Rubio’s Ridiculous Foreign Policy Lie

Like the former governors prepping for a run at the Republican presidential nomination, Sen. Marco Rubio tried to burnish his foreign policy credentials at CPAC in another fawning interview at CPAC. His claim that Obama isn’t fighting ISIS and the alleged reasons for that imagined reluctance are laughably ridiculous.

Potential 2016 presidential candidate Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) inexplicably told a conservative audience on Friday that President Barack Obama lacked a military strategy to confront ISIS because he feared upsetting Iran, a country that has actually committed itself to defeating the terrorist group.

Speaking before the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Maryland, Rubio told radio and TV host Sean Hannity that “if we wanted to defeat them militarily, we could do it. [Obama] doesn’t want to upset Iran.”

Referring to the United States’ ongoing negotiations with Iran to contain that country’s nuclear program, Rubio continued, “In [Obama’s] mind, this deal with Iran is going to be the Obamacare of the second term, and he doesn’t want them sending military to the region because they think the region belongs to them.”

There’s just one problem: Iran has been fighting ISIS just like the United States and has publicly urged America to take a larger role in the operation. Obama has even sent a letter to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei suggesting anti-ISIS cooperation.

This is wrong on every level. First, the notion that Obama isn’t fighting ISIS is absurdly false. He has ordered more than 2000 air strikes against ISIS positions, which has prevented them from expanding the territory under their control for the last few months and given the Iraqi and Kurdish militaries the opportunity to retake some territory. So the premise is false. But the explanation for that false premise is simply ludicrous.

ISIS is Iran’s enemy. Iran has sent troops into Iraq to fight against them, with the support of both the Iraqi and American governments. We are working with the Iranians against ISIS. The notion that Iran would be upset by our fight against ISIS would be idiotic for a high school student to make; for a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, like Rubio? One can only conclude that it’s a complete fabrication.

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  • colnago80

    Actually, from the point of view of the right wing Rethuglicans, Obama isn’t really fighting ISIL because he won’t send in ground troops like Bush fils did in Iraq. How did that work out? The reason why ISIL exists is because of Bush’s ill begotten intervention. Like the French Bourbons, they have learning nothing and forgotten nothing.

  • timgueguen

    Apparently it won’t be a real war to the CPAC gang until they see blood sacrifices in the form of US soldiers.

  • D. C. Sessions

    We can’t possibly be fighting until American troops are coming home by the planeloads — in boxes.

    It appears that Rubio is hoping for Obama to be the new LBJ: mass anti-war demonstrations but without the domestic policy successes.

  • Scott Hanley

    If Obama was serious about fighting ISIS, he’d offer them health insurance.

  • rationalinks

    Wait, I thought Obama wasn’t fighting ISIS because he’s a member of ISIS, or the Muslim Brotherhood, errr…something like that. It’s so hard to keep wingnut fallacies straight these days.

  • U Frood

    He’s allied with Iran?!!! Next think you know he’ll be selling Iran nuclear weapons. Won’t somebody think of the Israel?

  • rationalinks

    U Frood @6 You make a good point. My wingnut-o-vision has been blowing up lately with news of Nuttyyahoo coming to the U.S. and how evil Hillary is for not attending, and how awesome Israel is. Is Marco Rubio suggesting that the US should form an alliance with Israel’s biggest enemy? How do wingnuts square these two things?

  • Trebuchet

    But Rubio is a foreign policy expert! He can see Cuba from his house!

  • Modusoperandi

    Iran and ISIS are not enemies. Since they’re both Muslin, they’re allies. Allies in an Axis of Evil. Soon, they’ll officially form the Muslin Axis of Evil, or M.A.E..

    Then they’ll join with F.A.N.N.I.E. and just give hardworking American taxpayer money to “urban” (*wink wink*) Moochers for home loans.

  • Marcus Ranum

    Seeing the US Air Force acting as the Kurdish Pesh Merga’s Air Force is pretty laughable, really. And I burst into giggles of amusement when I see Iranian military invited into Iraq (“EEEE!!! TEH FORREN FIGHTERZ!!!!”) to help. I just wish Bush was rolling in his grave.

  • theschwa

    …and he doesn’t want them sending military to the region because they think the region belongs to them.

    I know, right? I man, OBVIOUSLY, North America belongs to the USA (and we let Canada play on some of it, too), but the Middle East belongs to the whole world, not Iran!!!

  • briandavis

    I’m sure Rubio would tell you that his comments were intended to be ideologically and politically true, but not factually true.

  • Nick Gotts

    …and he doesn’t want them sending military to the region because they think the region belongs to them.

    That’s some amazing unresolved anaphora there! Maybe they are unresolved in Rubio’s head: “they” and “them” just mean “someone bad”, without being further specified.

  • scienceavenger

    In [Obama’s] mind, this deal with Iran is going to be the Obamacare of the second term, and he doesn’t want them sending military to the region because they think the region belongs to them.”

    This is typical of how the GOP is behaving towards Obama recently. There’s very little substantive (even if its wrong) critique of his policies and their effects. They spend all their time psychoanalyzing him, and badly. I’d wager 1/3-1/2 of Fox’s airtime is spent doing this.

  • jnorris

    I believe Senators Rubio and Cruz are a plot against the United States by Cuba.

  • felidae

    Another GOP shithead who, like the Bushies before them, who doesn’t know the difference between a Shia and Sunni