America will have to join forces with Syria and its president, Bashar al-Assad in order to annihilate ISIS, the U.S.'s "main enemy" in the Middle East, political commentator Pat Buchanan said Wednesday on Newsmax TV’s
"You have to deal with the real world, and the real world in the Middle East with the United States now is that ISIS is the main enemy," Buchanan said of the terrorist group known as the Islamic State and often referred to as ISIS.
"ISIS is the one that is out to kill Americans. ISIS is the one that's going to be sending terrorists to the United States, and therefore we have to work with the Kurds and the Turks and the Syrians and the Iraqis and, maybe even as we have with the Iranians and others, in order to defeat and to crush and annihilate it. That takes real diplomatic skill. In World War II … we had to get in bed with J.V. Stalin because we were fighting Hitler."
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If he were advising President Barack Obama, Buchanan said he would rely on advice from experts who say America can strike a deal with the Iranians.
"They have made concessions already that they are further away from a nuclear weapon than they were when we first started talking," he explained. "Secondly, the Iranians were aiding the Kurds up in the north when the Kurds just recently defeated ISIS in the battle to relieve the town of Amerly, where the Turk men were surrounded and about to be murdered. So again, this is a very tricky business, and it's one of the reasons the president has been somewhat hesitant."
Given the choice between ISIS and Assad, Buchanan said he’d take "a bad actor named Assad because one of the two is going to rule Syria in the near term future and for my money I would prefer Assad."
ISIS has isolated itself and made many enemies in the region, including Hezbollah, Assad and the Lebanese Army, according to Buchanan. Nearly every group over there is now hostile to ISIS.
"I noticed the Iranians, for the first time, sent the foreign minister over to visit the Saudis, who suddenly awakened to the nature of the threat, the rival threat from the separate caliphate if you will," Buchanan said.
As barbaric as the beheadings
of American journalists James Foley and Steve Sotloff are, the United States cannot allow ISIS to dictate America’s response, Buchanan said.
"They are trying to taunt and trying to provoke us into a reaction, and before we take our reaction, we ought to think through the consequences as in a chess game. What's going to be the next step, the next step, and the next step because while we do want to punish these people, we do not want another Iraq war," Buchanan said. "We don't want another Afghanistan. We don't want another Libya. All of these are huge messes in which we did not think our way through to the end when we went in."
Firstly, however, Obama should be talking to Assad and telling him that the United States is going to be conducting airstrikes in Syria, asking for Assad’s help in clearing the area.
"There's no question, we have to run down, and we have to punish the people that did this," he said. "This is a deliberate provocation and an outrage and a cold-blooded murder of Americans."
Buchanan cautioned, however, that there’s really only one way to root out all of ISIS.
"The only way the United States can guarantee it's going to annihilate ISIS would be to send ground troops into Iraq and ground troops into Syria to dig it out of every province there, and we're not going to do that."
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