Poe: ISIS Can't be 'Managed,' Must be Defeated

Thursday, 04 Sep 2014 11:19 AM

By Melissa Clyne

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The Islamic State (ISIS) is the “worst group of people that have existed in our lifetime” and need to be exterminated, Rep. Ted Poe, a member of the House Foreign Affairs committee, said Thursday on Newsmax TV's “America’s Forum.”

Joining former House Intelligence Committee Chairman Pete Hoekstra to discuss the crisis in the Middle East, Poe said the White House needs a strategic plan to defeat, not manage, ISIS.

“(President Obama) wants to manage ISIS?” Poe said, referencing Obama’s verbiage during remarks he made from Estonia this week. “Does he want to put them on probation and make them do community service? Does he want to give them therapy? I mean what is he talking about, manage?

"You don't manage these killers. You don't deal with the killers on a conversation. They don't want to do that. We have to defeat ISIS. That should be the word, we're going to defeat them. We're going to track them down wherever they are in the world and defeat them.”

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Hoekstra said President Barack Obama’s lack of a strategy and foreign policy missteps have undone all of the American successes in the Middle East over the past few years.

“We had an organization in place, it was organized,” Hoekstra said. “We had Egypt with Mubarak. They helped us significantly in the war on terror. They helped us and supported us with our efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan. We had Libya with Gadhafi. We flipped Gadhafi. He became an ally in the war on terror.

"The president led the effort to get rid of Mubarak, led the effort to get rid of Gadhafi. We had Assad bringing stability to Syria and keeping the radical jihadists under control there and the president gave some indication to the elements in Syria that we were willing to see Assad go. So the president broke it, now he's talking about putting it back together. He does need to put it back together but we had it together three years ago.”

Both Poe and Hoekstra agreed that engaging Iran in the fight against ISIS would be a “huge mistake.”

Iran has its own “mischief agenda,” according to Poe, who added that the U.S. and NATO need to work together to defeat ISIS, though it will be an uphill battle since “the United States destroyed all those relationships” and “it will take years to rebuild a coalition of normal countries in that region to work together with the U.S. They don't trust us and there's a reason why they don't trust us: We're inconsistent with our foreign policy, when we have a foreign policy.”

Teaming with Iran is tantamount to playing with fire, according to Hoekstra.

“Iran poses other threats to us and to the region,” he said. “They are a destabilizer. We can't get into bed with Iran. Even the discussion of getting into bed with Iran and partnering with them shows kind of how bankrupt our foreign policy has become.”

Americans need to brace themselves for a “long-term conflict,” according to Hoekstra, who predicted it can be contained in the short-term but will likely take some 20 years to resolve completely.

“You’ve got to have a short and a medium and a long-term goal,” he said. “I'm glad that the UAE, Britain and others are saying we want to decimate these folks, we want to eliminate the threat, put together the international coalition, but recognize that we can't keep stopping or starting and then stopping and starting and stopping.

"It has to be a consistent long-term effort to defeat and eliminate this problem from the Middle East.”


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