Fox News host Bill O’Reilly said on Tuesday night that the Iraq War was a “victory” until President Obama removed combat troops from the country.
O’Reilly was referencing Obama’s interview with Vice News, published Monday, in which the President made comments about the Iraq War and the Islamic State.
“ISIL is a direct outgrowth of al Qaeda in Iraq, that grew out of our invasion, which is an example of unintended consequences,” Obama said. “We’ve got a 60-country coalition. We will slowly push back ISIL out of Iraq. I’m confident that will happen.”
“Slowly is the key word there,” O’Reilly said after playing a clip of Obama’s interview with Vice. “As thousands of people are being slaughtered, the USA and other Western powers are acting slowly.”
O’Reilly then launched into his history of the Iraq war, starting with the surge in 2007.
“When it ended, Iraq was a fairly stable situation,” O’Reilly said. “Subsequently the Iraqi government totally blew it, persecuting the Sunni minority, leading to chaos and corruption.”
O’Reilly said Obama made a “huge mistake” by removing combat troops from Iraq and criticized the president for saying that the rise of ISIL “was President Bush’s fault.”
“While the Iraq War did indeed cost far too much blood and treasure for America, it was a victory until President Obama mucked it up,” O’Reilly said. “If 10,000 U.S. forces had remained in Iraq, ISIS could not have achieved a foothold there, and Iran would not be running the show today.”
Watch the clip via Media Matters: