Former Vice President Dick Cheney met with House Republicans Tuesday morning after returning from their August recess, warning lawmakers about how grave the threat of Islamic State (ISIS) terrorists is.
But some anti-interventionist Republicans were not thrilled about Cheney’s foreign policy views returning to prominence in the party.
Rep. Justin Amash, R-MI, fresh off of his victory of a contentious Republican primary, was one of them.
Asked by the Washington Post’s Robert Costa whether it was time for Republicans to stop listening to Cheney, Amash replied “Yeah … Because Republicans don’t agree with him … they don’t agree with him on foreign policy.”
Amash explained that Cheney didn’t articulate a particular policy for dealing with ISIS, but suggested that his world view was outdated.
“His world view is that we should be in countries around the world and have armed forces everywhere and most Republicans don’t agree with that.
When asked about a majority of Americans supporting President Obama’s air strikes in Iraq, Amash said that limited airstrikes might be something that Republicans could get behind.
“Well, again it goes down into details of what you are describing, there are libertarians that might support limited military strikes so it depends on what your describing and what the threat is,” he explained.
Amash disagreed with reporters that Republican hawks were coming back into the party.
“Did you see my election?” he replied.
Another anti-interventionist Congressman, Rep. Thomas Massie R-KY, was a little softer towards Cheney, politely telling reporters that he wouldn’t criticize the former Vice President after he took the time to visit with the Republican conference.
“His advice was mainly to spend more money on the military,” he said, adding that he believed that Congress should “spend less money on everything.”
When asked about airstrikes in the Middle East, Massie explained that the beheading of two American journalists was not cause enough to start a war in the Middle East.
“I think there were two journalists murdered,” Massie said, calling for the United States should “track down and bring to justice” the individuals responsible for the crime.
“We should first try to find out which country they were murdered in and try to work through that country’s government if you know maybe we need to help Assad find the murderers,” he said.
“I don’t think two beheadings justifies a war,” Massie continued. “I think that justice is warranted, but I don’t think a war is warranted over two YouTube videos.”
Massie indicated that ISIS likely created the videos to draw America further into a fight, creating a recruitment opportunity. Air strikes killing innocent civilians, he added, would turn moderate Muslims against America.
Massie said that it was time for Obama to request another authorization of military force from Congress, instead of relying on the Congressional authorization in Iraq from 2003.
“I disagree, I think its a different war against different enemies, the only thing in common is the geography,” he said. “At this moment I’m inclined not to vote for it.”