Saturday November 28th, 2015 6:56PM

Kerry denies Obama has been too passive in Iraq

By The Associated Press
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Secretary of State John Kerry brushed aside criticism of Obama administration Middle East policy Thursday, taking exception to assertions Washington has been too passive in the face of surging terrorism in the region.<br /> <br /> Kerry noted the failure of the United States to secure a continuing military arrangement with Iraq's government after U.S. combat forces left. "We didn't have operational theater capacity at the time" of the surge in violence spawned by al-Qaida-inspired Islamic State militants, he said in an interview on NBC.<br /> <br /> On the broader issue of Mideast policy, Kerry said the administration has been "deeply engaged" in the region and is the largest source of humanitarian assistance. He said violence is on the rise in Iraq because Syria's Bashir Assad, who has been under siege for at least three years, "is a magnet for terrorists of all walks."<br /> <br /> Asked about former Vice President Dick Cheney's assertion that President Barack Obama has been wrong all along about the Mideast, Kerry replied, "This is a man who took us directly into Iraq. Please."<br /> <br /> He reiterated that airstrikes have not been ruled out, saying that "nothing is off the table" in administration discussions.<br /> <br /> Kerry didn't signal any details of involvement beyond what is already known, but did say that whatever assistance is forthcoming won't necessarily be aimed at bailing out embattled Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. The efforts will be "focused on the people of Iraq," he said.<br /> <br /> Kerry said the militant Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, is "more extreme than even al-Qaida and they are a threat to the United States and Western interests."<br /> <br /> And he denied having suggested that Washington was considering working on this in coordination with Iran, saying "I don't know where this comes from."<br /> <br /> "What we have said is that we are interested in communicating with Iran," he said, "so that Iran knows what we are thinking and we know what they are thinking."
© Copyright 2015
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Judge denies motions to move, delay Tsarnaev trial
Lawyers for Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev asked a federal appeals court Wednesday to overturn a judge's decision to not move his upcoming trial out of state.
10:02PM ( 10 months ago )
High court to adopt electronic filing of cases
The Supreme Court is belatedly developing an electronic filing system similar to those used in courts around the country, Chief Justice John Roberts said Wednesday in his annual end-of-year report.
7:57PM ( 10 months ago )
Storm brings snow, cold to West for New Year's
A blustery winter storm dumped snow and ice across the West on Wednesday, making driving treacherous in the mountains from California to the Rockies and forcing residents and party-goers in some usually sun-soaked cities to bundle up for a frosty New Year's.
5:19PM ( 10 months ago )
U.S. News
Grass fire impacts rush hour traffic on 985
Rush hour traffic on I-985 was slowed by a grass fire Wednesay afternoon with one lane closed while firefighters fought the blaze.
10:19PM ( 10 months ago )
Hall County conviction, sentencing to be reviewed by SCOGA
The State Supreme Court has agreed to hear the appeal of a Hall County man when they reconvene in January.
2:37PM ( 10 months ago )
Local/State News
Committee leaves transportation funding to lawmakers
Georgia will have to cover a $1 billion to $1.5 billion transportation funding gap to stay economically competitive, a committee of lawmakers is warning in a report issued Tuesday.
5:36AM ( 10 months ago )
US off war footing at year's end, but wars go on
Taking America off a permanent war footing is proving harder than President Barack Obama may have suggested.
6:13PM ( 10 months ago )
GOP leader regrets talk to white supremacists; party leaders rally around him
House Republican leaders rallied around one of their own, Whip Steve Scalise, on Tuesday after he said he regrets speaking 12 years ago to a white supremacist organization and condemns the views of such groups.
6:08PM ( 10 months ago )
Standoff at Planned Parenthood ends with suspect's arrest; 3 killed, 9 wounded
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — A gunman who opened fire inside a Planned Parenthood clinic was arrested Friday after engaging in gun battles with authorities during an hourslong standoff that killed t...
1:13AM ( 17 hours ago )
White House undergoes Thanksgiving Day lockdown after man draped in American flag jumps fence
WASHINGTON (AP) — A man draped in an American flag climbed over the fence at the White House on Thursday, prompting a lockdown as the first family celebrated Thanksgiving.The man was immediately appre...
10:11PM ( 1 day ago )
Obama grants reprieve to turkeys 'Honest' and 'Abe' during White House ceremony
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama spared two turkeys named for one of the nation's most admired presidents, continuing a White House tradition that provides a refreshing sense of amusement and...
9:18PM ( 2 days ago )
The Latest: UN Security Council strongly condemns 'horrifying' attack in Mali, urges probe
BAMAKO, Mali (AP) — The latest on the attack on a hotel in the Malian capital of Bamako. (All times local):___4:55 a.m.The U.N. Security Council is condemning "the horrifying terrorist attack" at the...
10:58PM ( 1 week ago )
World leaders vow vigorous response to Paris terror spree, but little indication of next steps
ANTALYA, Turkey (AP) — World leaders vowed a vigorous response to the Islamic State group's terror spree in Paris as they opened a two-day meeting in Turkey on Sunday, with President Barack Obama call...
2:14PM ( 1 week ago )