(CBS) — A request for U.S. air strikes by the Iraqi government was revealed in a hearing chaired by Illinois Senator Dick Durbin.
CBS 2 Chief Correspondent Jay Levine monitored the hearing and reports that there were mixed emotions, not only about getting involved in Iraq but also with Iran.
No one was talking when the briefing ended and that continued silence was troubling to Indiana’s U.S. Senator Dan Coats.
“It’d be good for the president to talk to Congress and the American people to let them know where we are,” said Coats during the hearing.
With radical Sunni forces reportedly marching on Baghdad, senators appeared surprised when a U.S. top military commander revealed that the Iraqi government had asked for U.S. air support.
“I think it’s in our national security interest to counter ISIL wherever we find them,” said
University of Chicago global affairs expert Marvin Zonis disagrees.
“I don’t see why fall of the Maliki government would be terrible for the United States,” said Zonis. “Getting deeper into Iraq in other words is not in our national interests.”
CBS 2 also talked with Nabeel Koury with the Chicago Council on Global Affairs.
“It is in the U.S. interest that these people be contained. However, intervening directly on the side of Iran is not a good idea,” said Koury.
Because the Iranians, who we accuse of being involved in state-sponsored terrorism are already in Iraq helping the government try to repel the rebel forces. Zonis counters that the U.S. and Iran already worked together right after 9-11.
“What Iran did was to ID Taliban locations so that American bombers could better destroy Taliban bases,” said Zonis.
Zonis says the same thing could happen in Iraq. But Zonis and Khoury disagree on what we have to gain by rushing in to rescue the Iraqi government. Specificly on whether ISIS is as great a threat to us and our interests as Al Queda or other terrorist groups.