Clinton: Republican "Clash Of Civilizations" Rhetoric Is A Recruiting Tool For ISIS

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Hillary Clinton spoke with George Stephaopoulos about the war against ISIS, specifically why she thinks we don't need an official declaration of war.

"There are a lot [of legal experts] who say that we already have the authority we need to go after ISIS or any international terrorist network, including al Qaeda and anybody else in the [Authorization for Use of Military Force]," she said. "I think it is important, though, for the Congress to vote on behalf of the American people and to make sure that we are updating it to take into account the new authorities that that risks."

"Look, that -- you know enough about religion, you've studied it. And there are radicals, people who believe all kinds of things in every religion in the world... I don't want to do that because, number one, it doesn't do justice to the vast numbers of Muslims in our own country and around the world who are peaceful people."

"Number two, it helps to create this clash of civilizations that is actually a recruiting tool for ISIS and other radical jihadists who use this as a way of saying we're in a war against the West. You must join us. If you are a Muslim, you must join us."

STEPHANOPOULOS: You put -- you've also been reluctant to say we're fighting radical Islam. And I wonder why not.

Isn't it a mistake not to say it plain, that the violence is being pushed by radical elements in that faith?

CLINTON: Well, that's a different thing. Radical elements who use a dangerous and distorted view of Islam to promote their jihadist ambitions, I'm fine with that. I say it all the time and I go after Islamic, too.

STEPHANOPOULOS: So what's the problem with radical Islam?

CLINTON: Well, the problem is that that sounds like we are declaring war against a religion. And that, to me, is, number one, wrong but...

STEPHANOPOULOS: Even though the qualifier radical is there?

CLINTON: No, because, look, that -- you know enough about religion, you've studied it. And there are radicals, people who believe all kinds of things in every religion in the world.

I don't want to do that because, number one, it doesn't do justice to the vast numbers of Muslims in our own country and around the world who are peaceful people.

Number two, it helps to create this clash of civilizations that is actually a recruiting tool for ISIS and other radical jihadists who use this as a way of saying we're in a war against the West. You must join us. If you are a Muslim, you must join us.

No. If you're a law-abiding, peace-loving Muslim, you need to be with us against those who are distorting Islam.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Can you say today that we're winning the fight against ISIS?

CLINTON: I could say today that we have a new set of threats. You know, if -- if you go back and look where we were with al Qaeda in 9/11, there's no doubt bin Laden and his lieutenants were planning to carry out additional attacks, if they possibly could. And they did in places like Madrid and London, etc.

So we have dealt with that threat. It doesn't go away. We haven't eliminated it, but we've dealt with it.

Now, we have to turn our attention to the very sophisticated propagation of this new threat from ISIS.

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