MSNBC Panelist Attacks Trump For Visiting Troops In Iraq

Saul Bowman
December 28, 2018

Air Force One, lights out and window shutters drawn, flew overnight from Washington, landing at an airbase west of Baghdad in darkness Wednesday evening.

Obama visited a little more than four hours at Camp Victory.

On his way back to the U.S., Trump made a pit stop in Germany at Ramstein Air Base, where he met with Air Force leaders aboard Air Force One. Instead, there may be plans to use Iraq as a military base to carry out operations on Syria and fight the Islamic State.

That visit and the USA troop presence were denounced on Thursday by parliament members, major Iraqi political parties and key players in the current Iraqi government. Approximately 5,000 US troops are stationed in Iraq as part of the coalition against the Islamic State of Syria and Iraq (ISIS) group.

Many Republican and Democratic lawmakers have heaped scorn on Trump for his sudden order last week to withdraw from Syria.

Watch Fox News correspondent Ellison Barber's report on Trump's Iraq visit below.

"I was fully prepared to turn this baby around and come home", he said.

"Our presence in Syria was not open ended and it was never meant to be permanent", he added".

Julie Banderas said she had a particular problem with Trump's statement that the United States "is no longer the suckers, folks".

'Operational security is the most important aspect of personnel deployments, ' Malcolm Nance, a former U.S. Navy intelligence specialist who has experience in Iraq, told Newsweek.

Trump had been hearing from critics that it was past time for him to go overseas and see troops in harm's way.

During Thanksgiving weekend in 2003, President George W. Bush wanted to spend part of the holiday with active service members in Iraq.

The U.S. military says it has about 5,200 troops in Iraq, focused on training and advising Iraqi troops to ensure that Islamic State does not re-emerge.

Bina said Trump's visit "places many question marks on the nature of the U.S. military presence and its real objectives, and what these objectives could pose to the security of Iraq". He did not have to serve during the Vietnam War after being diagnosed with bone spurs in his heels.

The president and first lady shook hands with the service members.

"You haven't gotten one in more than 10 years", Trump said.

In Iraq, he said countries in the region will have to pick up the burden but he has no plans for a withdrawal from that country.

It's unclear whether his trip to Iraq was added after it became apparent that the government would be shut down indefinitely due to a stalemate between Trump and congressional Democrats over the president's demand for a wall along the U.S. -Mexico border. Trump has said IS militants have been eradicated, but they still hold a patch of territory in that region of Syria, although fighters also have fled the area and are in hiding in other pockets of the country.

"I don't like doing it".

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