"Political unrest" and "sectarian violence" don't describe what's happening in Iraq as accurately as "coup," military historian and columnist Neil McCabe told Newsmax TV
And the Islamists trying to carve a separate state out of splintered Iraq and Syria are not simply an insurgent fighting force but an "outside army" attempting to conquer a sovereign nation, McCabe told "Midpoint" host Ed Berliner.
"This is not some political unrest or sectarian violence," said Army Reservist and Iraq veteran McCabe. "This is an attempt to take over a country. It's a coup."
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But the Obama administration isn't treating Iraq's latest chaos with the kind of urgency demanded by the possible overthrow of a U.S.-allied country that just held free elections, said McCabe.
Obama, in press remarks
on Friday, acknowledged considering air strikes — but no return of troops after eight years of war and occupation — to push back Sunni militants who control two Iraqi cities and are moving on Baghdad.
He said the U.S. will not be "dragged back into a situation" where an American armed presence is all that prevents "people … acting in ways that are not conducive to the long-term stability of the country."
McCabe found that language incomprehensible.
"To say that an Army marching on Baghdad is 'not behaving in a conducive way to long-term security' – I don't even know what he's talking about," said McCabe.
He also criticized the president's remarks on the Iraqi army,
saying they were tantamout to calling U.S.-trained Iraqi troops "cowards."
Obama said on Friday, "The fact that they [Iraqi troops] are not willing to stand and fight and defend their posts … indiciates that there's a problem with morale … that's rooted in the political problems that have plagued the country for a very long time."
McCabe said he is "uncomfortable … blaming the Iraqi soldiers who are put in an absolutely impossible situation."
"This president abandoned them," he said. "They wanted our help. They wanted our training. We should have been there."
Contrasting the U.S. exit from Iraq to its ongoing presence in South Korea, McCabe said, "There's nothing written about the Iraqi army that wasn't written … in 1950 about the South Koreans. They needed help."
"I saw the Iraq army during an exercise in 2011," he added. "They were well-equipped. They were motivated. They were disciplined. Over and over again, as a combat historian, I talked to American soldiers who told me point blank that the Iraqi soldiers were fantastic soldiers and they were proud to serve with them."
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