Following the latest atrocity by the Islamic State/ISIL terrorist group, Virginia’s two U.S. Senators have issued statements this morning and early afternoon. First, here’s Sen. Kaine:
My prayers go out to the family and friends of Steven Sotloff. His murder was a barbaric act by members of ISIL who yet again proved that what the terrorist group represents has no place in humanity. This tragedy reinforces what I have long said – that this Administration should come to Congress with clear objectives and scope of mission to combat the ISIL threat, and Congress should immediately debate an authorization to use military force.
I just finished conversations in Tunisia and Morocco — two longtime partners in our fight against terrorism — about the ISIL threat and the possibility of foreign fighters returning home. Over the next few days I will be speaking with servicemembers at U.S. Naval Station Rota, Spain, and our Spanish counterparts, about addressing the ISIL threat. Now is the time for Congress to hear the Administration’s rationale for military action against ISIL, and vote up or down on an authorization.
Now, here’s Sen. Warner:
We are repulsed yet again by the barbaric tactics of the terrorist group ISIL, and our thoughts today are with the families of American journalists Steven Sotloff and James Foley.
I urge the Administration to come to Congress with a clear strategy and political and military options for eliminating the ISIL threat. The United States should not take any military options off the table, because stopping ISIL is in the national security and foreign policy interests of the U.S. and our European allies. We need to see the Iraqis, other partners across the region, and our European allies in NATO stand up and stand together against the ISIL threat.
I agree that “stopping ISIL is in the national security and foreign policy interests of the U.S. and our European allies” and also that “this Administration should come to Congress with clear objectives and scope of mission to combat the ISIL threat.” I’m just not sure how we go after ISIL without getting dragged into a quagmire, helping other unsavory characters (e.g., Syrian President Assad; Iran). What a mess.