Ultimately, it’s up to the people.
During Thursday’s press conference, Jay Carney appeared caught off guard by the explosion of violence in a country that the United States previously liberated from a dictator.
Time and time again Carney reminded the press that the future of Iraq is really in the hands of the Iraqi people — because what else could he say?
Insurgents from the extremist militant group and terrorist network, ISIL, have begun seizing cities across Iraq’s north, including Iraq’s second largest city of Mosul. Iran is poised to become involved as well. This conflict has the potential to completely threaten Obama’s national security agenda, as well as his foreign policy legacy.
No wonder the administration is floundering.
Carney stated that the United States “can not be everywhere at all times,” and that the President does not wish to send troops back into the country — especially after the bloody eight years the United States spent in Iraq from 2003-2011.
In a separate meeting, President Barack Obama stated that the Iraqi people would need more help from both the United States, as well as the international community while dealing with this crisis. Yet, he did not specify what kind of assistance the United States would provide.
“My team is working around the clock to identify how we can provide the most effective assistance to them,” Obama said. “I don’t rule out anything.”
In the press conference, Carney expanded slightly on the possible methods that the United States could implement, saying that air strikes could be a definite possibility.
“We are not contemplating ground troops,” Press Secretary Jay Carney said. “We are assessing what we can provide additionally.”
But time and time again, Carney repeated the sentiment that “Iraq’s future is in the hands of the Iraqi people.” For most every question he was unsure of, this became his new go-to line.
The press conference became lively when a reporter asked about the possibility of civil war in Iraq. Carney responded that there’s no question President Obama had pledged to end the war in Iraq, and he did so, in 2011. At this point a reporter interrupted Carney asking, “There’s no war in Iraq now?” Carney, obviously flummoxed, responded that there was no U.S. combat mission in Iraq.
So there you have it. Three years after the United States left the war in Iraq, the Iraqi people find themselves steeped in an even deeper conflict than before America left.
Jay Carney has most definitely checked out.