Truth Revolt, by Trey Sanchez:
Republican chairman of the House Intelligence Committee Mike Rogers appeared on NBC’s Meet the Press Sunday and warned that ISIS is a “very real threat” and is currently “one plane ticket away form U.S. shores.”
Amidst the ongoing debate within the mainstream media of whether or not ISIS is a “real threat” to America, Rogers clearly indicated to MTP‘s guest host Chris Jansing that the threat is as real as it gets:
It’s a very real threat and you saw the very barbaric behavior. And one of the problems is, it’s gone unabated for nearly two years and that draws people from Britain to across Europe, even the United States, to go and join the fight. They see that as a winning ideology, a winning strategy, and they want to be a part of it. And that’s what makes it so dangerous. They are one plane ticket away from U.S. shores. And that’s why we’re so concerned about it.
Jansing indicated that the Pentagon does not believe that ISIS is in a position to launch an attack on the United States. Rogers was happy to dispute that claim. According to his intelligence numbers, well over 2,000 Westerners involved with ISIS have Western passports and can travel abroad, through Europe and into the United States — even without a Visa. Add to that the fact that the whole reason that al Qaeda and ISIS fought and split in Syria was over the fact that they desired “Western-style operations,” as Rogers indicated. Al Qaeda considers ISIS “too barbaric” — a notion that Rogers said seems “laughable” in light of the fact that they were the ones who flew planes into buildings killing 3,000 people on 9/11. Now the two organizations are competing for “points,” as Rogers put it, to see who can attract the most people and money. Once this “game” reaches the next level, it would be safe to assume they will plan attacks that one-up each other and all sights will be set on America.
However, Jansing presumes that the U.S. is safer from terrorist attacks than when 9/11 happened. And while Rogers agrees that America “might be” safer now, it is the sheer number of recruits that ISIS is attracting on a daily basis. Couple that with the fact that they had “nothing deterring them for years” to train, recruit, and finance, being safer is beside the point. Rogers warns that, for instance, the people involved in making the video of the beheading of James Foley, believed to be a British citizen, could get back home and then fly to America without ever being found out until it is too late. “That’s what’s so dangerous about this,” said Rogers.
Concluding the segment, Rogers slammed the Obama administration’s failures in stopping these terrorist groups. “There’s no mulligans in foreign policy,” he said. Rogers reminds that this is not only about Foley’s brutal execution, but not forgetting that these terrorists have slaughtered, beheaded, executed, what have you, thousands of people and sold women into slavery. They will continue this practice. Stopping them, or “disrupting” them as Rogers says, is the key in dealing with ISIS.
Rogers said President Obama now has an opportunity to change his policies — those same policies that have led to missing “dozens and dozens of opportunities to take really bad people off the battlefield in the last two years.”
Jansing’s final question asked Rogers’s confidence level in the U.S. defeating ISIS. “We have the capability to defeat it, we now have to have the political will and we have to have the policy to do it. We have the first, we don’t have the second two,” Rogers said.
Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) was as kind as he could be when he called President Obama’s foreign policy “feckless” on Fox News Sunday.
McCain said the administration has failed in carving out a leadership role in the world thanks to Obama’s “leading from behind” strategy. From how he handles Vladimir Putin to taking the troops out of Iraq, Obama consistently shows the world his weaknesses and inability to be a strong leader.
McCain said one of the main reasons that the U.S. is now dealing with a terrorist group like ISIS is because Obama pulled the troops and didn’t leave a residual force behind in Iraq. “All of this could have been avoided,” McCain said.
Here is his full statement:
The president has got to come forward with a cohesive, comprehensive strategy, not only in Iraq, but also in Ukraine, also in other parts of the world. This is an administration, which the kindest word I can use, is feckless — where they have not outlined a role that the United States of America has to play and that’s a leadership role.
No more leading from behind. No more don’t do stupid stuff. No more tell Vladimir that I’m going to be more flexible if I am — when I’m re-elected. The president has to understand that America must lead and when America hasn’t, a lot of bad things happen. This is not like the earthquake in San Francisco — all of this could have been avoided, like leaving a residual force behind in Iraq. And obviously the challenge is now much greater than it would have been when the president made the decision not to leave a residual force in Iraq, among other things.
Gen. Keane breaks down options against ISIS:
GEN. JACK KEANE, FORMER VICE CHIEF OF STAFF, U.S. ARMY: Well, Chris, the way to look at this is, we need an air campaign first. And quite frankly, the United States would be in the lead there with our coalition partners. And also a ground campaign where we would be with our coalition partners in a support role only.
The air campaign would be designed to deny ISIS freedom of movement and take away their initiative to attack at will throughout Iraq, and also to destroy their support infrastructure, most of which frankly is in Syria. So, the strike targets would be in Syria, in Iraq, and it would be against staging bases with troops and equipments, supply bases, training areas for the foreign fighters that are streaming into Syria. Also, command and control and front line troop positions.
The ground campaign would be Free Syrian Army in the lead in Syria. They need to be robustly armed and equipped. What we’re doing right now is inadequate.
Second, in Iraq, the Iraqi army would be in the lead, coordinating with Peshmerga, Sunni tribes, and Shia militia. That campaign on the ground would be to defend what we have, but also to conduct a counteroffensive to retake lost territory.
The map there shows the two biblical rivers that make their way through Iraq. The one in the west, the Euphrates River Valley, that would be an effort to retake Fallujah dam, Fallujah, and the towns that surround it. In the north, the Tigris River Valley, to retake oil fields, Baji Refinery, Tikrit and eventually Mosul.
That counteroffensive would have to be supported by air support. We call that close air support. We would need air ground controllers to facilitate the use of air power while those attacks are going on. And also, Chris, we need special operators on the ground to go after and target ISIS leadership and high value targets, critical infrastructure and the same. That’s what an air and ground campaign would look like.
WALLACE: So, General, are we talking about hundreds of U.S. ground forces or thousands of U.S. ground forces? And is this an effort, if you’re going to really obliterate ISIS, is this going to take weeks, months, years?
KEANE: OK. First of all, we have been dribbling in trainers and advisers that we have all been observing. And we’ve got hundreds there. I think this is thousands of trainers and advisers. Some of the Iraqi army, as we know, has to be reconstituted.
So, the fact of the matter is that our forces on the ground, not in a combat role, except for the special operators, they would I think number in the thousands. That’s realistic. In terms of the time, Chris, to be honest, no one knows. And why is that? Because we do not know how effective those ground units are going to be against ISIS.
We have — we’ve seen the Peshmerga have recent success. The Iraqi army are holding their own by the Haditha dam. But that’s not a counteroffensive campaign. We’ll have to find that out. That will drive how long this takes.
WALLACE: Finally, General, what kind of support are we going to need from other countries, both to start helping us and helping in the fight against ISIS and to stop helping ISIS? And I know there’s a lot of financial support coming from other countries.
KEANE: Well, that is really a crucial question, Chris. The fact of the matter is, I think the United States should host an international summit to develop a comprehensive strategy to defeat ISIS in conjunction with coalition partners.
What is the objective? How are we going to achieve it? Put all of that together.
On the political side, we’ve got to crack down on our allies in the region who have their citizens who are funding ISIS and other radical Islamist groups. We know who they are. Some of them obviously are in Saudi Arabia. We have to crack down on Qatar, who we treat as an ally. We have bases there. We have support equipment.
But the fact of the matter is, ISIS funds and it helped arm — excuse me. Qatar has funded and helped arm ISIS. They also as we all know fund Hamas. That’s got to stop. And we’ve got to use our pressure against that country to knock that stuff off.
Economically, ISIS is making money every day on the black market with their oil fields. But they are also putting money in banks. We know where those banks are. We should go after the banks and the facilitators using them.
The coalition brings what they can to help. And we take all that help, and we help coordinate it. We know how to do that. We’ve done that before.
WALLACE: So, this is a big, complicated, and prolonged effort.
General Keane, thank you so much for joining us today, sir.
KEANE: You’re welcome, Chris.
Also see video at Fox News:
“ISIS are Theocratic, totalitarian, genocidal imperialists…much worse than just terrorists and individual killers”