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Kinzinger: We Need to Use What is Necessary to Push ISIS Back

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Washington, May 21, 2015 | comments
Congressman Adam Kinzinger called on President Obama to “stand up” and “reassert American leadership” in order to eradicate the threat of ISIS.
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WASHINGTON – On Wednesday, May 20, Congressman Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) called on President Obama to “stand up” and “reassert American leadership” in order to eradicate the threat of ISIS – and discussed what it could take to actually accomplish that goal.

Highlights:


“I called for America to lead airstrikes against this fledgling group at that time numbering in the low four figures. The reaction I received was not unexpected: people angry that I was interested in starting “Iraq War III.” Yet as this cancer continued to grow, the carnage became worse, and today we find ourselves engaged in limited action against a group growing in numbers faster than they are being dispatched by our airplanes.”

But lest we think this fight is limited to just Iraq, all we have to do is look all over the world and all over the Middle East and see ISIS' influence, from folks arrested near my district in the United States attempting to join and support ISIS, to the problems we see in Lebanon and in Saudi Arabia, and as we see ISIS grow and develop in Libya. This is something that, Mr. Speaker, the President has got to get a control on and reassert American leadership.”

“What is it we need to do to push them back? In Iraq, I believe we need to use the number of troops and the amount of military force necessary to destroy ISIS, and not just necessary to follow the President's promise of “no troops on the ground.” I don't think we need another 200,000 troops in Iraq, and I haven't heard a single person actually ever suggest that, but we need to use what is necessary to push this back.”

 “The American military is fierce and desperate to do what needs to be done.”

 “ISIS must be destroyed in Syria; and you cannot destroy ISIS in Syria without destroying the incubator of ISIS, who is the evil dictator, Bashar al Assad.”

  

FULL TRANSCRIPT:

Mr. Speaker, I remember a few years ago visiting Israel, standing in the Golan Heights and looking to the border of Syria. At this time, our guide began talking about the peaceful protests in Syria, the beginning of an era of discontent.

 

As I looked into the seemingly peaceful area, I never imagined the carnage that was to come: children who on that day attended school, filled with hope for the future and with dreams of becoming a businessman, a policeman, an architect, or any of the host of things building in the minds of such a young person at that age; children and parents who did not know that in a few short years, their lives would be cut down by a ruthless dictator, bent on keeping power at all cost.

 

As the peaceful protests built in strength, Bashar al-Assad responded in violence. And so began what history will likely judge to be the start of among the most brutal times in Middle East modern history.

 

Bashar-al Assad began using barrel bombs indiscriminately against innocent people and infamously gassed thousands who struggled to get that last breath of life, only to choke to death, completely aware that that breath would be their last.

As family members died, others joined a group later dubbed the Free Syrian Army, a group the President referred to as a bunch of pharmacists, lawyers, and businessmen, all standing up to reclaim what was theirs rightfully, which was a free Syria. And they fight bravely for a free Syria today.

 

Through the carnage of this terrible war, a more nefarious group began to assemble, a group not concerned with human carnage but inspired by it; a group not fighting to protect life but fighting to cut it down; and a group not inspired by freedom of religion but inspired by a hollow and a shallow world view. The group today is now known as ISIS.

 

Mr. Speaker, before the world paid any attention, this group occupied not just parts of Syria, but also Fallujah, an area fought with American blood and treasure to bring peace and stability to the people of Iraq. The border of Syria and Iraq was torn down, and the world continued to sleep.

 

I called for America to lead airstrikes against this fledgling group at that time numbering in the low four figures. The reaction I received was not unexpected: people angry that I was interested in starting “Iraq War III.”

 

Yet as this cancer continued to grow, the carnage became worse, and today we find ourselves engaged in limited action against a group growing in numbers faster than they are being dispatched by our airplanes.

 

Americans feel saddened that the areas that our brave military members fought so hard to win was being thrown away to political expedience, and I am one of those people. I spent a little bit of time in Iraq, on behalf of the United States Air Force, flying airplanes, and I just saw a week ago or a few days ago that Ramadi, the capital of Anbar province, where we saw so much success in the Sunni awakening, has fallen to ISIS.

Now, by the way, Anbar and Ramadi serve as a transportation center for getting goods from Jordan and Syria into Baghdad and are resupply routes for ISIS. So we are seeing not overmuch success in Iraq.

 

But lest we think this fight is limited to just Iraq, all we have to do is look all over the world and all over the Middle East and see ISIS' influence, from folks arrested near my district in the United States attempting to join and support ISIS, to the problems we see in Lebanon and in Saudi Arabia, and as we see ISIS grow and develop in Libya. This is something that, Mr. Speaker, the President has got to get a control on and reassert American leadership.

 

We also see that these terrorist groups, these jihadist groups, are coming under the umbrella of ISIS, whether it is al Shabaab, Boko Haram, or al Qaeda in Yemen, or we see the Taliban beginning to join under this supposedly successful group.

 

What is it we need to do to push them back? In Iraq, I believe we need to use the number of troops and the amount of military force necessary to destroy ISIS, and not just necessary to follow the President's promise of “no troops on the ground.” I don't think we need another 200,000 troops in Iraq, and I haven't heard a single person actually ever suggest that, but we need to use what is necessary to push this back.

 

By the way, the American military is fierce and desperate to do what needs to be done. And they’re ready to do what the American people and the President calls on.

 

Lastly, ISIS must be destroyed in Syria; and you cannot destroy ISIS in Syria without destroying the incubator of ISIS, who is the evil dictator, Bashar al Assad. There are negotiations in progress now, but until the Syrian people know that the American people stand behind them through a no-fly zone and other means, ISIS will not be destroyed in Syria until that point.

 

Mr. Speaker, it is time for the President to stand up. 

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