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Rep. Mike Rogers does not agree with Sen. Lindsey Graham about the United States working with Iran to stop the terroist group ISIS
by Nathan'ette Burdine: June 17, 2014

Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI), chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, disagrees with Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) about the United States working with Iran to stop the terrorist group the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) from advancing onto the Iraqi capital of Baghdad.

During a Sunday appearance on Fox News’ “Fox News Sunday,” Rogers told Chris Wallace that the U.S. would be falling “into a trap” if President Obama decided to work with the Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.

Rogers said, “I wouldn’t fall into that trap-Iran has been in Iraq for years. So we know that and we know what their capabilities are. I think it’s a mistake.”

Graham, however, equated working with Iran with the United States working with former Russian President Joseph Stalin during World War II.

During his Sunday appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Graham told Dana Bash and Gloria Borger, who were filling in for Candy Crowley, that it’s a choice of which enemy is the better one to work with in order to prevent the situation from escalating beyond Iraq’s borders to the United States.

Borger asked Graham if he would be comfortable with the decision to work with Iran. And Graham responded, “No, hell no it doesn’t. Why did we deal with Stalin because he was not as bad as Hitler. The Iranians can provide some um assets to make sure that Baghdad doesn’t fall. We need to coordinate with the Iranians and the Turks need to get into the game and get the Sunni Arabs back into the game.”

Rogers and Graham, however, do agree that the U.S. needs to include Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and the United Arab Emirates in order to stop ISIS from advancing.

The congressmen said that allowing ISIS to advance into Baghdad “will” result in them advancing beyond Iraq and Syria.

Rogers and Graham stated that this scenario will result in ISIS getting more economic and military support that will allow them to commit another attack on the West.

Wallace questioned if U.S. involvement will result in a civil war between the Sunnis and Shiites.

Rogers made clear that he views the situation as a threat from al Qaeda and not one from the Sunnis and Shiites. “You have an al-Qaeda army on the loose. This isn’t just the Sunnis versus the Shiites. This is an al-Qaeda minded group that is using all of the tactics of brutality to subdue Mosul, Tikrit, and other places. This is as dangerous as it gets,” said Rogers.

Rogers told Wallace that due to the increasing threat of Westerners joining the terrorist group, President Obama does not have time to think about possible options.

Rogers cited the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, the 1998 bombing of the U.S. Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, the 2000 bombing of USS Cole in Yemen, and 9/11 as evidence that not taking action will result in “deadly” consequences for the U.S.

Rogers said that a question the U.S. must ask is does it want to deal with the rising ISIS threat in “New York” or in Iraq.

Graham echoed Rogers’ concerns. Graham told Bash and Borger that ISIS’ expansion will result in the terrorist group using Iraq and Syria to build its wealth in order to fund another attack.

Graham pointed out that this will lead to the next 9/11 being planned in Iraq and Syria and that it will also result in the world economy collapsing.

“Iraq and Syria combine are going to be staging area for the next 9/11 if we don’t do something about it. The people holding ground in Iraq, also hold ground in Syria. Economic instability that comes from a collapse will affect gas prices and our economic recovery. But the main reason is if ISIS is not dealt with that’s the staging area for a new attack on the United States,” said Graham.

Rogers told Wallace that in order to stop ISIS from advancing, the U.S. needs to work with the Arab countries and use a two front military strategy, one involving airstrikes and jet fighters, to weaken the terrorist group in Eastern Syria and Iraq.

Rogers made clear that the military strategy does not have to include “boots on the ground,” and can be successful from the air.

Both congressmen also agreed that Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki needs to be removed from office in order to successfully restructure the Iraqi government.

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