During an appearance Wednesday on Fox News’ America’s Newsroom, Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK) told anchor Martha McCallum that it was absolutely necessary for America to commit combat troops to the Middle East to combat ISIS because the terrorist group is a “threat to mainland United States.” Inhofe said this despite the Department of Homeland Security recently saying ISIS poses no real threat on US soil. In the interview, Inhofe and McCallum also misrepresented Gen. Martin Dempsey’s statements on Tuesday, claiming that Dempsey explicitly supported sending in ground troops right away to fight ISIS. The reality is that Dempsey was discussing a hypothetical scenario in which he would recommend to President Obama advisers being used as combat troops.
Below is video of the interview, courtesy of Fox News:
For the most part, the interview was really an opportunity for Inhofe and McCallum to beat the war drums loudly while at the same time ridiculing and criticizing the President of the United States. In other words, just another day at Fox News. However, false information, misrepresentation of facts and outright lying needs to be pointed out, even if it is on a network that exists solely to be the GOP’s propaganda machine.
One major issue apparent in the discussion was that McCallum and Inhofe seemed to think the American public supports sending US combat troops to the Middle East to fight on the ground. Inhofe stated that since we are already at war with ISIS and thus, combat troops are necessary. Both the Oklahoma senator and McCallum suggested that the American public is well aware of this and, because of this, are supportive of US ground troops. The fact is, a large majority of Americans (62% in an NBC poll; over 75% in an earlier CNN poll) do support President Obama’s plan of dealing with ISIS via airstrikes. However, polls still show that a large majority of Americans DO NOT support ground troops in the Middle East.
Inhofe also thinks he caught Dempsey in a precarious position and that he contradicted the President during questioning on Tuesday. While at the Armed Services Committee hearing where Dempsey provided his hypothetical scenario, Inhofe asked Dempsey about airstrikes. Basically, Inhofe wanted to know if planes dropping bombs were part of a combat mission and if pilots that are shot down would be rescued by the United States. Dempsey answered yes to both questions. Inhofe told McCallum that this proves that we already have combat troops in place, proving the President wrong on his promise of no ‘boots on the ground.’
However, the biggest issue with this interview was we were presented with another war-loving Republican using fear to frighten Americans into supporting another endless skirmish in the Middle East. Inhofe, like other imperialistic neo-cons, claimed that ISIS is a direct threat to the American homeland. While President Obama is trying desperately to avoid a needless ground war, while at the same time punishing a terrorist group for their heinous acts and the threats they pose to the region, hawks like Inhofe, John McCain and Lindsey Graham are making irresponsible and inflammatory comments at every opportunity in an effort to scare the public into supporting a full-scale war that will cost American lives and billions and billions of dollars.
Justin Baragona is the Managing Editor at Politicus Sports as well as Senior Editor at PoliticusUSA. He was a political writer for 411Mania.com before joining PoliticusUSA. Politically, Justin considers himself a liberal but also a realist and pragmatist. Currently, Justin lives in St. Louis, MO and is married. Besides writing, he also runs his own business after spending a number of years in the corporate world. You can follow Justin on Twitter either with his personal handle (@justinbaragona) or the Sports site’s (@PoliticusSports).