OTR Interviews

Allen West: Has the US already surrendered to ISIS?

With ISIS having captured more than 200 Christians in Syria and expanding its reach - and the US military depleted - former congressman and vet wonders whether the Obama admin has given up

 

This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," February 26, 2015. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Developing now, more Christians kidnapped by ISIS. That number in the last couple days spiking to more than 200. That according to human rights groups monitoring the grave situation in Syria where ISIS is on a campaign raiding dozens of villages. There's no doubt about it, every day, ISIS expanding its reach.

Army veteran and former congressman, Allen West, bringing up this question: Has the U.S. already surrendered to ISIS?

Colonel West joins us. Really? Surrendered?

COL. ALLEN WEST, FORMER CONGRESSMAN: Well, it's amazing what you look at. The Heritage Foundation put out a report about how we are disseminating our United States military. We are sitting back and we're believing we can fight one war strategy and maybe try to contend or hold off other contingencies. When you look at how the Islamist terrorist enemy has been able to spread across about 11 different countries, we have multiple combat theaters that we are not able to deploy and stem this tide.

VAN SUSTEREN: I don't get it. I looked today, I saw some pictures sent of children, children being crucified, children with guns up to their heads. The worst ugliest pictures can you imagine. These are Christian children. I don't know why, you know, more people aren't up in arms. You know, that this is going on to these people. It's unbelievable.

WEST: I think more people are up in arms but, for whatever reason, we have a recalcitrance. We have some paralysis up here in Washington, D.C. I keep hearing about America being war weary, but you only have about 2 percent that has been out there serving in uniform. They are more than willing to go to go and fight this enemy. But we don't need these restrictive rules in engagement. We don't need the commander-in-chief saying what we are not going to do and how long we are not going to do it. Limiting himself to three years.

VAN SUSTEREN: I know the discussion being war weary and, you know, some people are. I mean, I think that's an important discussion. And I get it. I don't even see -- I think that we really should reach out to the world. I mean, I think others in the world --

WEST: Absolutely.

VAN SUSTEREN: There are ways that we can sort of share the responsibility and we can be meeting with President Hollande. The president of the United States can meet with President Hollande of France, with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. They're seeing the same pictures we are. David Cameron.

WEST: With King Abdullah of Jordan --

VAN SUSTEREN: Yes.

WEST: -- with President al Sisi of Egypt, with the Kurdish regional government leaders, with the United Arab Emirates. All of them are looking for someone that will step up and lead. We should take that role and responsibility.

VAN SUSTEREN: Or just get everybody together and start talking. Show them the pictures. When you look at the pictures and don't sit there like dead weight. You at least want to come up with some solution.

WEST: You are absolutely right. A lot of people are concerned because in the past 10 to 13 years, we have been fighting occupational style warfare. We have been sitting in one place, building roads, schools. That's not what this is about. This is about strike operations. This is about power projections. This is about finding the enemy and bringing lethal and violent destruction against them.

VAN SUSTEREN: What's going to happen to these Christians? I mean, more than 200, you know, now on the list just in a couple days. It's astounding.

WEST: Unfortunately, some of them will be killed.

(CROSSTALK)

WEST: The women and some of the girls will be sold off into slavery. We should not have this type of savage barbarism in the 21st century but we are sitting back and watching it happen.

VAN SUSTEREN: You say some will be. Look at the opposite. What is their motive to keep them? They haven't asked for ransom for any of them. They haven't asked for that.

WEST: This is genocidal.

VAN SUSTEREN: Right. Right.

WEST: This is --

(CROSSTALK)

VAN SUSTEREN: They're not going to sit and feed them.

WEST: No.

VAN SUSTEREN: ISIS isn't going to spend all their money on them. They are not going to babysit them. What possible reason could they have to get these Christians, except for the fact that they're Christians and they intend to kill them?

WEST: That's the bottom line to all of this. This is another episode of genocide against Christians in that part of the world. The Assyrians faced the same genocide from the Ottoman Empire back in 1914. Here we are allowing history, a very ugly, dark history to repeat itself.

VAN SUSTEREN: Are we simply looking the other way? Really, is that what this is?

WEST: I think we are looking away. I recently had a little girl ask me, how can such evil exist in her world today. And I couldn't answer.

VAN SUSTEREN: So, what is going to happen?

WEST: We need leadership. We need leadership that stands up and says this is what we're going to do strategically. This is not about going in and rebuilding nations but this is about eradicating a cancer and we are going to kill this cancer wherever it exists and do it with lethal force. We are going to do it as part of a broader coalition to include Muslim nations that want to make sure that their religion is not indicative of what we see happening right now.

VAN SUSTEREN: Do you think President Obama behind the scenes is doing everything he can trying to get these nations and trying to get support and that, you know, this is the 24/7, and maybe we see things on the outside and appears like he is --

WEST: No. Because he --

(CROSSTALK)

VAN SUSTEREN: I'm trying to give him the benefit of the doubt.

WEST: You are doing very good. But, no, the truth is the Kurdish Peshmerga, who has been asking for weapons and support, they are not getting it. The --

VAN SUSTEREN: Those are the ones that got marched around in cages.

WEST: Absolutely.

VAN SUSTEREN: That was --

WEST: They are very strong fighters. But you can't take old, ancient A.K.-47s against an army that is now in possession of U.S. military weaponry. The Jordanians, the Egyptians and the requests they have for intelligence support to go after ISIS targets were denied. So the evidence is there. It's quite clear.

VAN SUSTEREN: Colonel, thank you. Nice to see you.

WEST: Always a pleasure.