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Bridget Johnson


June 13, 2014 - 9:24 am

On his way out of Washington moments ago, President Obama said his team is coming up with a list of possible reactions to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant’s terrifying sweep through Iraq.

Obama said he convened a meeting with his National Security Council on Thursday and this morning received an update.

He noted that there have been “significant gains” by the successor to al-Qaeda in Iraq. “Iraqi security forces have proven unable to defend a number of cities,” the president said, adding the seizure of Iraq by terrorists “could pose a threat eventually to American interests as well.”

“This threat is not brand new,” Obama continued, noting that “over the past year” the administration has been “stepping up assistance” to Baghdad. “Now Iraq needs additional assistance.”

“We will not be sending U.S. troops back into Iraq,” he said, but in the “days ahead” he will review other options such as airstrikes or drone strikes as well as “intensive diplomacy.”

Obama branded the crisis as “not solely or primarily a military challenge” but rooted in mistrust over sectarian differences.

He called for a “serious and sincere effort” by Iraq’s leaders to promote reconciliation between Sunni and Shiite Muslims.

“The United States will do our part but understand it’s ultimately up to the Iraqis, a sovereign nation, to solve their problems… various military actions are not going to solve those problems over the long term.”

When asked if the war in Syria had spilled over into Iraq, Obama acknowledged, “I think that’s been happening for some time… that’s part of the reason we’ve been so concerned about it.”

He noted that “so far at least we have not seen major disruptions in oil supply” due to the fall of Iraq.

“As you might expect, world oil markets react to any sort of instability in the Middle East,” Obama added.

“The United States is not simply going to involve itself in military action in the absence of a political plan by the Iraqis.”

The president and first lady are flying to North Dakota today for a roundtable with tribal youths at the Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Nation. They’ll attend the Cannon Ball Flag Day Celebration, where Obama will deliver remarks.

The first couple then flies to Palm Springs this evening. On Saturday Obama will deliver the commencement address at UC Irvine and attend a DNC event in L.A. The rest of the time will be spent in Palm Springs until they return to Washington on Monday.

Bridget Johnson is a veteran journalist whose news articles and opinion columns have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe. Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor at The Hill, where she wrote The World from The Hill column on foreign policy. Previously she was an opinion writer and editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. She is an NPR contributor and has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, Politico and more, and has myriad television and radio credits as a commentator. Bridget is Washington Editor for PJ Media.

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Top Rated Comments   
The real reason Jay Leno was "retired"---
Those one liners may very well be why NBC retired Jay Leno!
NBC was upset by the fact that Leno's comments were ALWAYS right on the target.
"I was going to start off tonight with an Obama joke, but I don't want to get audited by the IRS."
On NSA surveillance: "We wanted a president who listens to all Americans - now we have one."
On a new IRS commissioner: "He's called acting commissioner' because he has to act like the scandal doesn't involve the White House."
On closing the Guantanamo prison for terrorists: "If he really wants to close it, turn it into a government-funded solar power company. The doors will be shut in a month."
Concerning the Benghazi , Associated Press, and IRS scandals: "Remember in the old days when President Obama's biggest embarrassment was Joe Biden?"
On Obama saying he didn't know about the IRS scandal: "He was too busy not knowing anything about Benghazi to not know anything about the IRS."
"The White House has a new slogan about Benghazi : Hope and change the subject."
"It's casual Friday, which means that at the White House, they're casually going through everybody's phone calls and records."
"It is not looking good for President Obama. Today his teleprompter took the fifth."
"Fox News has changed its slogan from 'Fair and Balanced' to 'See, I told you so!"
On Obama's commencement address: "He told the young graduates their future is bright unless, of course, they want jobs."
On a Chicago man who set a record for riding a Ferris wheel: "The only other way to go around and around in a circle that many times is to read the official report on Benghazi ."
On White House claims of ignorance on the scandals: "They took 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' out of the Pentagon and moved it into the White House."
Now the last, and I think best!

"These White House scandals are not going away anytime soon. It's gotten so bad that People in Kenya are now saying Obama is 100 percent American."

37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
How do you conduct diplomacy with people who decapitate cops?

I wonder how many rounds of golf he'll play in Palm Springs.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
“intensive diplomacy" ... that'll help. ISIS will be really worried about getting a sternly worded letter.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
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All Comments   (28)
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saw the photos of what US air power did to Saddam's army on the "highway of Death" and one couldn't help to think that if Iraq asked for air support, most of the terrorists would be no more, as they were in unarmored vehicles in long convoys moving about the country.

And decimating the enemy would have been a good thing, since they are still at war with us, and reports are that previous agreements allowing the use of force in Iraq are still in effect.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
maybe he can tell this terrorist group that in the 21st Century, when he declares a war over, and quits, then everyone else should do so as well.

What an idiot.

And for those interested, he is supposed to give a speech to UCI graduates at Anaheim stadium today. At 9 AM there were many protestors already at the entrances to the parking lots, and the expectation is that there will many more before the day is over.

Not the reception he expected, but given his failures, it is nice to see people rise up to protest this man's incompetence, his ignoring the laws, and his belief that he is so smart, when there is nothing to indicate he is anything except an unvetted half white, unpatriotic, irresponsible, chicago thug politican, that history will judge to be a failure, and man that by his actions had to hate the country that was so good to him, as he sticks his finger into the eye of every American by his actions
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
Titanic hit iceberg -- thanks for the acknowledgement, Cap 'n.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
I do not go in for conspiracy theories. However, I find occurrences during the presidency of Barack Hussein Obama to be very disturbing.
Of course it all began with the infamous apology tour and with his speech in Cairo, at which he insisted on members of the Moslem Brotherhood (at the time outlawed by the Egyptian government) being allowed to be in the audience.
Next came ending the war in Iraq without achieving victory. Then he said that the Afghan war was the good war, and immediately began finding ways to get out, including telegraphing the withdrawal date.
Then came the “Arab Spring,” during which he led from behind, thereby helping to bring down Kaddafi, while empowering the same Islamists who killed 4 Americans while they attacked the US consulate in Benghazi.
Next came the American throwing of Hosni Mubarak under the bus, the support for the Moslem Brotherhood government of Mohammad Morsi and the condemnation of the popular uprising, aided by the military that ousted the Brotherhood and Morsi.
Next was the rebellion in Syria, which the US dithered over for 2 years, instead of helping the original moderate, secular rebels. This led to the Islamists hijacking the rebellion, which of course led to the establishment of ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria).
Then we also have the Bergdahl fiasco, enough of which has been said in the press without me needing to add more.
When you also add in the 2012 campaign claims that, “Osama bin Laden is dead and Al Qaida is on the run,” despite the fact that the Al Qaeda offshoots were spreading and gaining strength, you can see a very disturbing pattern without really having to look too hard – the strengthening of the Islamist militants.
We have either behind-the-scene direction or a series of rather unfortunate coincidences, and I tend not to believe in coincidence.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
What a dip shiite president we have. First dam thing this fool does is take the military option off the table. It is not that he took it off the table, this dork is so fundamentally clueless he actually broadcast his intentions to the enemy.

And what is obama doing now? Why he is on vacation with the wookie again.

God help us all. BHO is a threat to every man, women, and child in the USA. A clear and present danger.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Intensive diplomancy" conducted by a lard-a$$ cretin with a red plastic button? S#*t, why didn't I think of that???
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Intensive diplomacy.”

What is that? When you yell at somebody really, really loud.
Sounds like he's going to dither again.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
President Dither.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
Gee, I'm reassured that Mr. Obama has been "so concerned" over the situation in Iraq, but I guess he didn't send enough strongly worded tweets to the jihadis #StopMisbehavingYouGuys.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
Ah! Another report commissioned from BO's crack national security team.
In summary, it will declare that "George Bush is to blame for everything" and that Fearless Leader merits another Peace Prize from Norwegian socialists for his courage to succeed such a clueless neo-con. Meanwhile, the Black Flag is raised over Baghdad. Mission accomplished!
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
cry havoc and let slip the hashags of war...

Strongly condemn attacks in Mosul by the Islamic State in Iraq and Levant (#ISIL), and its efforts to turn back clock on #Iraq's progress.
— Samantha Power (@AmbassadorPower) June 12, 2014
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
Are you making this up, or is it real?

I can't tell satire anymore.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
Never mind. Checked it myself.

It's real.

We are living in an Orwell novel. Or a Any Rand Novel. Or Tom Clancy. Or all three put together.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
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