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Bridget Johnson

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June 13, 2014 - 8:20 am

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) stressed that the terrorist takeover of Iraq is “an existential threat to the United States of America.”

“They are the richest and most powerful radical extremist force in history and they are dedicated to attacking the United States of America. That’s the view of the director of National Intelligence, General Clapper,” McCain said this morning on CNN.

“And our failure to help the resistance in Syria, which I have been begging for, is also one of the causative factors. As you notice, they’re now going back and forth between Iraq and Syria. This is an existential threat to the United States of America.”

The senator added that “we can’t ignore the lessons of history, nor can we distort history.”

“Many people are saying now, well, this was inevitable, we never should have gone in in the first place, and maybe we shouldn’t. But that ignores the fact that, thanks to the surge and the sacrifice of so many Americans, we had this conflict won in Iraq,” he said. “And then by taking the action the president did, it caused us to lose. And that’s what I said was going to happen back in 2011 when I begged them to stay with a residual force.”

Not only did Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant forces seize U.S.-made military equipment left by fleeing Iraqi soldiers in Mosul, but they got quite the cash windfall as well.

“This ISIS group is now the wealthiest terrorist organization in the world. They looted the Mosul banks for $430 million, in addition to taking about 200 caches of U.S. military equipment,” Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.) told MSNBC.

Moran, like some other Dems on the Hill in the wake of the fall of Iraq’s cities, has used the opportunity to slam George W. Bush.

“With regard to John, Senator McCain, you know, he backed going into Iraq in the first place. Bush 41 did not. It was Bush 43 who had a very different approach to this. Bush 41 said, don’t go into Baghdad. Leave Saddam there because as bad as he is, he’s probably better than the alternative,” Moran said. “And it turns out Bush 41 knew what he was doing. Bush 43, unfortunately, didn’t. And unfortunately, to some extent, Senator McCain may not have known what he was doing when he pushed us to get into Iraq in the first place.”

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-Mich.), though, stressed that the something has to be done to “stop and slow their momentum.”

“And you have to remember who we’re dealing with. This is an up-close and personal look at what the whole al-Qaeda political aim is and that’s to gain ground, hold it, institute Sharia law, the very tough Muslim brand of legal enforcement that puts women back in the house, means that women can’t come out of the house without a male escort. I mean, this is as bad as it gets. And we’ve seen them fight in other places. That’s why this is so dangerous,” Rogers told NBC.

“…Because if you believe al-Qaeda is still planning operations, they are. If you believe that this group wants to do terrorist activities outside of the area, including Europe and the United States, they do. And so you can’t just allow them to get safe haven. And they’re getting stronger by the day. They’re getting weapons, they’re getting money. That gives them huge swathes of land to train al-Qaeda operatives to come over to the United States or Europe or somewhere else.”

More: 

House Armed Services Chairman Won’t Back ‘One-Shot Strike That Looks Good for the Camera’

Bridget Johnson is a career journalist whose news articles and opinion columns have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe. Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor at The Hill, where she wrote The World from The Hill column on foreign policy. Previously she was an opinion writer and editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. She has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, Politico and more, and has myriad television and radio credits as a commentator. Bridget is Washington Editor for PJ Media.
All Comments   (20)
All Comments   (20)
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"The lessons of history"? The big lesson is this: In the old days it was too hard for the Moslems to sail across the Ocean. Now it is easy for them to fly across. What happens when they fly across? After a while they learn how to fly jet planes into buildings. Another lesson from history is that the Roman Empire fell after it allowed the Vandals to enter the Empire as immigrants. They had no loyalty to the new hosts or their Empire and soon learned to kill their hosts and undermine the empire. How can we forget such clear lessons from the past? This time its different? Humans have changed? Get real McCain. Go away Obama. Let the people who love America rule America.
6 weeks ago
6 weeks ago Link To Comment
Who on earth cares what McCain has to say? Thank goodness we avoided a McCain/Palin presidency...and look at what we got.
6 weeks ago
6 weeks ago Link To Comment
“And our failure to help the resistance in Syria, which I have been begging for, is also one of the causative factors. As you notice, they’re now going back and forth between Iraq and Syria. This is an existential threat to the United States of America.”

Wait... what????
6 weeks ago
6 weeks ago Link To Comment
Wait till Iran and Pakistan start handing our portable nukes to AQ and others.
You ain't seen nothing yet.
6 weeks ago
6 weeks ago Link To Comment
You are insane, McCain, the side you hate in Iraq is the side you have been loving in Syria and have wanted to furnish even more weapons to than even Obama has.
6 weeks ago
6 weeks ago Link To Comment
No, Juan McInsane, Amnesty/Rewards for Tens of Millions of Third World Invaders, which you support, is an existential threat to America
6 weeks ago
6 weeks ago Link To Comment
They are on the run!! Come on guys let's be realistic. It is the Iraqis who are on the run!

Need some big time action quick. Otherwise this is really getting out of hand.
6 weeks ago
6 weeks ago Link To Comment
Can we imply that Moran is criticizing Hillary for her vote on Iraq?
6 weeks ago
6 weeks ago Link To Comment
No, but you can certainly infer it.
6 weeks ago
6 weeks ago Link To Comment

"In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons stock, his missile delivery capability, and his nuclear program. He has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists, including al Qaeda members. It is clear, however, that if left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will continue to increase his capacity to wage biological and chemical warfare, and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons."
- Sen. Hillary Clinton (D, NY), Oct 10, 2002
6 weeks ago
6 weeks ago Link To Comment
Iraq is turning to Iran for help. It's Sunnis vs. Shiites. It's been that way for 1400 years. Let'em kill each other. Like they've been doing for centuries. It's the only way.
6 weeks ago
6 weeks ago Link To Comment
How can any of them be trusted? Juan McCain, John Kerry, Clueless Clapper, Billery and DaOne...

What, there not Muslims on our side, so there Islamic Militants? Are we writing about the Shiites, or Sunnis? Who helped those fighting the Iraqi military now? Is this part of the deal along with the five terrorist released from GITMO?

Who started the civil war in Syria? Libya? North Africa? Egypt? The Ukraine? I smell brush fires that have gotten out of control for an agenda and someone on the other side of the table is pushing back strong.

What does it mean Russian bombers flew close to CA? A warning? Are we involved in WW3? Perhaps, this is how it begins.
6 weeks ago
6 weeks ago Link To Comment
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