Pat Buchanan on Obama's handling of ISIS threat

Buchanan: ISIS has gotten what it wants


This is a rush transcript from "Your World," September 3, 2014. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: Well, here's how bad this ISIS threat is getting. Even the mainstream media is panicking. And when the comes to this president, scorching.

The New York Daily News today asking, "Do you have a strategy now, Mr. President?" right on its front page. And an op-ed in no less than The Washington Post focusing on what it calls the president's unnerving happy talk.

Pat Buchanan now has advised three U.S. presidents, Nixon, Ford, and Reagan.

What does he make of this one and his handling of this crisis?

Patrick, what do you think?


I think what we just heard was pretty important. Look, this is a barbaric atrocity committed against Americans, but, at the same time, ISIS has gotten pretty much what it wants in terms of the extraordinary publicity they have received in this country. We're talking about them as the existential threat to America.

And even Al Qaeda and my guess is these other Sunni radicals are probably rallying to their flag right now. But I do think that the solution to this lies in two separate parts. In Iraq, I think we should support the Iraqis and the Kurds with airpower. In Syria, I do not believe we should have any boots on the ground in Syria. I don't believe -- I believe what we should do there is talk to Assad, and quite frankly work with him and get permission to use airstrikes to strike these people and pay them back.

CAVUTO: You think would Assad do that? It was a year ago, a year ago, this time of year, that the president was looking at airstrikes within Syria to take out Assad. Now, he shelved that for favor of getting support in Congress to do that, never got that far, but now ironically he would go back to Assad to seek his permission to go and attack ISIS positions?

BUCHANAN: Let me say this.

I think that the last year, the people calming for attacks on Assad were not thinking. One of two or three forces is going to control Damascus, ISIS, Al Qaeda, or Assad. Now, which would you prefer? None of us likes Assad, but he's never been a threat to the United States.

And if you can work with him and even some other unsavory characters and go after ISIS, if ISIS is the main threat to the United States, that's what you ought to do.

CAVUTO: Well, there are many who will dispute that and say we never know who is on first or who is really our friend, and then the case of the Egypt uprising--


BUCHANAN: Well, we're hearing -- we heard an alternative, though.


CAVUTO: But let me raise this, that that's why Americans are leery of protracted entanglements, because just this sort of who's on first, who's our friend, who do we support, who's the least of all the evils comes up.

BUCHANAN: Here's what we ought -- here's what we ought not to do. Do not send another American army into Iraq, and do not send an American army into Syria.


CAVUTO: So, no boots on the ground? Pat Buchanan says no boots on the ground.

BUCHANAN: The Syrians, the Turks, the Iraqis, the Kurds have hundreds of thousands of soldiers. There's about 16,000 in ISIS. They can deal with the boots on the ground and the Americans can provide airpower.

But to send Americans in there, Neil, this is why Al Qaeda is all over the world today. They hit us on 9/11, we go crashing into Afghanistan, try to rebuild it. We go crashing into Iraq. We go crashing into Syria and into Lebanon.


CAVUTO: No, no, I know what you're saying, Pat.

BUCHANAN: Excuse me.

CAVUTO: But are you afraid what happens is, let's say we increase the airstrikes, you're damned if you do, damned if you don't, and all of the sudden these nuts start saying, well, see, the Americans are upping the airstrikes and targeting us, we told you this would happen, we continue with the beheadings, you unite a lot of these crazies into one group that forms this great caliphate, and we actually breed more of the same problem we're trying to eradicate?

BUCHANAN: There is no caliphate that can threaten the United States. The caliphate is a state.

We are threatened by individual terrorists. What we ought to do, this is going to be a long war, Neil. What you ought to do is systematically work with all the players in the region, almost all of whom despise this group, work with them. They provide the troops as they did at Mount Sinjar, as they did in Amirli, and provide the airpower with them and systematically degrade and attack these people until they are finished.


CAVUTO: Well, do you think -- let's say the president does that, because he's been criticized for this management problem remark, to paraphrase, earlier today, and that I guess we can't eradicate them, so at best we try to contain them.

Do you think if that strategy of yours was offered up by this president to Congress, you know, an extended air campaign, no boots on the ground, that Congress would support that and let him do that?

BUCHANAN: Right. I think Congress would support that if the president said, I'm going to use American airpower, we're not going to have boots on the ground in Iraq in any numbers, we're not sending any army--


BUCHANAN: -- into Syria, but I want your support for airstrikes, I think, and to aid and deal with anyone who will help us in this fight.


BUCHANAN: I think he would get an OK.

CAVUTO: All right. We will see about that. Last year, different story.

Pat Buchanan, a former presidential candidate, bestselling author, all right.

Content and Programming Copyright 2014 Fox News Network, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Copyright 2014 CQ-Roll Call, Inc. All materials herein are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of CQ-Roll Call. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content.