Following a recent ISIS attack in Iran in which at least 12 people were killed, a GOP lawmaker has suggested the attack could be a “good thing,” even indicating that the U.S. government should support ISIS in its attacks on other groups.
Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.) said during a House hearing on Hezbollah:
“As far as I’m concerned, I just want to make this point and see what you think; isn’t it a good thing for us to have the United States finally backing up Sunnis who will attack Hezbollah and the Shiite threat to us?”
“Isn’t that a good thing?” Rohrabacher said. “And if so, maybe this is a Trump — maybe it’s a Trump strategy of actually supporting one group against another, considering that you have two terrorist organizations.”
Thankfully, some sane voices emerged to express dissent. Matthew Levitt, the director of the Washington Institute’s Stein Program on Counterterrorism and Intelligence, stated the following in response:
“It’s never in our interest to support a terrorist group like the Islamic State…We should condemn the attacks in Tehran, as we would condemn any act of terrorism, even as we hold Iran accountable for its sponsorship of terrorism.”
“So that’s like Joe Stalin was a horrible guy, we must never associate with horrible guys like that, even against Hitler,” Rohrabacher replied. “And so maybe it’s a good idea to have radical Muslim terrorists fighting each other. I’ll leave it at that.”
The United States security apparatus has made it abundantly clear that even voicing support for a known terrorist outfit is a very serious criminal offense – but apparently not if you are one of the nation’s lawmakers (or a powerful nation with the ability to covertly do so).
If Rohrabacher’s words are to be adopted into official policy, then Western countries should seriously reflect on ISIS-inspired attacks on their own soil, considering the U.S. continues to support the terror group in numerous ways. For example, a Russian general just accused the U.S. of colluding with ISIS to allow their fighters safe passage out of Raqqa, something that seemed to be the case in the Iraqi city of Mosul, as well. The U.S. also routinely attacks Syrian government-aligned fighters currently — and effectively — battling the Islamic State. America is cozying up to Saudi Arabia, providing the radical nation with billions of dollars in arms even though Hillary Clinton’s leaked emails show Saudi Arabia is one of the direct sponsors of ISIS.
As the Trump administration pushes harder in its fight to confront Iran, expect ISIS to grow even more as a useful tool of American foreign policy strategy – and expect this to be welcomed even further by the establishment.
Bear in mind, though, that if you or I issued statements like Rohrabacher’s, we would be arrested (in some cases, the FBI might even give us weapons first, just to make our impending arrest that much more grandiose).