September 20th, 2014
03:23 AM ET

Clinton on the ISIS threat

Fareed speaks with former U.S. President Bill Clinton about how to respond to the threat posed by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. Watch the full interview on "Fareed Zakaria GPS," this Sunday at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. ET on CNN.

So I've got to ask you about ISIS. I saw you on "The Daily Show" say that you thought we had to respond to these brutal executions of Americans. But I want to press you. Isn't that what ISIS wants? Wasn’t the purpose of the executions to bait us?

No, but there's a difference in, for example, using targeted drones and airstrikes as we did against al Qaeda effectively for years to try to take down their leadership and infrastructure and let them know they can't just decapitate people for the cheap thrill of the global media response. And horrifying people and get away with it and getting bogged down in the kind of war they would like us to get bogged down in – that would cost us a lot of lives and a lot of treasure and inevitably lead to greater civilian casualties. That’s why I think the president's strategy has a chance of succeeding, because the Iraqi government is now more inclusive than it has been since the fall of Saddam Hussein. And that seems to be awakening, if you will, the willingness of the Sunni tribal leaders to participate in fighting.

We know the Kurds and the Peshmerga are willing to fight. If we can help them and support them, I think the larger fight against ISIS can continue as it should – as a local struggle for the freedom and liberty of the people. ​

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soundoff (27 Responses)
  1. Joey Isotta-Fraschini©

    I am glad that Former President Clinton supports Obama's measured response to the Islamic State. At this time, Clinton's position will be helpful to his party on November 4, and to his spouse in maintaining her powerful support regarding her probable presidency.
    I support Obama strongly. In the matter of the Islamic State, it would please me to see a lot more supporters of that group vaporized by USA bombs.

    September 20, 2014 at 8:00 am |
    • Joey Isotta-Fraschini

      What would one expect this bozo to say, Joey? Of course he's going to say Obama's doing the right thing here. We need to find a way to contact the ISIS and try to put an end to this insanity. Our continued presence over there will only drain the national budget further and produce even more bloodshed.

      September 20, 2014 at 10:21 am |
      • rupert

        Thank you, Joey. I fully agree. We must simply get out of the Middle East and let those people sort it out!

        September 20, 2014 at 3:33 pm |
      • j. von hettlingen

        I doubt if Clinton would criticise what Obama is trying to do! He was much under attack himself for doing nothing to stop the genocide in Rwanda in 1994!

        September 22, 2014 at 11:00 am |
    • banasy©

      I just do not want boots on the ground.

      September 20, 2014 at 10:49 am |
      • Joey Isotta-Fraschini©

        Good, @ banasy. I just do not want the Islamic State there.
        There's more than one way to skin a king cobra.

        September 20, 2014 at 11:14 am |
      • banasy©

        I know, JIF.

        September 20, 2014 at 11:36 am |
      • banasy©

        Let me further clarify that I support Obama's strategy.

        September 20, 2014 at 11:40 am |
  2. chri§§y

    Lol @ Joey better there than here.

    September 20, 2014 at 11:21 am |
  3. rupert

    Mo matter what Obama says now, I expect that sooner or later, we will have boots on the ground over.

    September 20, 2014 at 12:10 pm |
    • rupert

      Sorry for the misprint. I meant over there, not just "over". My apology.

      September 20, 2014 at 12:12 pm |
      • rupert


        September 21, 2014 at 10:13 pm |
  4. chri§§y

    I agree @ banasy i support his strategy as well. And heres a funny thing, Republican Rand Paul from Kentucky does also!

    September 20, 2014 at 12:53 pm |
    • banasy©

      Rand Paul holds a lot of his father's views, which are Libertarian isolationist, @Chrissy. He uses the Republican platform to gain widespread acceptance.

      September 20, 2014 at 2:31 pm |
  5. chri§§y

    Lol @ rupert we knew. Remember what you told me yesterday? "No need to correct yourself we knew, the whole world knows what you meant."

    September 20, 2014 at 12:56 pm |
    • Joseph McCarthy

      @chrissy. That's George Patton. U nitwit. Not my friend, rupert

      September 21, 2014 at 10:11 pm |
  6. Ferhat Balkan

    History has shown that people run to the Republican party whenever there is a so called "imminent threat" to the US. We saw this situation before the Iraq war and now we see it again with ISIS. In recent GALLUP polls, most Americans favored the Republican party in dealing with ISIS. Guess what the Republicans want.. More war. Fear mongering wins them over and over again. Did the last war in Iraq solve anything? No, in fact it created more problems than it solved. The Iraq war is the very reason we see ISIS there today... We repeat our history again and again never to learn our lesson: war is not the answer.

    September 20, 2014 at 4:05 pm |
    • George patton

      Good posting, Ferhat. Well said.

      September 20, 2014 at 4:09 pm |
  7. chri§§y

    Odd how the story on the homepage about Rand Paul is NOTHING like the speech he gave yesterday on the House floor. Yesterday he stated he was against ALL US military action in Iraq.

    September 20, 2014 at 5:55 pm |
    • George patton

      I too am against all military action in Iraq, chrissy, just as Rand Paul is. I'd love to vote for him in 2016 but unfortunately, he won't be nominated, thanks to the ignorance of the Republican voters!!!

      September 20, 2014 at 7:52 pm |
  8. Mike

    The Islamic State is not something new!
    It happened in Iran 35 years ago and Iranian people still have big trouble to get rid of it.
    The dictator religious Iran regime torching and jailing and executing of people because they wanted democracy and freedom.
    The Iran regime keep the Iranian people in a big jail and try to
    expand its empire all around including Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan,
    Bahrain, Yemen....with exporting the Shia terrorist groups like Hezbollah, Badre
    and Ghods sepah.
    They also making Nuclear bomb and rockets in their hidden military sites....
    The USA must planning to fight against all the Islamic radical groups – Shia and Sunni – in the region (included Pakistan).

    September 21, 2014 at 11:33 am |
  9. Mike

    All those groups from Shia groups like Sepah badre, Ghods , Hezbollah, or Sunie like ISIS, Taliban, Alghadi or Alnasre are looking for terror, tension and also Nuclear bomb!.
    The region must be cleaned up from all those extremist groups!

    September 21, 2014 at 11:34 am |
  10. chri§§y

    Alpha male syndrome is what it is!!!

    September 21, 2014 at 1:19 pm |
  11. Matt

    I don't know Bubba.

    September 21, 2014 at 2:20 pm |
  12. moj ofilter

    So far all thats really known about IS are their leaders name and the hierarchical structure....also they drive Toyotas and seem to be using American weapons only? So where is the most likely place they got these weapons from? Nobody can give any indication whatsoever on how many civilians,churches ,etc were destroyed apart from the 2 beheadings ...everything else is speculation and frankly lies....the big bogeyman ...we have seen opposition forces being slaughtered certainly but many others are just as culpable.

    September 21, 2014 at 2:58 pm |
  13. chri§§y

    @ Joseph do you even know WHAT youre talking about? And the only nitwit around here is you ya derp!

    September 21, 2014 at 11:22 pm |
  14. chri§§y

    True @ j von. Also he and the POTUS are friends and Obama is smart enough to ask advice from Clinton. Especially on how to deal with congressional shenanigins!

    September 22, 2014 at 1:59 pm |

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