The Wall Street Journal ran this map of the situation in Iraq, with an ISIS offensive having taken Mosul and Tikrit and moving toward Baghdad. Meanwhile, Kurds have seized the city of Kirkuk:
President Obama spoke live from the Rose Garden today but had little to add to what the White House has already said. He reiterated that the U.S. would respond but without troops on the ground and only once it is clear that the Iraqi government had a plan to govern more inclusively. Meanwhile, Politico is reporting on what some of the told-you-so’s are saying:
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), the White House’s most persistent foreign policy critic, headed to the Senate floor to lead the charge Thursday, quoting himself from years past to say he’s been right all along.
“Could all of this have been avoided? The answer is absolutely yes,” McCain said, calling for the president’s entire national security team to be fired and warning of Obama, “he’s about to make the same mistake in Afghanistan he made in Iraq.”
“This is the education of Barack Obama, but it’s coming at a very high cost to the Syrian people to the Iraqi people [and] to the American national interest,” said Doug Feith, a top Pentagon official during the George W. Bush administration.
“They were pretty blasé,” Feith said of the Obama team. “The president didn’t take seriously the warnings of what would happen if we withdrew and he liked the political benefits of being able to say that we’re completely out.”