WASHINGTON, D.C. — President Barack Obama owes former President George W. Bush and those Americans who died fighting in Iraq an apology, Arizona Republican Rep. Trent Franks said Thursday after attending a classified briefing on ISIS.
Franks read excerpts from remarks Bush made in 2007 about the situation in Iraq.
“‘To begin withdrawing before our commanders tell us we are ready… would mean surrendering the future of Iraq… It would mean that we’d be risking mass killings on a horrific scale… It would mean we’d be increasing the probability that American troops would have to return at some later date to confront an enemy that is even more dangerous,'” Franks quoted Bush.
Wednesday night, President Obama laid out his plan to confront the terrorist group ISIS, which has strongholds in Iraq and Syria.
Thursday, Congress heard from administration officials in a classified briefing about the situation as they consider Obama’s request for authorization to train and arm the Free Syrian Army as a way to combat ISIS.
“In order to get where we want to go, we have to be clear where we are and how we got here. And it’s clear in my judgement that this president has stood by with a golf club in his hands and watched the blood-bought gains of those who secured Iraq before evaporate, and I believe that he owes a profound apology to George Bush and every man and woman in the United States who died in Iraq securing those gains,” Franks, a member of the House Armed Services Committee, said after the House’s classified briefing.
The Arizona Republican added that, while he and other GOP House members see Obama’s response as insufficient to combat the threat, he thinks Congress should support it.
“While we may think there should be more, at least we should do what he’s asked for,” he said.