Speaker John Boehner Was “For” Obama’s Iraq Policy Before He Claimed There Wasn’t One

By Mark Esposito, Weekend Contributor

oehnerobamaOne of the ways we decide how sincere a witness is down at the courthouse is seeing what he said about a topic before there was anything  really at stake and comparing that to what he’s saying now. Watching the scandalous political corruption trial here in Richmond for the past few days, I’ve seen plenty of “I said one thing then, but I’m saying something else now” from the various witnesses taking the stand. Take Governor Bob McDonnell’s friend and stockbroker, John Piscitelli, who upon being asked about a particular sleazy scheme to avoid the state’s gift disclosure laws –cooked up apparently by Virginia’s First Lady — answered that he was not “uncomfortable” with the deal. When his prior grand jury testimony was pushed in his face, the securities peddler cleared his throat, straightened his tie, looked around, and then remembered that , lo and behold, the aborted deal to dump stock right before the disclosure deadline and then buy it back did indeed make him feel ” uncomfortable.” Wonderful thing, a trial.

Pity we can’t put politicians on trial simply for being politicians — especially those who are simply flitting around the flame of geopolitical power hoping to catch it for themselves. Take House Speaker and Republican Party leader John Boehner, for example. The burgeoning crisis in northern Iraq caused by the jihadist crazed theocrats of ISIS has come front and center to the world stage. Crashing in from Syria, the fundamentalists, dedicated to establishing a new world order based on a universal muslim caliphate governed by sharia law, have rounded up non-muslim Iraqis, forced them to convert to Islam, and then quite ceremoniously beheaded them or when the swords got too dull, simply stolen their possessions and run the “infidels” into to the mountains. A direct by-product of the unnecessary War in Iraq II by Bush II, the teetering country is now firmly ensconced in civil war with some added religious crusaders  to spice the mix.

Seeing American interests and service personnel directly at risk from the full-out crisis and fearing a genocide of ethnic groups as well as  Christian Iraqis, President Obama ordered a humanitarian airlift in conjunction with  the British, and authorized American air power to perform limited bombing runs to dissuade ISIS from consolidating gains and advancing on even more Iraq cities and infrastructure. In a rare show of  something approaching solidarity, most Republican lawmakers expressed satisfaction with the President’s moves though predictably it was “too little to late” in the minds of some GOP Svengalis who pulled the “told you so” card from the bottom of the deck.

Chief among the critics was Speaker John Boehner who loves him some bombing calling it “appropriate,” but hates him some Obama policy saying in a prepared statement that he is quite dismayed there isn’t one:

I am dismayed by the ongoing absence of a strategy for countering the grave threat ISIS poses to the region.Vital national interests are at stake, yet the White House has remained disengaged despite warnings from Iraqi leaders, Congress, and even members of its own administration. Such parochial thinking only emboldens the enemy and squanders the sacrifices Americans have made. The president needs a long-term strategy — one that defines success as completing our mission, not keeping political promises — and he needs to build the support to sustain it. If the president is willing to put forward such a strategy, I am ready to listen and work with him.

Well, “work(ing) with him” apparently doesn’t include attending a White House meeting last week on what the Speaker claims is a “grave threat.”  No word on what was discussed at that meeting, but at a prior meeting on the topic in June attended by Republican hawks Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and John McCain (R-Arizona), Graham told reporters that the briefing “scared the hell out of him.” (You think Hell would have a better place to be anyway). McCain was no less “measured” in his commentary calling on the President to replace the entire national security brain trust.

No mention from these three prized elephants about what destabilized this seething caldron of a country in the first place (the late, great War on Weapons of Mass Destruction) or the lack of “exit strategy” from Bush II for this lark of a war that was plopped down on Obama’s desk on his first day in office, and nary a bit of grandfatherly advice for the man many Republicans consider “in over his head”  to handle world affairs about how to manage the crisis without a full-scale ground and air assault on the tinder box constructed by the Bush-Cheney team.

But Speaker Boehner and his cronies were not always so critical of the President’s plans in Iraq. In fact, when it suited him, the man with the perpetual tan seemed downright laudatory. In a carefully worded statement on Iraq released on February 27, 2009, Boehner praised the President’s policy to extricate American forces from the quagmire even agreeing with the timeline approach to disengagement and saying the plan provided ultimate flexibility to handle future crises caused by the likes of ISIS.

The plan put forward by President Obama continues our strategy of bringing troops home from Iraq as they succeed in stabilizing the country. I believe he has outlined a responsible approach that retains maximum flexibility to reconsider troop levels and to respond to changes in the security environment should circumstances on the ground warrant.

A far cry from the sentiments of a man who recently  said  that Obama was “taking a nap” on Iraq.

So what are we to make of the hue and cry about incompetence and inattentiveness of Obama in dealing with Iraq from the man who praised him for the strategy in the first place?  Maybe Speaker Boehner should clear his throat,straighten his tie,  look around the room and tell us how he really feels. Now it’s your turn to tell us:

Source: The Hill

~Mark Esposito Weekend Contributor


By the way and for better or worse, the views expressed in this posting are the author’s alone and not necessarily those of the blog, the host, or other weekend bloggers. As an open forum, weekend bloggers post independently without pre-approval or review. Content and any displays of art are solely the author’s decision and responsibility. No infringement of intellectual property rights is intended and will be remedied upon notice from the owner. Fair use is however asserted for such inclusions of quotes, excerpts, photos, art, and the like.


140 thoughts on “Speaker John Boehner Was “For” Obama’s Iraq Policy Before He Claimed There Wasn’t One”

  1. John Oliver, my daughter is a FMF Corpsman, has been in the Navy since 2002, spent a year in Afghanistan at Camp Letherneck. She was there when Camp Bastion was attacked by Taliban in 2012, i was just doen tje road from her can(room). The female sailors and Marines were caught in the middle of the battle just like the males were and conducted themselves honorably. In a war zone there is nowhere truly safe.

  2. “Stereotypes”; I had a Master Chief I worked for that believed the day would come when the military would function much the same way it was done in the book and movie Starship Troopers. I believe it’s one thing to imagine an environment where everyone is expected to live and work equally and another where the culture has not readied itself for such a design.

    How do you end discrimination and stereotypes when you have a government built on the practice of it? In 1790, the first decennial census was conducted in accordance with the U.S. Constitution Art. I Section 2. (Modified by the 14th amendment in 1868)

    “Representatives shall be apportioned among the several States according to their respective numbers, counting the whole number of persons in each State, excluding Indians not taxed. But when the right to vote at any election for the choice of electors for President and Vice-President of the United States, Representatives in Congress, the Executive and Judicial officers of a State, or the members of the Legislature thereof, is denied to any of the male inhabitants of such State, being twenty-one years of age, and citizens of the United States, or in any way abridged, except for participation in rebellion, or other crime, the basis of representation therein shall be reduced in the proportion which the number of such male citizens shall bear to the whole number of male citizens twenty-one years of age in such State. The actual Enumeration shall be made within three Years after the first Meeting of the Congress of the United States, and within every subsequent Term of ten Years, in such Manner as they shall by Law direct. The Number of Representatives shall not exceed one for every thirty Thousand, but each State shall have at Least one Representative; and until such enumeration shall be made,”

    To meet the constitutional intent, the first census asked 6 questions. As of the 2000 census, 1 of 6 households was being “asked” to complete an additional 52 question survey of a socio-economic nature. http://www.census.gov/history/pdf/measuringamerica.pdf

    On a completely unrelated note; Congressional approval ratings and incumbency success rates are at opposite ends of the spectrum. What are they doing with all that census data? Evidence would indicate only as much as necessary to get reelected.

  3. earsoftheworld: “We left Iraq because they wouldn’t grant immunity to our troops.”

    That’s incorrect. It was an issue for negotiation, which is normal – our SOFAs with sovereign host nation partners are normally periodically renegotiated. The immunity issue, while basic, is part of the negotiation. Obama’s passive-aggressive approach to the SOFA negotiation was abnormal.

    See the contemporary reporting on the SOFA issue by Max Boot, WSJ: http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052970203554104577003931424188806

    And Michael Gordon, NY Times:

  4. I don’t see how this is a rant. He’s comparing what Boener said four years ago with what he’s saying today. If that puts him in a bad light, that’s his just desserts.
    We left Iraq because they wouldn’t grant immunity to our troops. Good for them. I do agree that the Curds seem to be the most sane people in the country, and we should do what we can to help them out without risking too much on our end.

  5. John Oliver,

    My point is we shouldn’t “stereotype” women, African-Americans or anyone else.

    The ACLU which is representing aspiring female fire fighters, female SWAT cops and female special forces applicants has found that in many of these professions the physical tests are intentionally designed to prevent females from passing – not based on the actual physical qualifications for the jobs.

  6. So your point is not to lower physical standards but rather seek those physically exceptional women capable of performing to existing standards.

    Thanks for that honest assessment.

  7. I attended a high school in Virginia and was in an after-school weighting lifting club with various weight-classes for small members to larger members.

    My female weight-lifting club member set the national weight-lifting records for the entire United States and could probably outlift any man on this posting.

    This female could probably beat most fire fighters or cops at physical strength tests! She had that opportunity due to the 1970’s era “Title IX” laws that gave girls equal opportunities in school sports and other areas.

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