As Justin at PoliticusUSA noted this Sunday, and as we covered here at C&L as well, the Villagers' favorite neocons were once again out in force on the bobble head shows, beating the drums for more military intervention in Iraq -- and invoking 9-11 at every turn in a not so thinly veiled attempt to continue to scare the living hell out of the American public.
On Sunday, a number of Republicans made appearances on the various morning news shows to talk about President Obama’s decision to order airstrikes in Iraq to hinder the movement of ISIS towards American diplomats and troops in Erbil. The President also announced that the United States would be dropping food, water and supplies to help hundred of thousands of stranded civilians that are threatened by ISIS forces. President Obama has insisted that no combat troops will be sent into Iraq. However, he has stated that this current mission will not be over in a short amount of time. POTUS has also called on the Iraq government to make changes in leadership, as the current prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki, has lost the confidence of the country’s people and military.
In response to the President’s actions, Republican lawmakers jumped at the chance to criticize him for not going far enough. In doing so, they decided to play on the American public’s emotions by bringing up 9-11, stating that if we do not act in a more forceful manner in Iraq, then we can expect to see another large-scale terrorist attack in the United States. This disgusting act of fear-mongering was led by the usual suspects, Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham, along with Rep. Peter King (R-NY). [...]
In all three instances, these GOP lawmakers invoked 9-11 and used the fear of a large-scale terror attack on US soil to make the case for war. If this sounds familiar, this was exactly what occurred when the Bush Administration, conservative media and Republicans in Washington kept saying “we fight them there, so we don’t have to fight them here” in order to justify the Iraq War. Now, we are getting the same line fed to us to scare the American public into supporting another unnecessary military action. They know that Americans aren’t going to support getting into another quagmire that costs billions of dollars and thousands of American lives while creating resentment of America across the globe. Therefore, it is all about stoking fear of terrorist threats at home.
Here's to hoping most of the public doesn't have enough short term memory loss that they've forgotten that already. It's hard to say which of the three was the worst for the theatrics, but Peter King definitely outdid his cohorts with pulling out the 9-11 fear card this Sunday.
Here's transcript of King's fearmongering on Meet the Press for those that can't or don't want to watch the clip.
DAVID GREGORY: Joined now by Republican Congressman Peter King of New York, member of the House Homeland Security Committee. And Congressman, welcome. Let me challenge you in a different way.
REP. PETER KING: Sure.
DAVID GREGORY: Which is, those who would argue, conservatives, Republicans, others, that the president has underestimated this, that we're only using limited action to fight this threat, what more can be done, as the president said, than just keep a lid on this problem and all of these threats by the United States?
REP. PETER KING: Well first of all, David, this is not just Iraq. ISIS is a direct threat to the United States of America. What Dick Durbin just said and what President Obama has said, is really a shameful abdication of American leadership. This isn't Iraq we're talking about. And we can't wait until Maliki and the Iraqi parliament to fight ISIS.
Every day that goes by, ISIS builds up this caliphate, and it becomes a direct threat to the United States. They are more powerful now than al-Qaeda was on 9-11. So Dick Durbin says we're not going to do this, we're not going to do that. I want to hear what he says when they attack us in the United States.
I lost senators and constituents on 9-11. I didn't want to do that again. We've seen this coming. And so for the president to say, "We're doing air strikes, we're not doing anything else, we're not going to use American combat troops, we're not going to do this, we're not going to do that," what kind of leadership is that?
REP. PETER KING: We have to let the enemy know what you're going to do.
DAVID GREGORY: Well, let's ask you about the leadership you would provide. So if these goals are not achieved through an air strike campaign of some duration, what would you call for America to do?
REP. PETER KING: Well first of all, we should take nothing off the table. We start off with massive air attacks. I think doing it from aircraft carriers is limiting them. We should use bases in the area so we could have much more sustained air attacks.
We should be aggressively arming the Kurds. The president says that once there's a unity government in Iraq we will then fight alongside and work with the Iraqi Army. Start doing that now. Why wait? Why wait months and months before the Iraqi government is back in place? Every day that goes by, ISIS builds up in strength. Well, whatever you do as Commander-in-Chief, you never, ever tell the enemy what you're not going to do. You shouldn't even tell what you are going to do.
DAVID GREGORY: But a lot of people--
DAVID GREGORY: Congressman, hear you and they say, "Wait a minute. We invaded this country. We took over the country. We occupied the country. We had massive troop levels there, armaments. Military hardware that’s being used by ISIS now. This is Iraq's responsibility. Why can't or why won't Iraq deal with this threat that is a grave threat to its future?"
REP. PETER KING: First of all, let's put this in perspective. What we've done in Iraq, as President Obama and Vice President Biden said, turned out to be a significant achievement, a great achievement. Iraq was stable. Iraq was a unified government. It was when President Obama withdrew all the American troops, when our troops that were imbedded with the Iraqi troops were taken away.
That's when the Iraqi Army started to disintegrate, when we lost control over Maliki because we withdrew. That's what started. There's no reason why Iraq would not have worked. The president, he started this. He started this downfall in 2011 with the direct withdrawal of American troops.
So as far as the weapons being turned over, that's terrible story by Maliki. But the fact is, we can't say because we’re mad at Maliki, and Maliki can do his job, that we're going to sit back and let ISIS attack the United States. David, they have ten times, 20 times more money than al-Qaeda ever had. They have much more weapons than al-Qaeda ever had.
And ISIS has hundreds of foreign fighters with them, available to come to the United States to attack us. That's the reality. And when the president says and he tries to blame this on the intelligence community that they didn't tell him, General Flynn was saying months ago that ISIS was going to move to Iraq. Fallujah fell months ago. This president did nothing.
All we talked about is ending the war in Iraq. All we ended was American influence in Iraq. And that's a failure and its on his hands. And for him to-- what a weak leader. "We're going to attack this, but we're not going to do that. We're going to do this, we're not going to do that." Can you imagine Winston Churchill or Franklin Roosevelt--
DAVID GREGORY: So you're saying--
REP. PETER KING: --or Harry Truman--
DAVID GREGORY: --U.S. troops on the ground to defeat ISIS because that is the ultimate goal.
REP. PETER KING: I am saying we should do whatever we have to do. If people say American want troops on the ground. My constituents don't want to see another couple hundred people killed by an attack from ISIS. But let's not set up the false argument that it has to be troops on the ground.
We have the entire weight of the American military we can work with the Kurds. Plus we can provide weaponry to the Kurds who have been good fighters. No one's been more loyal to us than the Kurds. And why wait for the Iraqi government to come into play? If the president says that--
REP. PETER KING: --military action when they're the government, why wait for that? Let's start now.
DAVID GREGORY: All right, Congressman Peter King, thank you, as well, for your views this morning. I appreciate it.
REP. PETER KING: David, thank you.