Gingrich’s Confusion on Iraq

Gingrich’s Confusion on Iraq October 27, 2011

ThinkProgress shows how confused Newt Gingrich is on the subject of the withdrawal of American troops from Iraq. First he said that Obama was doing the right thing by not leaving a small contingent of troops behind because they would just become convenient targets:

“This is not about Obama,” he continued. “This is about the general effort that far transcends Iraq. That we have to really reassess our strategies in the region and what we think we’re accomplish. The president is right. You can’t just leave 3,000 or 5,000 troops there. They would simply become targets. If you’re not going to occupy the country, you have to withdraw.”

And then two days later he said that withdrawal was a defeat for the United States:

GINGRICH: The president has announced what will be seen by historians as a decisive defeat for the U.S. in Iraq. … After eight years, thousands of lives, hundreds of billions of dollars, we will leave in defeat. Don’t kid yourself, it is defeat. Iran is stronger.

And the alternative is…what? The only possible alternative is permanent occupation by a significant military force, at the cost of hundreds of billions of dollars a year without the support of the American people. Good luck selling that idea in the campaign, Newt.

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  • AsqJames

    without the support of the American people

    And perhaps more pertinently (given your first quote from Newt), without the consent of the Iraqi people/government. Your fellow FTBer Assassin Actual could perhaps confirm or refute this, but I’d wager whatever level of support/consent the US forces have within the Iraqi populace would be significantly reduced were those troops to stay beyond the end of the year when the status of forces agreement expires.

  • Who Knows?

    Are these people intentionally omitting the fact that President George W. Bush signed the withdrawl agreement? Not President Barack Obama.

  • lynxreign

    This is because Newt has, what was it, 8 ideas a minute? None of them make any sense and they frequently contradict each other, but he’s a right-win ideas machine!

  • Randomfactor

    Iran won the Iraq War as soon as Shrub invaded. And bin Laden was dancing at the bonus victory. Were he still alive today, bin Laden would be trying to find a way to keep us in Iraq forever.

    Possibly by electing another Texas governor to the White House.

  • had3

    Loss??? We won! WMD’s – check, ties to alqueda- check, Mission Accomplished – check. As surely as we won Vietnam, we won Iraq and it’s anti-american to say otherwise.

  • janicot

    ‘Iran is stronger’? Does he think we went to war with Iraq to defeat Iran?

    I thought that we were trying to remove that guy who got hung a couple of years ago from Kuwait. You know… that guy we propped up for so long back when… Oh no… now I’m getting confused too.

    I hope Newt or Fox News will tell me what to think.

  • “Are these people intentionally omitting the fact that President George W. Bush signed the withdrawl agreement? Not President Barack Obama.”

    And the fact that the Iraqi Parliament refused to renew an immunity agreement, the lack of which means that the generals will not leave troops in the country. In other words, Iraq’s democratically elected leaders want us gone.

  • That alternative would be continued occupation without support of the American people, yes, and also without support of the Iraqi government or any legal basis. Which would be an act of war by the U.S. against the very Iraqi government which the U.S. installed. Presumably, they would then have their army start shooting our soldiers. If they did so, they would have the support of the United Nations. That doesn’t sound so great, Newt.

  • Wingnuts have very short memories. From the wingnut screeds I’ve read, most seem to have forgotten Bush’s administration ever happened, much less that Bush agreed to a withdrawal schedule. Of course, many probably don’t want to remember their contribution to America’s current decline.

  • eric

    After eight years, thousands of lives, hundreds of billions of dollars, we will leave in defeat…

    But GWB declared victory. Mission Accomplished, remember? Newt, are you telling us Bush was lying?

  • Abby Normal

    I’d be curious to hear Newt’s description of what victory in Iraq looks like. What goal does he still want to achieve? Does he want to fight creeping Sharia there so we don’t have to fight it here?

  • noastronomer

    “Iran won the Iraq War as soon as Shrub invaded.”


  • kermit.

    janicot, as I recall we went to war in Iraq because Saddam wouldn’t let the weapons inspectors do their job(1)

    That is, we invaded Iraq because Saddam had weapons of Mass Destruction(2)

    Obviously, we went to war in Iraq because they were buying uranium to build nukes(3)

    I mean of course that we needed a regime change – to establish democracy (but not the Democratic Party!)(4)

    We had to, to get back at him for blowing up the twin towers(5)

    We had to root out Al-Qaeda!(6)

    We were only protecting our oil interests.(7)

    Wait!… this isn’t Afghanistan?

    (1) Although he did.

    (2) Scuds. A few. Some of them might have flown.

    (3) Wilson, the former diplomat they chose to investigate this, established that they didn’t, but that required calling Mr. Bush a liar, so somebody accidentally outed his wife, a covert CIA agent.

    (4) We succeeded in this. We’re number one!!!1!

    (5) Not that we ever said that. But he did. But you didn’t hear that from us.

    (6) Specifically, Al-Qaeda in Iraq, established shortly after our invasion.

    (7) This here M16A2 says they’re our interests.

  • kermit.

    Abby Normal “I’d be curious to hear Newt’s description of what victory in Iraq looks like. ”

    Any GOP big dog can tell you that any ongoing war is a victory. Playing fast and loose with the Constitution, intrusive searches, and a home-grown police state are all much easier when we have a real enemy who occasionally actually shoots at us. True, we still have Afghanistan for that, but there’s a serious danger that our Democratic president will put an end to that war, also. Eventually.

  • d cwilson

    Gingrich is not confused about Iraq. He’s just hoping to make the voters confused about it. He’s got a rough job. He and the rest of the GOP have to convince the American people that ending a grossly unpopular and expensive war is a bad thing.

    Should make the next debate interesting when the only one who won’t be wishing our troops will continue killed over there in 2012 is Ron Paul.

  • gingerbaker

    So, how many ‘military advisors’ – that is, trained military people who will have weapons, arsenals, fighter planes, artillery, and a huge militarized ’embassy’ to guard, but who are DEFINITELY NOT combat troops – will remain in Iraq in perpetuity?


  • Randomfactor

    There’ll be lots of “trained” military people in Iraq after December 31. They’ll be Iraqi.

    Now, you wanna talk about the continuing PRIVATE CONTRACTOR force, that could be a large number.

  • The Left Behind to Keep Siponing Off U.S. Taxpayers’ Money are not “soldiers” or “trained military”. They are Blowin’ Shit The Hell Up Consultants.

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