Iowa Congressman Tom Latham, a Republican from Clive, says President Obama’s lack of leadership has led to the problems with the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria otherwise know as ISIS . The president announced his plans for dealing with ISIS last night after previously saying his administration had not yet developed a strategy.
“I think the situation we are in is truly a resolve of a kind of an indecisive and incoherent foreign policy,” according to Latham. “We’ve got to make sure that we go after ISIS. And to do that we’ve got to have a clear plan and one that actually has an opportunity to stop these people, they are brutal. So, I support that part, but it’s frustrating to me that this should never have happened in the first place.”
Latham says the Democrat president’s back and forth foreign policy got us to this point. “He pulled the troops out of Iraq saying we did not have a status of forces agreement. And now he’s putting troops back into Iraq and (there’s) no status of forces agreement. And we will have 1,500 troops in the country. We are going to dramatically escalate the situation with going into Syria — a sovereign nation — and I think we should have authorization to actually do that,” Latham says.
He says groups like ISIS can be defeated if the U.S. takes the right action. “It takes American leadership and the knowledge by these people that America will not stand for these outrageous acts,” Latham says. He says the leadership has not been there under Obama. “When you look at the red line in Syria that was not enforced, when you look at what Russia has done in the Ukraine, there’s no consequence for anyone to do exactly what they want to,” Latham says. “And if American doesn’t stand tall, firm and decisive…the little people are going to pop up all over the world.”
Latham is retiring and not seeking reelection this fall.
Iowa Republican U.S. Senator, Chuck Grassley says he’s waiting for more details on the presidents plan to deal with the terrorist threat in the middle east. “We have a speech, we don’t have a plan,” Grassley says. The senator says he is pleased that the president says he will take action in Syria. “It’s important that the president has extended the effort into Syria because Admiral McDermot — his chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff — said even before the president said he didn’t have a strategy, that if you were going to take out ISIS, it would necessitate some action in Syria,” Grassley says.
Grassley says the president has been operating from a leadership deficit, but public opinion has help persuade him to act. “I think the president is much more decisive now than he was before,” Grassley says. “I think it’s a reflection of the dramatic turnaround in the polls of the American people of how we ought to react. I think most of it is related to the murder of two American journalists.”
Grassley says the president has to send the message that the United States will protect American citizens and help our allies against the terrorist threat.
Woody Gottburg, KSCJ, Sioux City, contributed the Grassley portion of this story.