The U.S. must help Iraq crush the militants of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, better known as ISIS, because the threat they pose would only continue to grow, Rep. Adam Kinzinger told "Fox & Friends."
"This is going to be more than just creating humanitarian corridors or saving the 40,000 on the mountain right now. This is going to continue to happen until ISIS is crushed. And, this is only going to grow. They're not going to stop," the Illinois Republican said Friday.
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President Barack Obama announced on Thursday the U.S. was sending humanitarian supplies to aid approximately 40,000 religious minorities currently under siege by ISIS forces. Obama also approved the use of airstrikes against ISIS, and the Pentagon announced Friday targeted airstrikes had begun.
Kinzinger said he had "cautious optimism" for the increased U.S. presence in Iraq, but explained it represented a "toe in the water." He said it was in the "core interest" of the U.S. not only to prevent genocide of the religious minorities in Iraq, but also to "protect our homeland here," adding the threat was "dead serious."
Though Americans may be war weary following lengthy campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan during the past decade, Kinzinger said the reality was the U.S. couldn't stand aside from threats elsewhere in the world.
"We can't pick the world that we live in. And, we live in a world with very evil people that want to kill us, want to kill our families, and want to right now create a genocide on 40,000 ethnic minorities. I wish we had a different world. We don't," he said.
Kinzinger, who has served in the U.S. Air Force and Air National Guard, said he found it curious that Obama told Americans they're war weary, when the U.S. military recognized the threat posed by ISIS and was eager to contain it.
"It shocks me that the president of the United States is on television telling the American people how war weary they are, when the military, the ones that should be war weary, are the ones that are saying, 'We have to defeat this. We have to protect the homeland,' " he said.
The time had come, Kinzinger said, for Obama to stand before the American people and tell them, "I know you're tired, but it is in our national interest (to send aid to Iraq), because in 10 years, history is going to judge us very, very harshly."
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