Rep. Charlie Rangel doesn't see a need or a reason for the U.S. to use military force against the Islamic State (ISIS), saying the terror group does not pose a threat to national security.
"Well, one thing: I don't see where that's a threat to our national security," the New York Democrat told MSNBC's Jose Diaz-Balart when asked about ISIS advancing on Baghdad.
"It is a cancer in this part of the world, and it is true that America, and probably Europe, has no idea of the depth of feeling and discord that are in this area for religious reasons.
"You bomb when you’re at war with a country. You're not at war with a country until Congress says you are."
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When Diaz-Balart pointed out that ISIS has killed two American journalists and has threatened others, Rangel said the situation is "a confusing thing."
"It sounds very emotional, but do you have any idea who the drones and bombs we're dropping are killing? I challenge you to tell me who they are killing. We haven't the slightest idea,” Rangel said. "Listen, it's a confusing thing, and if indeed the president and those who support him in terms of this 'war,' if they're right, bring it to the Congress and convince the United States of America that there's a threat to our national security.
"And when you do that, be prepared to pay for it. Be prepared to make a sacrifice. Have a mandatory military so that we all share in defending ourselves, and also pay for it with a war tax."
The U.S. military has spent $424 million
on Operation Inherent Resolve since the air campaign against the group began Aug. 8. The White House has thus far resisted calls to send in ground troops, opting instead to stick with bombing runs and missile strikes.
In recent days, as ISIS advances on Baghdad, there has been talk of a possible attack
on the U.S. embassy there.
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