On September 15, 2014 Senator Roger Wicker of Mississippi asked for and was granted permission to address the United States Senate regarding the notorious terrorist group ISIS.
The Islamic State (IS; Arabic: الدولة الإسلامية ad-Dawlah l-ʾIslāmiyyah), previously calling itself the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL; /ˈaɪsəl/) or the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS; /ˈaɪsɪs/; Arabic: الدولة الإسلامية في العراق والشام), and also known by the Arabic acronym Daʿesh (داعش),[a] is an unrecognized state and a Sunni jihadist group active in Iraq and Syria in the Middle East. In its self-proclaimed status as a caliphate, it claims religious authority over all Muslims across the world and aspires to bring most of the Muslim-inhabited regions of the world under its political control beginning with territory in the Levant region which includes Jordan, Israel, Palestine, Lebanon, Cyprus and part of southern Turkey.
It has been described by the United Nations and Western and Middle Eastern media as a terrorist group and has been designated as a foreign terrorist organization by the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, Indonesia and Saudi Arabia.
The United Nations and Amnesty International have accused the group of grave and very serious human rights abuses including but not limited to genocide, mass murder, torture, beheadings and forced slavery and human trafficking just to name a few.
“Mr. President, I wish to spend a few moments speaking about national defense.
As we all know, last week, in a much anticipated address to the Nation, President Obama outlined a plan to defeat the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. I want my colleagues to know I intend to do my part to make this plan a success.
I am not alone in hoping this goal to defeat–not contain–ISIS will replace the half measures and disengagement that has defined the President’s foreign policy to date. The President’s previous comment that “we don’t have a strategy yet” sent the wrong signal to our allies and to our adversaries.
In response to the President’s address last week, Congress and the American people are now seeking specifics about the new strategy. I am hopeful the new plan is strong enough and broad enough to be successful long term. U.S. leadership and the projection of military might are critical to defeating the ISIS extremists.
Thirteen years after September 11, 2001, Americans need to send a unified message that we remain resolved to fight the scourge of global terrorism. ISIS is part of that scourge, reeking havoc in Iraq and Syria, with torture, mass executions, crucifixions, and plans for a seventh century-style Islamic caliphate. As we all know, ISIS broadcasts its savagery through gruesome propaganda online, including the horrific murders of two Americans and a British aid worker.
It is clear our efforts to date have been insufficient to overthrow this well-funded, well-equipped, and sophisticated army. It will take more than limited air strikes and the modest deployment of military advisers to curb the rapid spread of ISIS across northern Iraq and Syria. The United States must be committed to building a coalition that fosters regional cooperation, dismantles the group’s considerable financial network, and assists the Iraqi, Kurdish, and Free Syrian forces. I wish to help the President in his request for authorization to train and equip these forces.
This coalition needs to include Muslim-majority nations that are all in with a demonstrated resolve to defeat the Islamic terrorists in their own neighborhood.
The cost of inaction is already high. The rise of ISIS in northern Iraq and its operations in Syria have threatened regional stability and the security of our allies in Jordan, Turkey, Lebanon, and Kuwait. The involvement of foreign fighters raises fears of potential terrorist plots here at home. Earlier this month, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said there are more than 100 U.S. citizens with passports fighting for the terrorist group. He went on to say, “There may be more. We don’t know.”
Secretary of Defense Hagel, who will testify tomorrow before the Armed Services Committee, has called ISIS, “An imminent threat to every interest we have, whether it’s in Iraq or anywhere else.” Secretary of State John Kerry has expressed similar alarm, saying, “The wickedness it represents must be destroyed.” I agree. But if these statements are true, then we should respond to them aggressively.
Similar to Secretary Hagel and Secretary Kerry, the American public is concerned about the threat of ISIS to the United States. A new report by the Wall Street Journal and NBC News says nearly 7 in 10 Americans believe military action against ISIS in Iraq and Syria is in our national interest.
Americans are ready for a bold international strategy to confront these extremists whose ruthless campaign of terror and ethnic cleansing has survived for too long. These radicals have driven tens of thousands of Iraq’s Yazidi and Christian minorities from their homes in fear. According to news reports, thousands of civilians have been slaughtered across northwestern Iraq”, said Senator Wicker.
Source: Congressional Record