Friday 30 January 2015

Obama under fire for taking holiday during unrest in Iraq

David Millward

Published 11/08/2014 | 02:30

WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 09:  U.S. President Barack Obama boards Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House August 9, 2014 in Washington, DC. Obama delivered a statement about the ongoing U.S. military actions and humanitarian drops in northern Iraq before he and his family traveled to Martha's Vineyard for a two-week vacation.  (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Barack Obama boards Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House.
US Army Soldier parachute riggers from the 11th Quartermaster Co., 264th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 82nd Sustainment Brigade, palletize water for a humanitarian air drop at an undisclosed location. Reuters
Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga troops watch as smoke billows from the town of Makhmur during clashes with Islamic State (IS) militants. Reuters
Smoke billows from the town of Makhmur during clashes between Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga troops and Islamic State (IS) militants. Reuters
Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga troops watch as smoke billows from the town of Makhmur during clashes with Islamic State (IS) militants. Reuters
Displaced Iraqis ride on a truck on a mountain road near the Turkish-Iraq border, outside Dahuk, in Iraq. Islamic militants attacked the towns of Sinjar and Zunmar a few days ago. AP
US Army parachute riggers with the 11th Quartermaster Company, 264th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 82nd Sustainment Brigade palletize halal meals for a humanitarian airdrop over Iraq at an undisclosed location in Southwest Asia. Reuters
Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) fighters participate in an intensive security deployment against Islamic State (IS) militants on the front line in Makhmur. Reuters
Displaced people from the minority Yazidi sect, fleeing violence in the Iraqi town of Sinjar west of Mosul, take refuge at Dohuk province. Reuters
Displaced people from the minority Yazidi sect, fleeing violence in the Iraqi town of Sinjar west of Mosul, take refuge at Dohuk province. Reuters
An F/A-18C Hornet coming from Iraq lands on the flight deck of the U.S. Navy aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush in the Persian Gulf. AP
Kurdish Peshmerga troops participate in an intensive security deployment against Islamic State militants in a village on the outskirts of the province of Nineveh near the border province of Dohuk. Reuters

US president Barack Obama was accused of being an "absentee president" yesterday, as he began a two-week holiday after ordering air strikes on jihadists in Iraq.

Mr Obama warned on Saturday that Iraq would be a "long-term project", and then immediately left for a two-week holiday at the Massachusetts resort of Martha's Vineyard.

Before departing Washington DC, Mr Obama told reporters that he was ready "to not have a suit on for a while".

Pictures of the president on the golf course triggered a scathing attack by Ted Cruz, the Republican senator for Texas and a standard bearer of the Tea Party right, who said he should "spend less time on the golf course and more time doing the job to which he was elected".

George W Bush was said to have given up playing golf in August 2003 after being told in the middle of a round that a lorry-bomb in Baghdad had killed Sergio Vieira de Mello, the UN special representative, and 21 others.

He later said: "I don't want some mom whose son may have recently died to see the commander in chief playing golf. I think playing golf during a war sends the wrong signal."

White House aides sought to deflect criticism, insisting the president would be kept fully briefed on events and he will interrupt his holiday to return to Washington DC for two days of meetings. (© Daily Telegraph)

Irish Independent

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