Rick Perry: Hey, Let’s Go Back To Iraq!

We got another indication of how far out of step some of the Republican candidates for President are when it comes to public opinion during Saturday night’s debate when Rick Perry said he’d send troops back to Iraq:

Rick Perry said he would send U.S. troops back to Iraq at a Republican presidential debate in New Hampshire on Saturday.

“The idea that we allow the Iranians to come back into Iraq and take over that country, with all of the treasures, both in blood and money, that we have spent in Iraq- because this president wants to kowtow to his liberal leftist base, and move out those men and women. He could have renegotiated that time frame. I think it is a huge error for us,” Perry said at the debate, sponsored by ABC News/Yahoo!/WMUR-TV.

This is the not the first time that the Texas governor has been critical of President Obama’s foreign policy in Iraq, but it is the first that he has suggested sending troops back after their withdrawal last month.

At a campaign stop in Iowa in December, Perry said on Iraq, “Giving your enemy is a timeline of which you’re going to withdraw is really bad tactics.”

Perry was bolder at the ABC News/Yahoo GOP presidential debate Saturday, citing Iran as a potential problem in Iraq.

“We’re going to see Iran, in my opinion, move back in at literally the speed of light. They’re going to move back in, and all of the work we’ve done — every young man that has lost his life in that country will have been for nothing. Because we’ve got a president that does not understand what’s going on in that region,” Perry said.

All I can say Governor is that if the Iranians are literally going to move at the speed of light then they’ve mastered technology that we haven’t even conceived of yet. You gonna send Chuck Norris in to take care of that?

Let’s go over this again. We tried to negotiate a Status of Forces Agreement that would allow a residual forces to be left behind (although personally I think that would’ve been a mistake), the Iraqis refused to grant American troops the same immunity from prosecution we normally request from other countries hosting American troops. Moreover, it was clear that the Iraqi Parliament would not have supported Nouri al-Maliki if he’d tried to reach an agreement. They didn’t want us there. More importantly, American public opinion overwhelmingly supports the President on this. Why are the Republicans being so mind-numbingly stupid on this issue?

Here’s the video:

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2012, Iraq War, National Security, Quick Takes, US Politics
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Vast Variety says:

    Why does it seem like Republicans won’t be happy until we just annex the Middle East?

  2. Tsar Nicholas II says:

    Is being out of touch with “public opinion” on a major geopolitical issue a bad thing for a political leader in this day and age? Hell, I’d say it’s a badge of honor. Have you hung out much with the denizens of Zombieland? They couldn’t find Iraq on a map of the world if you spotted them Saudi Arabia, and if you asked them whether we should make a renewed push for broad immunity to get a new Status of Forces agreement in place they’d assume you were talking about the show Survivor.

    Putting that all aside, what should the U.S.’s approach be to the rapid and overt Balkanization of Iraq post withdrawal of U.S. forces? What about the Iranian factor? Should we let them disintegrate into civil war? Let the Iranians turn Iraq into what Syria did in Lebanon but on a much larger scale? Worry more about our tee times? Smoke a blunt, fire up Electric Ladyland and forget the whole thing happened?

  3. Rick DeMent says:

    Ah … because they won’t be happy until we annex the Middle East

  4. Beavis and Butthead says:

    “Why are the Republicans being so mind-numbingly stupid on this issue?”

    The question answers itself.

  5. RINO says:

    @Tsar Nicholas II:

    None of these were issues until we went in there and screwed everything up. Many of us who didn’t blindly accept the Neocon pipe dream saw all of these as possibilities. That’s the first thing I said when we went in, the end result will be an Iraq run by it’s Shiite majority with ties to Iran and look what’s happening. Now that we’ve created this mess are we to occupy the country forever?

  6. Davebo says:

    the Iraqis refused to grant American troops the same immunity from prosecution we normally request from other countries hosting American troops.

    I suppose we may request it, but we don’t get it. Germany, Japan, South Korea, Italy??? Which of those give immunity to US service members?

    Or are you doing your best Rick Perry impersonation?

  7. Hey Norm says:

    “…Why are the Republicans being so mind-numbingly stupid on this issue?”

    Fixed that for you….

  8. Bleev K says:

    @Tsar Nicholas II: Are you in the military or just a proud soldier at home?

  9. Ron Beasley says:

    I’m sure the Democrats would be thrilled to see the Republicans try to out neocon each other.

  10. OzarkHillbilly says:

    We tried to negotiate a Status of Forces Agreement that would allow a residual forces to be left behind ….., the Iraqis refused to grant American troops the same immunity from prosecution we normally request from other countries hosting American troops.

    Can’t say as I blame the Iraqi’s much after Nisour Sqaure. Can’t say as I blame us much for not wanting our soldiers tried in kagaroo courts either. Best to just end it now anyway.

  11. An Interested Party says:

    Let the Iranians turn Iraq into what Syria did in Lebanon but on a much larger scale?

    Perhaps one of the brillant minds in the Bush Administration should have thought about that before they began the Iraq Debacle…one of the best arguments against going into Iraq was that by invading, Iran would become stronger in the region, and now here we are…

    Are you in the military or just a proud soldier at home?

    Considering most of the drivel he’s posted, he smells like a proud armchair warrior…