Host: The success of a small group of terrorists has essentially taken down the third most powerful military in the world. Of course we're talking about what happened in France after Islamic terrorists just went through all of Paris shooting and killing. It was a nightmare. Joining us on the KRSO live line is former congressman from Michigan and author of Architects of Disaster: The Destruction of Libya, Pete Hoekstra. And we had him on our show a couple of weeks ago pretty much warning us about what we see today. Pete, thanks so much for joining us again.
Hoekstra: It's good to be with you. Thank you.
Host: I know it's terrible in this situation to be so right.
Pete: It really is. You'd like to be wrong but this threat has been out there for decades. We've seen continuous attacks around the world. In the last three weeks it's been the Russian aircraft, then a suicide bombing in Beirut and then the attack in Paris. The streak continues.
Host: David Brooks this week in an article said, he quotes somebody, 'We need military weapons to win the war against fanatics like ISIS, but we need ideas to establish a lasting peace.' It's crazy to think we're just going to go in the Middle East and bomb every single jihadist off the face of the earth in the Middle East." Is there any way out of this? What's your solution?
Hoekstra: Well the solution is number one you do need the military, you do need to be aggressive militarily. Take a look at what the Russians and the French are doing. They're taking out targets that we identify for them that we have not taken out for the last year. But be aggressive militarily and make it clear to the folks in the Middle East that we are going to help create a safe environment for moderate Muslims. Remember the most people that are dying right now are Muslims. There's genocide against Christians, there's genocide against others, but these radical jihadists are killing more Muslims than anyone else. They need to know that the U.S. and others have their back and that we are going to protect and help them fight ISIS.
Host: Pete could you take yourself off speaker phone? It's hard for us to hear you.
Hoekstra: Oh I don't think I am on speaker phone.
Host: Speak closer because it's a little difficult, a little tricky. What I don't understand is with all the moderate Muslims who are being killed and you're right, more of them are dying as a result of ISIS, why don't they speak out more vocally? Are they afraid? The only way to stop this is really through some sort of cooperative effort with Islam.
Hoekstra: That's exactly right. The moderate Islamic forces need at the core of this fight to take these folks out and define for the Muslim world and the rest of the world exactly what Islam is. The United States, those of us in the West who come from Judeo-Christian values, we can't do that. Islam needs to reform itself. You've got all of these groups in the United States who are actually fronting for the radical jihadists by saying this has nothing to do with religion. In reality, it has everything to do with religion and the sooner that we recognize and admit that the sooner we will be able to confront it and defeat it.
Host: This issue is so complicated. For instance, people are criticizing Obama because he hasn't really taken any action in Syria. We need ground troops. Which ground troops do we support? Do we support Putin's ground troops, who wants to support the nation of Syria, or do we support ours who are these random pockets? It's just a complicated issue.
Hoekstra: It is a complicated issue but sitting on the sidelines is not a good thing to do. I've argued for the last two years we know who our allies are and who will fight in Iraq. The Kurds will fight in Iraq, the Sunni tribes will fight in Iraq. How do we know that? They fought with us against al-Qaida and they were very successful – armed Kurds, armed Sunnis. And we will soon have ISIS out of Iraq. Syria, you're absolutely right, is a much more complicated situation. But let's start by at least fixing Iraq and then containing this threat within the borders of Syria and slowly start eating away at it and taking away their military campaign or their military capabilities as we work for a political solution in Syria.
Host: I have to say, Pete, that one of the most frustrating things is the lack of commitment from this administration, especially for the Kurds who I've had backchannel communication with people who are Kurds and they have been asking for weapons. They've been asking for intelligence. They're willing to fight the fight and yet this administration is not willing to do anything to help them get it done.
Hoekstra: That's absolutely right. This administration has sided with the corrupt Shi'a government out of Baghdad. They are refusing to ship arms to the Kurds and to the Sunnis. The Kurds just liberated Sinjar, Sinjar Mountain and Sinjar city. This is an area that has 400,000 residents that fled. These 400,000 people can now start heading back to their community, back to their city as we help them rebuild them. And that is a much better alternative than taking 2 or 3 hundred thousand of these individuals and taking them into Europe or taking them into the United States. Recapture territory and let them go home.
Host: All right, one last question before we're out of time and it's got to be a brief one. But I need to know what you think is going to happen when Francois Hollande arrives in Washington later this week to talk with Mr. Obama. Are we going to see an alliance or is he going to stay on the sidelines?
Hoekstra: We're going to see an alliance. That will be showed. The real question will be what will the rules of engagement for American forces who are part of this alliance, what will the rules of engagement be? Will we actually let our soldiers fight a war?
Host: All right well thank you so much for joining us this morning Pete. We appreciate your time as always. Thank you. That's former US congressman from Michigan and author of Architects of Disaster: The Destruction of Libya, Pete Hoekstra.