GOP reaction to White House news of withdrawal from Iraq

GOP reaction to Barack Obama’s announcement that all U.S. troops will be out of Iraq by the year’s end has been slow in coming – a sign that the topic is just as tricky for Republicans as it is for a president in search of re-election.

That said, GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney was the first, with this very strong paragraph:

“President Obama’s astonishing failure to secure an orderly transition in Iraq has unnecessarily put at risk the victories that were won through the blood and sacrifice of thousands of American men and women. The unavoidable question is whether this decision is the result of a naked political calculation or simply sheer ineptitude in negotiations with the Iraqi government. The American people deserve to hear the recommendations that were made by our military commanders in Iraq.”

Via ABC News, this was Herman Cain’s reaction:

“Whether or not it’s the right thing to do, I would consult with the commanders. The thing that I wouldn’t do that the president is doing,” said Cain, “is telling the enemy how many troops you gonna bring out and when you gonna bring ‘em out.”

Cain continued, “I believe that our time there was worth it, but I would not have announced this big drawdown, tell the enemy so now they’re going to basically position themselves.”

Then there was Michele Bachmann, yet another GOP presidential candidate. Via USA Today:

Bachmann, a Minnesota congresswoman, said Obama’s decision is “a political decision” and “not a military one.”

…Bachmann said the U.S. has been “ejected” from Iraq and should have demanded “that Iraq repay the full cost of liberating them given their rich oil revenues.”

Posted by U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., on Facebook:

On Iraq, I respectfully disagree with President Obama. I feel all we have worked for, fought for, and sacrificed for is very much in jeopardy by today’s announcement. I hope I am wrong and the President is right, but I fear this decision has set in motion events that will come back to haunt our country.

Here’s a Democratic counterpoint, from U.S. Rep. John Lewis of Atlanta:

“The people of Iraq …need and want to begin rebuilding their lives, their homes, their culture, and their government. As long as the violence of war impedes the progress of restoration, they cannot begin walking the challenging road toward a new national identity, hopefully a more democratic identity.

Our withdrawal will usher in the work of diplomacy that is the only way to build f a more free, more fair Iraqi society. I am encouraged by this news. I hope this is just the beginning of the end of American military engagement in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya. We have seen what war can do; now we need to give peace a chance.”

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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88 comments Add your comment

A dad

October 21st, 2011
3:31 pm

As a vet who served during Desert Storm, we should have never gone over there. If the Iraqi people, and Afghani’s for that matter, want to live under a regime so oppressive that they stone 9-yr old boys to death, and slit the throats of 11- and 13-yr old daughters who were raped as a way to restore a families honor, I say neither country is worth one single American life.
For my brothers and sisters in arms who paid the ulitmate sacrifice, and the many who left parts of themseleves over there, I do no diminish your efforts in the slightest. As for our Washington politicians, most of whom never served a day in their lives, like I give a friggin whit what you think.

Tom McMahan

October 21st, 2011
3:34 pm

Just proving that, once again, if Obama says “up” Republicans will automatically yell “down”. Yeah, just run on that platform, GOP, see how far you get.

Southern Comfort

October 21st, 2011
3:36 pm

Wow, I guess all those people quoted have quickly forgotten that this deal was put in place by one President George W. Bush himself before he left office. However, in light of recent trends to oppose everything Obama, I’m not surprised at all.

Shine

October 21st, 2011
3:52 pm

translation….oh no, the outrageous warmongering budget may be cut!!

Political Mongrel

October 21st, 2011
3:53 pm

Do these idiots think that Obama didn’t consult with the commanders? Did they even check?

Ryan

October 21st, 2011
3:58 pm

Wow, such a surprise that the left wing liberals want to jump on the GOP already. How can you be so blind to not realize that Obama hasnt done anything he promised to do entering office. Now, all of a sudden he makes a rash decision to get troops out by the end of the year. I might be 100% in agreement that we needed to go to war and be this invested outside of the US, but GROW UP. This isn’t about Politics or Republicans vs Democrats. Its COMMON SENSE issues. I don’t care where L v.R stand on abortion issues, gay rights, whatever, but when it comes to protection our citizens, making the economy better, and cleaning up Washington/Big Government, clean your eyes out with water and not the pudding obama has been rubbing in your face. Nothing has tasted good about the last 4 years and although George W might not have been that great, Obama has not done anything to fix it. Pull your head out of your butt so you can see that socialist bullcrap is not a way to fix things. People working hard to be successfull to support low class doesnt accomplish things. Oh yeah…..WALLSTREET isn’t to blame. These occupy folks look like complete morons.

Ask Me

October 21st, 2011
4:00 pm

Personally, I don’t give a tinker’s damn who is in office, whether it be Republican or our present Socialist. I am an ultra-conservative who is bitterly opposed to any kind of war – except that which actually threatens our country and her mainland.
The AJC photo of one of my brother Marines who at the young age of 23 was killed in this useless conflict in a God forsaken patch of earth in the Middle East is about all I can stand.
Pull out all US troops outside the US (especially in Europe – who are we protecting in Germany anyway?) and let the world opinion be damned. If the world “powers” (and I use that term loosely) get their dander up and don’t like it, pi** on them! If they want to wage war on us because we’re tired of using our young men and women to protect them from their own battles, let ‘em come on. Even at my advanced age I can still use and M-1 carbine and fight, though I must admit that I can no longer fit into my USMC fatigues…
I’d rather cut our losses now and take the heat rather than see another photo of some nice looking young man whose life was snuffed out because we think we need to transform the world into looking at society as we do.
For pete’s sake: how many centuries have these a$$holes been at each other’s throats? You thin the USSR didn’t try mightedly to change that? And we do? Yeah, even I criticize George W. Bush for his ill-conceived idea that we need to do whatever we need to do to protect the opium-growing Afghans from the Taliban. Good God in Heaven!

My Guess

October 21st, 2011
4:03 pm

So i’m guessing that it’s ok to keep spending (insert dollar value here) every day in Iraq fighting/baby-sitting a country that is sitting on (insert dollar value) in gas/crude oil reserves.

Bear in mind that the US does not get a single dime for our efforts. So if we spend $1bn every 10 days, thats $3bn every 30 days. That’s $3bn that can be put to better use HERE in our country.

Yet, this is the same tea-party backed GOP that complains that Washinghton frivolously spends our tax dollars.

Southern Comfort

October 21st, 2011
4:10 pm

Ryan

It’s not a rash decision. The timetable was set by Bush before he left office. The Iraqis had the option of extending the time period, but they have chosen to stick with the predetermined date.

Ask Me

Thank you for your service.

clem

October 21st, 2011
4:11 pm

how many of romney’s sons served in military? hint, the probablity of herman winning

Ol' Timer

October 21st, 2011
4:12 pm

The truth of the matter is that Dick Cheney, Bush and his advisors didn’t have a clue about what to expect from the Iraquis. The;y were wrong in their expectations and wrong in their strategies.

The reality is, whether we stay there for five or fifty years, or whether we leave tomorrow, when we leave the situation will implode. The tribal and religious leaders are not about to surrender the power they’ve had for centuries and the concept of democracy is foreign to their mindset.

The democratization of Iraq was a course correction when Cheney, Bush et al realized there were no weapons of mass destruction.

We need to get out of Iraq and Afghanistan ASAP. It’s a black hole that will cost us precious young lives, enormous treasury and the results will be nil.

Get the heck outta there. If they want to live in the Thirteenth Century, then we should let them go for it. When they get tired of the oppression, they’ll overthrow their oppressors, but not until they want it.

Imposed freedom just doesn’t work!

joe

October 21st, 2011
4:19 pm

A pure political ploy by Barry the great…all due to his huge failure on creating jobs and a strong economy. He will get a small bump in his approval ratings, but they’ll fall again soon enough once the next Fast & Furious or Solyndra scandal hits. Nov 2012 can’t get here soon enough.

Atlantan

October 21st, 2011
4:20 pm

Glad we are leaving – just too bad Iran has gotten away with killing American troops with their proxies and nothing comes of it except AmhadJihad can come to America’s shores untouched and praised by the hard-core progs. If we could’ve fought this war like we did in WWII it would’ve been over 5 years ago if not sooner. Amazing the American blood and treasure spent on Iraq and what have we received from it? Seriously what have we received? Meanwhile China & Russia sit by and enjoy the folly.

I appreciate and respect what every American service personnel had done and are doing today there, but I no longer want to see another American die doing the work the Iraqis and Afghanis refuse to do.

Gerald West

October 21st, 2011
4:25 pm

The war should never have been started! It was counter-strategic to US interests from the beginning. We suceeded in replacing a Sunni-dominated government with a Shia-dominated government, thereby converting Iraq into a conduit for Iranian support to the Shia minorities in the oil-rich Arab countries to the south.

We have already seen the results in Lebanon and Gaza. There’s much more to come.

Ol' Timer

October 21st, 2011
4:27 pm

I have to admit I don’t know how long basic training is now, but we send our kids through six to nine months of training and then put them on the line.

We’ve been training their troops and officers and non-commissioned officers for ten years and they’re still not ready to defend their country. Enough is enough. They get what they deserve.

We liberated them from a despot and if they don’t appreciate it and are not willing to fight for the freedom we gave them, then to heck with ‘em.

My guess is Iran will exert itself, but that’s up to the people of Iraq. If they don’t have enough national pride to defend themselves after all we’ve done for them — well, to hell with them!

Road Scholar

October 21st, 2011
4:27 pm

Those who disagree have the option of signing up to serve over in Iraq. We can give them the same support they have given us concerning jobs!

Sick of Republicans

October 21st, 2011
4:31 pm

I personally don’t give a tinker’s damn what the Republicans have to say. The majority finds and found ways to avoid the draft; very very few of them have kids of their own over there; and talk just to hear their own stupid voices. If W/Cheney had told the truth we would have gone there in the first place but W had to one up daddy. Many years I voted Republican but wouldn’t vote for a Republican for anything after eight years of W and Cheney.

GaBlue

October 21st, 2011
4:31 pm

A dad @ 3:31,

Thank you for your service! And your point is very well stated. Thank you for that too.

Dear Old Morehouse

October 21st, 2011
4:32 pm

We’ve been over there for 8+ years. Enough is enough.

Travis McGee

October 21st, 2011
4:33 pm

I think there ought to be a law that when these ol’ guys in congress decide to send our finest young people to fight in these worthless and unwinnable wars that the politicians that vote for the war should have to go home to lead their National Guard troops into the conflict.

clem

October 21st, 2011
4:38 pm

hey joe, your tea is getting cold!

Ol' Timer

October 21st, 2011
4:40 pm

@ 3:31— I applaud you post and grieve for the precious young lives lost and maimed so that Halliburton could make hundreds of millions and that Dubya could vindicate the disrespect to his father.

What a freakin’ waste of precious young lives and hundreds of billions in treasury!

Road Scholar

October 21st, 2011
4:40 pm

Scary thought for the day: Being in a foxhole with Michelle Bachman!

Lib in Cobb

October 21st, 2011
4:45 pm

The blood of every soldier who died or was wounded is on the hands of George Bush and Dick Cheney. My only wish would have been an immediate withdrawal in 2009.

joe

October 21st, 2011
4:51 pm

Hey Sick of…there is NO DRAFT, those who serve choose to do so…

Clem, LOVE ICE TEA!!! I will keep drinking it and you keep drinking yo liberal kool aid…

td

October 21st, 2011
4:51 pm

Ok libs. We are going to follow your philosophy now when it comes to Iran. Obama will not stop their nuclear program and will not stop their terrorists endeavors. Let us wait and see how many of you are whinning when we really loose a great deal of young lives in the future when they turn their attention to us. Will you all come out and say how stupid you were?

Four More Years!

October 21st, 2011
4:52 pm

Thanks to President Obama for keeping the promise made during his campaign to bring the troops home.

What happens over there doesn’t mean anything to me, as long as they keep their b.s. OVER THERE.

Obama 2012. He’s not perfect, but he’s better than any GOP candidate listed above.

Don Abernethy

October 21st, 2011
4:53 pm

Iraq was a waste of American lives and taxpayers dollars.

Independent voter

October 21st, 2011
4:59 pm

Everytime president Obama do something good for the country he attack by the republicans and teaparty. I hate to say this is a cournty of hatred.

Thank you president Obama for keeping us safe and keeping your promise

marko

October 21st, 2011
5:00 pm

A dad, thank you for your service sir. With apologies to Tennyson, I’d say it’s a solders lot to do and die, and a politicians to cheat and lie. to the thousands that lost their lives, and the tens of thousands that lost their limbs, I’d say a moment of silence isn’t much to ask from those clowns.

Independent voter

October 21st, 2011
5:03 pm

Goodbye Td I am going home to watch MSNBC to see what the republicans are doing for our country.

clem

October 21st, 2011
5:08 pm

joe, you probably take it with lots of sugar….not good for the brain.

for you and td, it’s not to late to join up!

DJ Sniper

October 21st, 2011
5:08 pm

So where are the WMD’s? Isn’t that the main reason why we invaded Iraq in the first place? Still no sign of them huh?

And I see some people here are still regurgitating the “socialist” talking point. Unreal.

Bob

October 21st, 2011
5:20 pm

Great news!!! Although I’m a conservative who has voted Republican since Goldwater, I was disappointed in Bush. His daddy, Cheney, and friends gave him one mission…get the price of oil up…and Iraq was the vehicle to do so. All the infrastructure we built and paid for will be rubble and desert within six months after we leave. Also time to get out of the other “fourth world” nations. Just my opinion, and I’m sure my new buddy Honest Ted will have his usual expert commentary on why I’m wrong…flame away boys.

mum

October 21st, 2011
5:20 pm

@td, if by calling people libs because they don’t think it’s right to initiate wars is a bad thing, then have at it. The south is supposed to be so christian but I continue to be surprised at how quickly people want send others to war. After seeing how people fight over there, it would be really insane for anyone to want to send our children back over there to be blown up.

honested

October 21st, 2011
5:23 pm

td,

No matter the forum you never cease to provide true comic relief.

honested

October 21st, 2011
5:25 pm

9 years, 4,000 American lives, 3 Trillion plus dollars, and absolutely nothing to show for it!

Before we march off to the next fiasco, can we think it through first?

sheepdawg

October 21st, 2011
5:33 pm

a Dad…..well stated!! stop spending even 1 more dollar toward either country and bring all our troops back home

gm

October 21st, 2011
5:35 pm

Only if bush had shown a little bit of humility and grace as Obama, especially consulting with our allies, I wonder how many American troops would be here with us today.
Bachman, shows why she will never be in charge of anything a plain nut job, who will say anthing to get air time””’

Serious Robuck

October 21st, 2011
5:36 pm

That’s vintage td…whinning or loosing.

Jack

October 21st, 2011
5:36 pm

Maybe I’ll understand it someday, but I really don’t know why we had to put troops in Iraq when we could have bombed them back into the12th century.

Martin Williams

October 21st, 2011
5:38 pm

Tea Party, Tea Party……..you all need to speak up now folks. Talk about spending cuts, we already spend 2 Billion dollars a WEEK in Afganistan minus what millions we spend in Iraq. The GOP folks are becoming truly big time idiots with full time followers like the Tea Party fools. The United States needs to get out of Iraq and Afganistan and stop wasting the lives of our people and financial resources.

Harifaque

October 21st, 2011
5:38 pm

The Republicans are really misreading the American people on this. Even the ones who didn’t oppose the war now think it’s high time to exit Iraq.

If the Iraqi government cannot stand on its own, after all these years and all the billions we’ve given them, they’re hopeless. We can’t prop them up forever.

[...] GOP reaction to White House announcement of withdrawal from Iraq | Political Insider. ABC News, Candidate, decision, Facebook, herman cain, identity, Lindsey Graham, Michele [...]

Donaldo

October 21st, 2011
5:53 pm

Guess we did not learn much from Viet Nam, making same mistake in Iraq. How many times do we have to learn the lessons of history, not to mention, the killing & maiming of our sons & daughters. The American people should be outraged at how our government has truly screwed things up over the past 40-50 years. I think we are smarter than they believe we are.

Ex Republican

October 21st, 2011
5:56 pm

It is about time. This was a mis-guided war from the very beginning. To hell with the Republicans and what they think. That is why I no longer vote Republican after the mess Bush put this country into. You can not fix in four years what eight years of total ineptitude has done to the country. Afghanistan next Mr President.

Streetracer

October 21st, 2011
5:58 pm

Some of you up there need a better education. It is not “Tinkers damn”, it is “Tinkers dam” which is a lead or pot metal plug used to repair cracks in cast iron cookware. Has nothing to do with the afterlife. Don’t use an expression if you don’t know what it means.

honested

October 21st, 2011
6:03 pm

Streetracer,

Thanks!
I have often felt that but stopped short of the explanation (for so many, you have to explain what a tinker is).

Real Athens

October 21st, 2011
6:09 pm

Thanks, Dad. There needn’t be another post here except the first one. You wrote all that needs to be written.

Everything else here is conjecture or hyperbole, presented mostly by the uninformed.

Pongo

October 21st, 2011
6:09 pm

George Bush, Dick “poker face” Cheney and that little arrogant egotistical little runt Donald Rumsfeld should all be charged for war crimes.