Tags: ISIS/Islamic State | Middle East | Adam Kinzinger | ISIS | fight | increase | support

Kinzinger: Obama Needs to Lead Against Growing Mideast Cancer

By    |   Sunday, 24 May 2015 12:27 PM

The United States is neither losing nor winning the fight against the Islamic State, Rep. Adam Kinzinger said Sunday, "because we are not engaged in the fight."

"At some point we're going to have to understand the goal is the destruction of ISIS," the Illinois Republican said on CNN's "State of the Union" program.  

"The president needs to stand in front of the American people and lead on this and say, look, this is a cancer that is growing in the Middle East."

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When the attacks began on ISIS, President Barack Obama said that the US-led coalition will bomb ISIS targets and hit them, while not putting boots on the ground, said Kinzinger.

However, he told CNN's Jim Acosta that "this is not just a situation where if the house catches on fire, it will burn down and we look at a burned down house, but this is now a house on fire in a densely packed neighborhood where it will spread...we have to show a big major blow to ISIS."

Kinzinger said that there are also a "lot of people sitting in their basements looking on the Internet, and not because they want to be martyrs, but to be part of something big," and he thinks there will continue to be problems with people being indoctrinated.

Meanwhile, it's clear that ISIS has gained momentum, and he sees a basic problem where the Sunnis are persecuted by the central government in Iraq.

"The Iranian-influenced Shia militia created a situation where just as a matter of survival they have no place to turn to protect their families and communities other than to ISIS," said Kinzinger. "I met with a Sunni tribal leader in Washington. They are begging for arms, heavy ammunition, to fight against ISIS."

Sens. Lindsey Graham and John McCain have proposed sending about 10,000 troops into Iraq for training and intelligence, and Kinzinger said he believes that is "reasonable."

"Eighteen months ago, I called for bombing ISIS at the time they moved into Fallujah, and at the time I thought it was Al Qaida, and I was accused of wanting to start Iraq three," Kinzinger said. "Then ISIS grew and people got engaged and wanted to destroy them."

The movement is growing, said Kinzinger, and with every day that goes by, "the cost of liberating Iraq or the cost of defeating this cancer is only going to increase."

President Barack Obama is putting up "two false choices" when it comes to putting boots on the ground, and Kinzinger said he believes we need proportionate force.

"The president likes to talk about the fact we are not going to send 200,000 troops in Iraq, and I agree, and I never heard a person ever say we need 200,000 troops in Iraq," he said.

"I think the one in the middle right now is saying what do we need to do to embolden the Iraqi territory where it exists, and arm the Peshmerga and Sunnis. They have a 600-mile border with ISIS as it exists today and they are struggling to maintain their own territory and it's a complicated battle."


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The United States is neither losing nor winning the fight against the Islamic State, Rep. Adam Kinzinger said Sunday, because we are not engaged in the fight. At some point we're going to have to understand the goal is the destruction of ISIS, the Illinois Republican...
Adam Kinzinger, ISIS, fight, increase, support, peshmerga
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2015-27-24
Sunday, 24 May 2015 12:27 PM
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