In Tuesday’s State of the Union address, President Barack Obama flatly rejected GOP presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)’s call to fight the threat of the Islamic State by carpet bombing areas of the Middle East occupied by terrorist fighters.
We need “more than tough talk or calls to carpet bomb civilians,” Obama said, adding: “That may work as a TV sound bite, but it doesn’t pass muster on the world stage.”
The Associated Press pointed out that such a campaign would be difficult, given the high volume of civilians living in ISIL-occupied territory, after Cruz proposed carpet bombing “where ISIS is, not a city” during a December Republican presidential debate.
Obama instead called for a diplomatic, coalition-based solution, arguing that the U.S. must also refrain from trying to “take over and rebuild every country that falls into crisis.”
“That’s not leadership. That’s a recipe for quagmire, spilling American blood and treasure that ultimately weakens us,” he said of the carpet-bombing proposal. “It’s the lesson of Vietnam, of Iraq – and we should have learned it by now.”