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.