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June 28, 2014

Marino: Blast ISIS from above

Air strikes needed to counter ruthless rebels

— WASHINGTON — While acknowledging there are no easy options in thwarting the sweeping territorial gains made by a radical Islamic group so ruthless it carries out crucifixions, U.S. Rep. Tom Marino is calling for U.S. air strikes in Iraq to protect American national security.

Gains made by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria pose a serious threat, Marino — vice chairman of the House subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia, and Emerging Threats — said Friday.

“And they must be stopped,” he said.

Marino supports bombing the ISIS fighters.

“There are those on the left that will suggest otherwise, but there is no denying the leader of ISIS, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, is determined to create an extremist terrorist state. Let’s not forget this is an evil man whom we had imprisoned.”

Baghdadi, who fought with Sunni militant groups after the U.S. invasion of Iraq, was arrested in 2005 and interred by American forces at Camp Bucca, the main detention facility after Abu Ghraib closed. Not considered to be much of a threat, Baghdadi was released in 2009. According to slate.com, the former commanding officer of Camp Bucca recently told the Daily Beast that when Baghdadi was released, he told his captors, “I’ll see you guys in New York.”

Marino, R-10, of Cogan Station, said the “mismanaged” Obama administration freed Baghdadi through “overwhelming ineptitude.”

“Now,” Marino said, “he’s on the march. If this is allowed to continue, there is no doubt the region will further destabilize, oil prices will rise and over time ISIS will carve out a terrorist state from which to launch attacks against our allies in Israel, Europe, and possibly here in the U.S.”

The Los Angeles Times reported earlier this month that civilians have been flocking to take up arms to battle ISIS, notorious for its use of brutal tactics that include beheadings, crucifixions and amputations of limbs.

Obama is “indecisive and signals weakness around the world,” Marino said. “If we are to quell these evil forces, then he must make these hard decisions. That means getting tough with Iraqi President (Nouri) al-Maliki. That may require calling for his resignation or pressuring him into diplomatic and military agreements with the U.S.”

In either case, the way forward must exclude Iranian involvement, Marino insists.

Iran is no friend of the United States “or the world for that matter,” he said. “I am convinced they have a deceitful and hidden agenda in this situation and therefore cannot be trusted or counted as a partner.”

Bomb ISIS camps and supply lines, Marino said.

“I realize that stance may be unpopular, but we must be committed to ensuring this situation does not get out of control,” he said. “Otherwise we may be compelled to return to Iraq.”

Opponents will say the U.S. might be acting as a foreign air power for violent sectarians or Iran, “but let’s make it clear that U.S. air strikes are in the interests of the United States and our allies in the region, mainly Israel, Jordan, Turkey and Kurdistan,” Marino said. “These allies and friends will surely assist in our efforts if we lead.”

If the Iraqis are serious about maintaining their sovereignty, “then their democratically elected government’s armed forces will rally, gain some grit and take their country back, from ISIS and Iran.”

 

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