Harry Reid: ‘What Has Been Taking Place in Iraq Is a Civil War’

Ahead of a White House meeting, the Senate majority leader went on the offensive against Republican complaints about the crisis in Iraq.

Senate Majorirty Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) speaks with reporters following the weekly policy luncheon for Senate Democrats April 8, 2014 in Washington, DC.
National Journal
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Matt Berman
June 18, 2014, 5:53 a.m.

The polit­ics around the crisis in Ir­aq are get­ting heated. In a Wed­nes­day morn­ing floor speech, Sen­ate Ma­jor­ity Lead­er Harry Re­id lam­basted Re­pub­lic­an crit­ics of Pres­id­ent Obama’s hand­ling of Ir­aq, and called the situ­ation there a civil war.

“What has been tak­ing place in Ir­aq is a civil war,” he said. “Do the Re­pub­lic­ans and their lead­er be­lieve that ser­vice men and wo­men in Ken­tucky and oth­er 49 states across this great coun­try should be in­ser­ted in the middle of their civil war? I don’t think so.”

“This is an Ir­aqi civil war,” he said. “And it’s time for the Ir­aqis to re­solve it them­selves.”

Re­id, along with Sen­ate Minor­ity Lead­er Mitch Mc­Con­nell, House Speak­er John Boehner, and House Minor­ity Lead­er Nancy Pelosi, will meet with Obama at the White House later today to talk about Ir­aq and oth­er for­eign policy is­sues. If Re­id’s morn­ing speech is any in­dic­a­tion, the meet­ing is likely to be con­ten­tious.

The ma­jor­ity lead­er also at­tacked Dick Cheney’s Wed­nes­day Wall Street Journ­al op-ed, say­ing that “if there is one thing that this coun­try does not need, it’s that we should be tak­ing ad­vice from Dick Cheney on wars. Be­ing on the wrong side of Dick Cheney is to be on the right side of his­tory.”


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