NBC Chief Foreign Correspondent Richard Engel accused the Obama administration of talking to itself and “living in a delusion” in its strategy to combat ISIS on Monday’s “Andrea Mitchell Reports” on MSNBC.
“The hard part is when you have to actually do the fighting and figure out who is going to take the ground, what is the role of Iran, what is the role of Syria. And if you also look at those thirty countries you mentioned who are in Paris, they are discussing the future of Iraq and Syria, really because ISIS spans both sides of the border. But Syria isn’t there. Iran isn’t there. And both of these countries have an enormous amount of influence, Syria having the most influence in its own country. So, to be planning the future of this action without talking to key players seems like it’s, you’re really talking to yourself” he stated.
He also pointed to the administration’s refusal to negotiate with the Assad regime while ordering airstrikes against ISIS in Syria as evidence that “they are living in a delusion because they are saying ‘Assad must go. We can’t talk to Assad because Assad is a bad regime…but if the air strikes happen, Assad is going to benefit. It is Assad’s forces and Iran forces who are going to move in and take that territory. So, we can say ‘oh, Assad is so awful that we can’t have him at a same conference, he can’t even sit at the same table,’ but we can carry out air strikes for him and allow him to reconquer his country? I think that’s a fundamental contradiction. One of many contradictions that will emerge the deeper they dig in.”
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