CBS Holds Obama Accountable for Iraq Chaos, NBC and ABC Avoid
While all three network morning shows covered the ongoing terrorist invasion of Iraq on Tuesday, only CBS This Morning
made the connection between President Obama's foreign policy and the
chaos in the country. In an interview with former U.S. ambassador to
Iraq Ryan Crocker, This Morning co-host Charlie Rose wondered: "Has the United States and the Obama administration failed to pay sufficient attention to Iraq since American troops left?" [Listen to the audio]
Later on the broadcast, correspondent Jan Crawford talked to Iraq war veterans upset by seeing their hard-fought accomplishments being lost. Crawford explained: "When he campaigned for president in 2008, then-Senator Obama made bringing the troops home a priority.... But the U.S. withdrawal came at a cost, leaving an opening for radical terror groups."
A sound bite followed of former Army Captain Blake Hall observing: "If
you start to make decisions without understanding the long-term
consequences, you put the United States of America in a worse position.
And that's frustrating for all of us who fought in these wars."
Meanwhile, NBC's Today and ABC's Good Morning America both reported on the President sending 275 American troops into Iraq to help secure the U.S. embassy in Baghdad, but neither morning show bothered to examine Obama's role in the deteriorating crisis.
On Sunday's NBC Meet the Press, moderator David Gregory even tried to shield Obama from criticism, scolding former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney for daring to link the President's failure to negotiate a status of forces agreement in Iraq with the current turmoil: "Isn't it ultimately up to the Iraqis politically to take care of themselves, and not as you're doing, just sort of lay blame at the current administration?"
On Monday's Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie had no problem connecting dots to presidential policy decisions when she thought the Bush administration was to blame. In an interview with former U.S. envoy to Iraq Paul Bremmer, she pressed: "I have to ask you, one of your key decisions as envoy in 2003 was a decision to rid the government of the Sunni Ba'ath Party. When you look back at this and you take a step back, is it fair to draw a direct line, is it fair to say in some ways this situation is an outgrowth of what the U.S. started?"
Here is a portion of Crawford's June 17 report on This Morning:
8:05 AM ET
JAN CRAWFORD: When he campaigned for president in 2008, then-Senator Obama made bringing the troops home a priority.
BARACK OBAMA: As president, I will end this war in Iraq.
[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Questioning the Sacrifice; Iraq War Vets Doubt What Service Accomplished]
CRAWFORD: The last American service members left Iraq in December 2011. But the U.S. withdrawal came at a cost, leaving an opening for radical terror groups.
BLAKE HALL [FMR. ARMY CAPT.]: If you start to make decisions without understanding the long-term consequences, you put the United States of America in a worse position. And that's frustrating for all of us who fought in these wars.
CRAWFORD: Is frustrating the word you would use though?
HALL: I can't put it into words. It's a blend of anger and it's a blend of, you know, love for my guys and for what they did. You know, it's sadness for all of my friends that I've lost. But there is no word that captures the emotion of having seen Americans sacrificed the way that they've sacrificed, and yet, nothing come of it.
CRAWFORD: Now, Hall said that he thinks that neither the Bush or Obama administrations really had a strategy for Iraq. And this is the result. But he said he would go back there today if it would mean that his fellow soldiers had not died in vain. Norah.
NORAH O'DONNELL: Oh, Jan, that's an important story to do because a lot of veterans of Iraq are feeling very conflicted about this.
CHARLIE ROSE: Yeah, it began after Fallujah was recaptured.
GAYLE KING: Very heartbreaking to hear his words today. Powerful stuff.
O'DONNELL: Very powerful.
— Kyle Drennen is News Analyst at the Media Research Center. Follow Kyle Drennen on Twitter.