LAS VEGAS – Senator Marco Rubio wants to destroy the Islamic State in the Middle East, but he also wants to defeat it on the internet.
In an exclusive interview with Breitbart News, Rubio spoke about the importance of the United States conducting an online messaging war with ISIS to combat its propaganda.
The biggest component, Rubio explained, was to puncture the notion that somehow joining the fight under the Islamic State was glamorous – when the reality proves miserable, especially for foreign fighters.
“They often treat you like cannon fodder, they give you the worst assignments, you’re the first ones they throw into battle and the first ones killed,” he said, describing life in the caliphate cities as “hell on earth” without the basic public services.
Rubio cited the historical nature of information warfare in conflicts including World War II, Vietnam, and the Cold War. The most frequent claim made by Islamic State propaganda describes a utopia under the caliphate, according to reports, and the social benefits that happen as a result of joining.
“We need to start explaining to people that this is not ‘God’s kingdom on this earth’ – This is a hellhole in ISIS controlled territory in the hopes of discouraging people from joining them,” Rubio says.
Most importantly, Rubio explained, the United States would have to step up efforts to publicly humiliate the group and highlight its losses.
“Ultimately one of the best things we can do to win information battles against them is begin to subject them to high profile humiliating defeats and be able to share that information so people can see this is not some unstoppable military force,” he said. “This is a group that can and will be defeated if we commit to it.”
Rubio scoffed at reports revealing that the Department of Homeland Security was intentionally ignoring social media posts from people entering the United States as part of their background checks.
“I won’t even hire anyone whose social media we don’t look at,” Rubio said during a rally yesterday, referring to his campaign. “Imagine letting people into the country without at least looking at their social media which happens to be where people pledge allegiance to ISIS.”