General Ray Odierno, the outgoing chief of staff of the Army, blamed President Obama's disengagement from Iraq for the country falling apart. He made the comments in an interview tonight on Fox News:
"Well, it's frustrating to watch it," Odierno said of the collapse of Iraq. "I think a lot of hard work into that. And we thought we had it going exactly in the right direction. But now we watch it fall apart--it's frustrating."
Fox News reporter Jennifer Griffin asked, "Did it have to be this way?"
"I think maybe if we had stayed a little bit more engaged, I think maybe it might have prevented it. I've always believed that the United States played the role of honest broker between all the groups. And when we pulled ourselves out we lost that role as honest broker," Odierno said, blaming Obama for disengaging from Iraq without explicitly naming his boss.
According to the terms of the Iran deal announced in Vienna on Tuesday, U.N. Security Council sanctions regarding nuclear-related issues will be lifted on a number of entities and individuals—from Iranian banks to Lebanese assassins, like Anis Nacacche. The name that most sticks out is IRGC-Quds Force commander Qassem Suleimani.
Senator Ben Sasse, a Republican from Nebraska, released the following statement blasting the nuclear deal reached this morning with Iran:
“Sadly, the Administration just lit the fuse for a nuclear arms race in the Middle East. We all know Iran’s neighbors will not sit idly as the world's largest state-sponsor of terror becomes a nuclear-threshold state.
The U.S. military and Iranian-backed Shiite militias are getting closer and closer in Iraq, even sharing a base, while Iran uses those militias to expand its influence in Iraq and fight alongside the Bashar al-Assad regime in neighboring Syria.
Too Islamist-friendly for NATO, too pro-European for Russia, too pro-Sunni for Iran, and too pro-democracy for Saudi Arabia, Turkey can’t seem to manage lasting alliances. It’s an issue that figures to play a role in the Turkish parliamentary elections on June 7.
A Saudi fair was being held at the Gaylord National Resort outside Washington, D.C. so David Keyes, the executive director of Advancing Human Rights, tried to throw "an awesome gay party at the exact same time." Keyes uploaded video of the event:
A reader who wishes not to be named, as he toils behind enemy lines—at a university—emails with a good question. It's about this statement by President Obama in his speech at Adas Israel synagogue last Friday:
The latest craze in the presidential campaign is to ask the contenders (on the Republican side) whether they would have invaded Iraq if you knew what you know now. The answer is supposed to be obvious. Jeb Bush got himself into some trouble by answering the more important question, which is where the errors were made and how he would have corrected them. He is now backpedaling on the unforgivable error of having given too sophisticated an answer.
Let’s begin by doing something we don’t often do, and that is quoting the New York Times at some length. We do this because David Sanger’s report of Thursday, May 14, makes clear how mistaken are the premises underlying President Obama’s forthcoming Iran deal:
The Obama administration put a happy face on its Camp David summit last week, even as four of the Gulf Cooperation Council’s six leaders turned down Obama’s invitation to attend. The most significant absence, of course, was that of Saudi Arabia’s king, Salman. In his place, Riyadh sent Salman’s 55-year-old nephew, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, and Salman’s 28-year-old son, Mohammed bin Salman, deputy crown prince and defense minister.
The early Cold War period might be called the Age of the Treaty Organization. The United States, scrambling furiously to respond to the fact that it had become the guarantor of the “Free World,” had discovered a surprising interest in entangling alliances of all sorts and in all parts of the world. NATO, of course, was the biggest pact of them all, but in 1954 the “Manilla Pact” created the Southeast Asian Treaty Organiz