Tags: America's Forum | Exclusive Interviews | Iraq | Iraq in Crisis | Steve Malzberg Show | War on Terrorism | Ron Johnson

Sen. Ron Johnson: We Are Already at War With ISIS

Tuesday, 02 Sep 2014 04:38 PM

By Melissa Clyne and Bill Hoffmann

America is already at war with ISIS, so returning to the fight is a misnomer, Sen. Ron Johnson, a Wisconsin Republican, said Tuesday on "America’s Forum" on Newsmax TV.

"We've got almost 1,000 military personnel in Iraq … they are certainly helping in directing the airstrikes," Johnson said, explaining that the Islamic State has far better resources and is much more organized than al-Qaida in Iraq ever was. "The fact of the matter is we are at war with ISIS."

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President Barack Obama committed a "strategic blunder" by not leaving a stabilizing force in Iraq, Johnson said,  just as America did in Germany, Japan and South Korea.

As a result, he said, "ISIS has risen from the ashes … and it’s going to cost America dearly."

Further, he said, Obama’s lack of a plan in the Middle East and his decisions to put leisure time ahead of leadership is evidence that "he just simply denies reality."

"The fact that President Obama has spent so much time on the golf course when he should've been on the phone" to build a coalition willing to address what is a very serious threat to America, Johnson said.

"Back in January, when ISIS took Fallujah, his comment was just because the JV team puts on the Lakers jersey doesn't make them Kobe Bryant. Not even worthy of his concern, of his attention. As a result, ISIS continued to roll up territory, and now the world recognizes that ISIS is a real threat."

Johnson warned that if the United States puts its head in the sand and "denies reality" it leaves open the possibility of another 9/11. He reminded "America’s Forum" host J.D. Hayworth that ISIS was kicked out of al-Qaida because its members were too radical.

The senator, who sits on the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs, said he does not believe America’s borders are secure, cautioning that he hopes the United States is "better prepared than we were in Benghazi a couple years ago," referring to the Sept. 11, 2012, terrorist attack killing four Americans, including the U.S. ambassador to Libya.

He said Republicans have offered a number of bipartisan solutions to the situation in Iraq, as well as other national security issues, but they are "always killed" by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid," whom Johnson described as Obama’s "lap dog."

"The best we can do is get on media and start sounding the alarm," he said. "The alarm that this president refuses to sound. President Obama likes to be 'Mr. Cool,' but we need a president that is fully engaged, and we need a president that uses his bully pulpit to educate the American public."

Johnson said he wants to support the president and encourage him to work with Congress to develop a new authorization of military force so he has the necessary latitude to take action, but that when Obama was fundraising in Wisconsin recently "he wouldn’t give me the time of day."

"He couldn't take five minutes out of his politicking schedule to meet with the U.S. senator that's on Foreign Relations and on Homeland Security that takes these issues very seriously."

On a later appearance Tuesday on "The Steve Malzberg Show," Johnson praised British Prime Minister David Cameron for raising his country's security alert.

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"That's something we ought to seriously consider, if maybe not officially do it, certainly ramp up our security prior to 9/11 in terms of the homeland," Johnson said.

"President Obama hasn't exactly increased the security level of whether it's national security or domestic security here in America … He just doesn't like that messy business of governing, apparently."

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