Woodall: ISIS Is a Serious Threat in the Middle East

Georgia’s Seventh District Congressman Rob Woodall told members of the South Gwinnett Rotary Club that the threat posed by the Islamic extremest group ISIS is a serious threat that must be dealt with. According to a story in the Gwinnett Daily Post, Woodall said the current plan outlined by President Obama and funded by Congress in the continuing resolution won’t be enough to stop the terrorist group.

“I can’t find anybody at the Pentagon who believes that plan is going to work,” Woodall said. “What they believe is that it is the best of all the worse plans we have.”

Two years ago, Woodall said, the U.S. might have been able to do some “good things” to handle the threat ISIS presents. A year ago, he added, the actions might have been “passable.”

“They were once a small band of guys on the highway,” he said. “We could have ended that with a cruise missile.”

That, however, is no longer the case.

Citing ISIS’s access to funding and organization, Woodall called the group “frightening.”

Woodall believes that expanding the U.S. effort in the Middle East will require buy-in by the American people if it is to be successful.

What will it take to achieve that buy-in? Much like President Bosh spent time building support for with war in Iraq, President Obama will need to show some leadership to press the case to the American people that ISIS must be dealt with. That can be a difficult discussion to have, especially 40 days before a midterm election where the president needs every Democratic vote he can get in order to prevent his party from losing ground.

Of course, the other way to achieve buy-in would be an attack on American soil. Let’s hope it doesn’t get to that point.


  1. gcp says:

    Agree that arming and supporting anyone in Syria is a waste but what is the Republican plan? Send in the 1st Cav, the 82nd, Marines? That’s where the repubs lose me; criticism without offering their own plan.

    • saltycracker says:

      Maybe the U.S. can provide a big portion the expensive high tech air , satellite and missle support and the Arab nations and others the troops ?

      • gcp says:

        Ideally it would be Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Kuwait, Turkey and the other locals handling the ground war but I seriously doubt that will happen.

        Maybe its time for Woodall and the Republicans to show some “leadership” and give us their plan.

  2. Jon Lester says:

    Iran has half a million troops and they’re every bit as hostile to ISIS and the like as we are. We should simply let them, the Assad regime and Hezbollah deal with what’s a greater threat to them than our homeland. Honestly, can you name any other player who would better protect Christians and other minorities? You sure can’t say that about our GCC client states.

  3. benevolus says:

    So did Woodall propose a cruise missile strike 2 years ago? Did anybody think, 2 years ago, that guys on the side of the road would become a big threat, worth murdering?

    I mean, what’s the point of saying something like that?

    • saltycracker says:

      Obama’s security council wanted action against ISIS in 2012 according to Panetta in his 60 minutes interview Sunday. They were disappointed.

      • benevolus says:

        OK, I went and found the interview you are presumably referring to, in which Leon Panetta is quoted from his new book he is selling as saying they “urged the President Obama to arm moderate Syrians who had started the revolution against the dictatorship to begin with. That might have left no room for ISIS to grow.”
        Really? Is that it?

        “Leon Panetta: I think the president’s concern, and I understand it, was that he had a fear that if we started providing weapons, we wouldn’t know where those weapons would wind up.”
        Legitimate concern.

        So Panetta is saying he advocated arming rebels to overthrow a (admittedly bad) recognized government, with the side effect that it might have, in hindsight, prevented the rise of this violent group.

        That is not the same as “warning against ISIS” in 2012. Hindsight is 2020.


        • saltycracker says:

          Hindsight ? Reads like our national security team saw there was a problem, made their suggestion, Obama rejected it and they had no more ideas of what to do. King Abdullah thought a better job should have been done by the international community (led by ?).

          When we see genocide we should use our international leadership, high tech and financial reach to assist the tribes on the ground. Our track record sucks and continues in a downward spiral.

          Didn’t like Bush II’ s handling and think Obama’s (& staff) is worse.

          • benevolus says:

            There is no indication that they knew of ISIS, mentioned ISIS, or were trying to prevent the rise of any such group. They were evidently just trying to overthrow Syria. To allege from this that Obama was warned about ISIS is hindsight.

            • saltycracker says:

              Guess Obama will be on 60 minutes tonight talking about how the intelligence community underestimated ISIS and others didn’t do what they should have.
              Hopefully he will stick to air, missle and other resources to support allies ground troops.

              • saltycracker says:

                PS if Obama throws Hillary and other advisors under the bus for not seeing ISIS flying under the radar with the IRAQ mess, I’m good with it….

                • benevolus says:

                  I mean let’s face it, we could go around bombing every little coffee shop meeting in the Middle East where we think they might be talking about being disgruntled (and I suspect there are more than a few Republicans that would be OK with that) but that is a fools errand. And that is what Woodall apparently expects us to have been doing.

              • benevolus says:

                So the answer to the question is, no, no one saw it coming, including Woodall, and for him to imply that we missed an opportunity then is despicable.

  4. George Chidi says:

    “It’s an election year. A lot of Democrats don’t know how it would play in their party, and Republicans don’t want to change anything. We like the path we’re on now. We can denounce it if it goes bad, and praise it if it goes well and ask what took him so long.” — Jack Kingston.

  5. MattMD says:

    “Much like President Bosh spent time building support for with war in Iraq, President Obama will need to show some leadership to press the case to the American people that ISIS must be dealt with.”

    Jon, that is a very delicate way of putting it. Are you talking about the false pretenses that the Bush administration used to invade Iraq which has resulted in the Charlie Foxtrot that we have over there presently? Bush and the Neocons didn’t show leadership, they pushed a deceptive agenda.

    Frankly, I have a greater chance of getting killed every time I jump into my car or truck than any threat from ISIS. Atlanta has some of the worst drivers in the entire country.

    I think we owe it to the people of Iraq and surrounding environs to protect them from ISIS but let’s be clear why we are there: It is a moral obligation and not because ISIS might hit us here. I’m so damn tired of this stupid, insipid terrorist bogeyman.

    ISIS does not bother me. Does your conscience bother you?

    • Jon Richards says:

      My understanding is that there is more concern about ISIS than there has been previously about other terrorist groups, primarily because ISIS is organizing itself as a nation state, and that it is well funded due to its ability to sell oil. That differentiates it from other groups.

      Is terrorism in general and ISIS in particular a threat to the U.S. homeland? In some ways, it’s difficult to tell because thwarted attacks don’t always make the news. Several elected officials I’ve spoken to have expressed concern ISIS could mount such an attack.

      Your concerns about how and why the U.S. should go to war in the Middle East are justified, and are part of the reason that the administration will have to make its case to Congress and the American people before taking any further action beyond what we are already doing.

      • Michael Silver says:

        I miss the old days when ISIS was our ally against Assad and it was part of the Religion of Peace ™

        Now, they are our mortal enemy and no longer Muslim, according to President Peace Prize.

        Sometimes, America should not get involved. This is one of them since we are unable to consistently count on our friends being on our side.

        • Will Durant says:

          ISIS has never been considered an ally of the US though the Middle East being what it is I have little doubt that some of the factions we supported were incorporated into ISIS when they were defeated by them. ISIS was mostly formed out of factions of Saddam Hussein’s Ba’ath Party and Al Qaeda. They were supported initially with private money from the Saudis, Qatar, and even our ally Turkey, all of course officially deny this. Even more evidence of the whacky circle of death in the region is that Assad took over as the leader of the Ba’ath Party in Syria and is now of course backed by Iran, Hezzbolah, and Russia. NOTHING in the Middle East is as black and white as you are suggesting here.

      • MattMD says:

        Do you know of any attacks that the government has thwarted? I think 9/11 was a one-off event because people didn’t know that large, wide body aircraft were be going to be used as guided missiles. You did notice how the Shoe Bomber and the Panty Bomber were disarmed by civilians. The government had jack to do with that. They didn’t property screen Nidal Hasan, either. On a personal note, I will have a cook out then that POS is executed.

        All this crap about creating Homeland Security and TSA is just nonsense. We lost our collective minds. How much money did we burn over some dirt-bag hijackers and a terrorist sect located in Central Asia? Trillions.

        Look, I agree with a lot of people in that Islam is a religion that has roots in violence but we don’t compromise our values when dealing with these throwbacks.

  6. virago81 says:

    I wish that Rep Woodall would address the fact that the bombing of Syria, a sovereign nation, has no legal justification. There is no authorization from Congress and there is no UN resolution giving approval. It is so obviously illegal that none of our allies have joined us in bombing inside of Syria and the administration has not even asked the DOJ to provide a legal justification. Does Rep Woodall intend to stand by and let the current administration act as an imperial institution or does he intend to stand up for the rule of law?

    • Will Durant says:

      Pray tell, what is different with this bombing of another sovereign nation without legal justification? Or are we just attacking this particular administration purely on a partisan basis? Thought so. This is hardly a precedent setting action by this president, his predecessor, or many other ones, even (standing with hand over heart), President Reagan. He authorized the attempted assassination of Muammar Gaddafi with bombs to his palace which was only thwarted by one of his wives insisting he sleep outside in a tent. No matter his own criminal actions and whether the action itself was justifiable morally, it was certainly not legal. As Nixon stated the President cannot break the law and we need to go about changing that for all of them, not just this one. We have systematically become willfully ignorant of the last couple of administrations choosing to ignore portions of the Bill of Rights domestically so why pay attention to the treatment of those dang foreigners?

      We are somewhere near 3,000 people killed in the sovereign states of Pakistan, Yemen, & Somalia in the little mentioned Drone Wars. Where are the protests? Well, besides in their countries. It is estimated that in Pakistan over 800 non-combatants have been killed by drones, including 200 or so children. And then we wonder why some of them don’t like America.

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