U.S. President Barack Obama speaks about the situation in Iraq in the briefing room of the White House in Washington June 19, 2014. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
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The Iraq War, like a disease after a period of remission, has flared up again to besmirch American politics. Days ago, U.S. politicians were eyeing the first national election since 2000 in which Iraq would not be ammunition for the partisan crossfire. But the land-grabbing march by extreme Sunni fighters across Iraq – still mired in the war America unleashed in 2003 – ended that.The conflict that Obama once declared ended is now in the mix for November's midterm congressional elections, as the Republicans charge he squandered the loss of 4,500 Americans in bringing U.S. troops home too soon and opening a vacuum for extremism.Democrats, furious at the hauteur of Republicans who took America into the war in Iraq, have also mobilized – playing the hand dealt them by America's lingering antipathy to new foreign wars.Neoconservative and Republican ex-officials and experts, in purgatory after the disastrous postwar period in Iraq – have emerged to accuse Obama of losing a war they say Bush won – despite widespread perceptions that the 2003 invasion was an error.
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