Indiana Congress responds to chaos in Iraq

Indiana Statehouse, Indianapolis (File Photo)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Members of the Indiana delegation to Congress are speaking out about the deteriorating situation in Iraq where Sunni extremists are battling government forces.

Senator Joe Donnelly called the circumstances in Iraq “extremely serious.” Donnelly, a Democrat, is calling on the Iraqi government to step up and protect its people.

He said that unless there are leadership changes made there can be no long-term stability.

Stability is the goal and while the Obama Administration is open to discussions with Iran about military cooperation to help the Iraqi government regain control, that’s not a popular option with the Indiana Congressmen.

Republican Luke Messer, a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee said. “I have a very hard time trusting Iran to be a force of stability in the Middle East.”

Democrat André Carson is just as wary of Iran.

“I think there’s something we could probably look at down the line,” he said. “But I think there’s still a great deal of suspicion as it relates to dealing with Iran at this point.”

Rep. Carson believes the Obama Administration is handling the situation as well as possible. He points out, however, that 4,000 American lives have been lost there and he’s opposed to the idea of sending troops to Iraq again.

“We could look at a series of options,” he said, “aerial strikes, unmanned vehicles, and launching from some of our nearby warships but boots on the ground, to me, is an option we shouldn’t even consider.”

But there is a consensus that stopping the extremists is a must.

“I think they have to be stopped,” said Rep. Messer. “We have to have stability. It is not in America’s interest to have instability in that region in the world.”

GOP Congressman Todd Young, in the meantime, is critical of the Obama Administration handling of Iraq and said the U.S. must act swiftly to support our allies in the Persian Gulf.

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