The crisis in Iraq has opened up a lot of debate over whether President Barack Obama made the right decision to pull out of Iraq when he did, but Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy says that in fact the president wanted to leave some troops behind.
"Obama to his credit wanted to keep troops in Iraq, and the al-Maliki government insisted 'no.' We even offered as little as 3,500 troops and Maliki said 'no, leave completely,'" Ruddy told Ed Berliner on "MidPoint" on Newsmax TV
Ruddy details this point in his latest column, "Don't Blame Obama for Iraq."
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"We created a sovereign state there so we really can't dictate to them what to do, and now we're seeing the results of their decisions, their bad decisions," he explained.
"The issue is we could be there for another 20 years or two years, but after we leave, somebody's going to have to prop them up," Ruddy added. "So it doesn't really fix the underlying problem."
The Newsmax founder also explained that the United States really can't afford to engage in another major conflict at this point.
"We're running out of money," Ruddy said. "The Iraq, Afghanistan Wars probably cost anywhere from $2 trillion to $3 trillion on the conservative side. We're going to be paying the legacy costs of those wars for another 50 to 60 years."
However, Ruddy contends that one factor that "may be driving some of this stuff in the Middle East" is that there is a perception in the world that Obama is weak.
"Whether that's true or not is debatable, but the perception is he's weak and everything seems to be perception," he added.
Turning to Newsmax TV, which officially launched Monday
on Dish Network Corp. and DIRECTV, Ruddy said: "That's 35 million U.S. cable satellite homes, 35 percent of the U.S. market. It's a huge launch; it's twice as big as the Fox News launch in the '90s when it rolled out into the cable-satellite world."
Ruddy said he wants the TV side of Newsmax.com to be a place of healthy debate, not "political messaging."
"What's the difference between Newsmax and the other cable news channels?" Ruddy asked. "There's a lot of political messaging going on in the other channels and people get up in the morning to say, 'what do we want people to think?'"
Ruddy wants Newsmax TV to be a place where the issues are debated and those with opposing views can "have a really healthy discussion."
Newsmax TV joins Fox News as another conservative-leaning TV channel. The fact that Fox was the only one before Newsmax TV is is the crux of the problem, he explained.
"Fox is good for the country but I do have a problem with only one conservative-leaning TV channel," Ruddy said.
"The country is best served by having multiple voices, diversity of opinion."
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