Petraeus can help resolve the latest Iraqi conflict

Washington, DC - "Indecision has been the hallmark of the administration's foreign policy for the past five and a half years and nowhere has it been more threatening to our national security than in the current conflict in Iraq," according to Dan Weber, president of the Association of Mature American Citizens.

A militant group calling itself the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria [ISIS] has cut a swath of terror from inside Syria right through Iraq's vulnerable midsection in recent weeks with the aim of creating a new home base for an international holy war.  It threatens the region.  It also threatens the targets of its vengeful aspirations, most notably the United States.

Weber reported on a poll conducted among AMAC's 1.2 million members in which 83% of respondents said the president needs to call on General David Petraeus to return to Baghdad as an advisor to Iraq's hard pressed leadership.  "He knows the terrain.  He knows the enemy.  He's been there and done that, so why not ask him what can be done to turn the situation around," Weber said.  "He's the closest thing this country has to an expert on the military landscape of the region, so why not call on him to help develop a knowledge-based strategic approach to the new invasion of that war-torn country."

A few days ago Sen. John McCain met with White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough, who Politico calls President Obama's "consigliere," and delivered a similar message.  "I told him to get General Jack Keane and General Petraeus over there as quickly as possible. And Ryan Crocker.  I think they're talking to Gen. Keane. But they aren't doing anything. Days go by and they're exploring their options. The place is burning down," McCain told reporters.  [Crocker was our Ambassador in Baghdad during the war.]

Weber said the AMAC poll was consistent with the notion that Americans don't have the appetite for another war in the Middle East.  "Nor do they want to see the creation of an official terrorist state capable of launching new 911 attacks on the U.S.  The bad guys have already overrun a good deal of Iraq.  The news from the front is that it even launched a major attack on the country's biggest oil refinery in recent days and that although they are meeting stiff resistance there, ISIS appears determined to press on."

He pointed out that Petraeus, himself, appears none too eager to see the U.S. involved militarily in the conflict.  But in media interviews this week, he did offer his informed opinion: "If there is to be support for Iraq, it has to be support for a government of Iraq that is a government of all the people and is representative of, and responsive to, all elements of Iraq.  This cannot be the United States being the air force for Shia militias, or a Shia on Sunni Arab fight," the general told reporters in the U.K.

Weber said there is no question that the beleaguered Iraqis need our help.  He said that first we had "an all-too-quick and ill-advised troop withdrawal three years ago that left Iraq high and dry, on its own and vulnerable; now we have an uncertain response to the resulting clear and present danger that Iraq and the U.S. face today."

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