June 19 - Republican lawmakers criticize Obama's handling of the Iraq conflict as young people demonstrate in the Senate corridor against another war. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) United States Republican senators criticized President Barack Obama's handling of Iraq on Thursday (June 19), after he announced that he will send 300 additional military personnel to advise Iraq's security forces as they try to beat back an insurgency by Sunni militants. Arizona Senator John McCain blamed Obama, in part, for the deteriorating security situation, saying he pulled U.S. troops out of Iraq prematurely. "First of all, we have to understand there are no good options. There are no good options remaining. This is a culmination of failure after failure of this administration. But for us to do nothing now will ensure this base for terrorism," he said. "I say to the critics who say do nothing and let them fight it out, you cannot confine this conflict to Iraq and Syria," he added. South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham echoed McCain's call for action in Iraq, in part because of its effect on the U.S. economy. "The first thing we have to assess as a nation is -- does it really matter what happens in Iraq? Clearly, I think it does. Economically, if Iraq becomes a failed state, the oil production in the south falls into the hands of the Iranians, Iraq becomes a failed state that spreads economic chaos throughout the region. You will feel it at the gas pump. You will feel it in your wallet eventually," he said. Obama has stressed that military personnel will not operate in a combat capacity. As senators debated the best plan of action in Iraq, a handful of young people protested in the corridor against military action.