuary — from which it can eventually threaten the United States.”

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McConnell’s statement didn’t indicate what type of assistance that would be so one can only assume that he means exactly what the President meant yesterday when he said virtually the exact same thing.

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It’s good to see Mitch McConnell owning up to his previous advocacy for withdrawal of US troops and standing by his later celebration of their complete withdrawal. Rather than attempt to blame the President for what is clearly not the President’s fault (but may well be McConnell’s), Mitch took the high road and agreed completely and wholeheartedly with President Obama and the administration’s current policy toward the violence in Iraq.

Good job, Mitch!




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