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President Obama claims rise of Isis is 'unintended consequence' of George W. Bush’s invasion in Iraq

Mr Obama says rise is an example of 'why we should aim before we shoot'

Heather Saul
Wednesday 18 March 2015 09:12 GMT
(Getty Images)

Barack Obama has placed the blame for the swift rise of Isis at George W. Bush's feet by suggesting its growth was an unintended consequence of the US invasion of Iraq.

The US President made the comments as he spoke with Vice News about a number of issues currently affecting America.

Isis began its rapid and bloody advance across Iraq last year, taking over swathes of the country and territories in Syria, later declaring a ‘caliphate’ across areas under its control.

The extremist group has committed a number of atrocities in these areas, including mass beheadings, public executions and the kidnapping of women from minority groups who were sold into sexual slavery.

Mr Obama said: "Two things: one is, Isis is a direct outgrowth of al-Qaeda in Iraq that grew out of our invasion. Which is an example of unintended consequences. Which is why we should generally aim before we shoot.

“We’ve got a 60 country coalition. We will slowly push back Isis out of Iraq”, he continued, adding: “I’m confident that will happen.”

However, Mr Obama voiced concerns about the “underlying problem of disaffected Sunnis”, particularly in areas such as Libya and Yemen.

Explaining reasons people in those regions may have for joining militant groups such as Isis, Mr Obama said: “Where a young man who is growing up has no education and no prospects for the future, is looking around, and the one way that he can get validation, power, respect is if he’s a fighter. And this looks like the toughest gang around, so let me affiliate with them.

“And now you’re giving me a religious rationale for doing this.”

Mr Obama’s interview also touched on climate change, Iran, the economy and the debate surrounding the legalisation of cannabis – something he suggested young people should be less focused on.

“Young people, I understand this is important to you, but you should be thinking about climate change, the economy, war and peace,” he said.

“Maybe way at the bottom you should be thinking about marijuana.”

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