Author Topic: Breaking News: Tom Ridge in Favor of Talks with Sunni Tribal Leaders to Comba...  (Read 5952 times)

The Costa Report

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    • The Costa Report

by American sociobiologist, Rebecca D. Costa

Tom Ridge, first United States Secretary of Homeland Security, is concerned that ISIL is being mischaracterized as a terrorist organization. "It's an army," said Ridge, "not some terrorist, cell, or group of cells."  On The Costa Report, Ridge laid the growing problem in the Middle East at the doorstep of U.S. leaders, urging that Obama's desire to avoid becoming a "wartime president" be put aside. "To say this [U.S. air campaign] is a counter terrorist operation … diminishes the severity of the challenge to America and its allies," Ridge explained. "The notion that we can just simply destroy this enemy with drone attacks - with missiles from ships, and bombs from airplanes - is contrary to how war needs to be fought if we seek to win it."

Ridge supports re-opening a dialogue with Sunni tribal leaders, many of whom Ridge claims have previously cooperated with the State Department. According to Ridge, leaders such as generals Petraeus and McChrystal, "worked with and had tremendous credibility with many Sunni tribal leaders." Supporting Ridge's claim that Sunni tribal leaders can play an important role in bringing the ISIL conflict to a fast end, Josh Rushing, American reporter for Al Jazeera, reports that the U.S. relationship with Sunni leaders deteriorated when the promise of a representative government in Iraq failed to materialize. Government appointments in the Iraqi administration were awarded to Shia, and the new regime ordered the military to open fire on Sunni protesters. As a result, the relationship between Sunni leaders and the United States grew strained and distant.

Presently, Sunni tribes consist of millions of members, with a single tribe reporting as many as 600,000 armed soldiers prepared to join the campaign against ISIL. Rushing, who recently met face-to-face with Sunni leaders along the Iraq-Syrian border, reports that the U.S. State Department has not engaged Sunni leaders in the present conflict.

To hear the unedited interview with Tom Ridge, visit


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