Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
President Barack Obama speaks with Attorney General Eric Holder as news photographers photograph their meeting regarding the fatal police shooting of a black teenager in Ferguson, Missouri, Monday, Aug. 18, 2014, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
On vacation break, Obama discusses Iraq, Missouri
First Published Aug 18 2014 01:25 pm • Last Updated Aug 18 2014 01:33 pm

Washington • Taking a two-day break from summer vacation, President Barack Obama met with top advisers at the White House Monday to review developments in Iraq and in racially charged Ferguson, Missouri, two trouble spots where Obama has ordered his administration to intervene.

Obama planned to issue a statement on the two crises later Monday afternoon.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

The president made a brief return to Washington from Martha’s Vineyard to confer with advisers about the military and political situation in Iraq, where he recently authorized airstrikes, and in the St. Louis suburb that erupted in protests over the police shooting of an unarmed 18-year-old man.

The day appeared aimed in part at countering criticism that Obama was spending two weeks on the Massachusetts island in the midst of multiple crises.

After a week of photos depicting the president golfing or riding his bike with his family, the White House permitted press photographers to get pictures of Obama meeting with national security aides in the White House Roosevelt Room Monday morning and discussing the Ferguson shooting with Attorney General Eric Holder in the afternoon.

Still, Obama’s brief return to Washington was planned even before the U.S. military began striking targets in Iraq and before the standoff between police and protesters in Ferguson. The president was scheduled to return to Martha’s Vineyard Tuesday night.

The meetings came as conditions in Ferguson deteriorated. Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon lifted a curfew but ordered the National Guard to step in to help restore order. Holder over the weekend ordered a federal medical examiner to perform a third autopsy on the teenager, Michael Brown. Among those joining Obama in his meeting with Holder was White House Counsel Neil Eggleston and Lisa Monaco, Obama’s assistant for homeland security and counterterrorism.

In Iraq, a new round of U.S. airstrikes in northern Iraq on Monday aimed to help Iraqi forces regain control of the Mosul dam and averting a potential dam failure. An Iraqi Army spokesman in Baghdad said Iraqi and Kurdish forces had regained control of the dam from the Islamic State militants who captured it earlier this month, but the Pentagon said it was too early to reach that conclusion.

The strikes against the militants drew praise from Republican Sens. John McCain of Arizona and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, two of Obama’s most vocal foreign policy critics.

But in a joint statement, McCain and Graham urged Obama to expand the military strikes to go after the Islamic State militants in both Iraq and Syria. Obama has described the strikes as a narrow mission aimed at protecting U.S. personnel and facilities and preventing humanitarian disasters.


story continues below
story continues below

"We have to do it hard and we have to do it in ways that are not pin-prick strikes that are gradual escalation," McCain said while campaigning for Republican Senate candidate Scott Brown in New Hampshire. "The object of conflict is to break the enemy’s will. If (the Islamic State) is a threat to the United States of America, we have to do what is necessary to destroy them without sending American combat troops over."

While Obama has had plenty of downtime since arriving in Martha’s Vineyard a week ago, he also made two public statements about the situations in Iraq and Ferguson. The president had ordered the Iraq strikes days before leaving for vacation, while the tensions in Ferguson that stem from the shooting death of an unarmed teen boiled over during his vacation.

"I think it’s fair to say there are, of course, ongoing complicated situations in the world, and that’s why you’ve seen the president stay engaged," White House spokesman Eric Schultz said.

Associated Press writer Rik Stevens contributed from Derry, New Hampshire.

———

Follow Jim Kuhnhenn on Twitter at http://twitter.com/jkuhnhenn



Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Videos
Jobs
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.