Rob O'Neill Gives His Take on ISIS and Winning the War
Megyn Kelly Asks Rob O'Neill to Weigh in on the Progress and Strategy in Iraq.
Following the beheading of U.S. hostage Peter Kassig at the hands of the Islamic State (aka, ISIS), FOX News anchor Megyn Kelly invited former Navy SEAL Robert O'Neill to weigh in on the progress the U.S. has made in fighting the war in Iraq — especially given the insurgence of the terrorist organization, ISIS.
In reference to the barbaric execution of Kassig, who was a U.S. Army veteran, Megyn opens the interview:
"This is exactly why you went over there…to fight these guys and take out terrorists like this. Your thought on whether we've made real progress and how much progress we've made against them."
O'Neill: "We've made progress. We've made good progress in both theaters over there. It looks like something we're going to have to do again. These guys…they waited for us to leave. We gave them the name al Qaeda in Iraq. Once they knew we were going to leave, they held back and waited. They knew they could rise up and start fighting their other enemies, the Shia."
Megyn: "If we really wanted to take them out and actually destroy them, as President Obama has said we want to do, could we do it?"
O'Neill: "In a heartbeat. They're afraid to fight us. They've seen what we can do. They just know right now we're unsure of the American people's will to go back and fight them."
Megyn: "When they say they're going to come to America and start slaughtering people on the streets…people worry, people get scared. Here's someone (O'Neill) who has publically outed himself as the man who killed Osama bin Laden. Aren't you worried for yourself?"
O'Neill: "I take my security very seriously. I'm prepared for it. As far as ISIS coming here in mass, they know what we can do to them. They know what would happen if they came on our home court. They don't have a chance over here."
Megyn: Now that millions of people know who you are…has life changed?
O'Neill: Yes. I get recognized when I go places. I went to a football game and a guy asked me to sign his football. I said, I'm a Redskins fan like you, let's see if one of these guys will sign it."
Megyn: "You're not just any Redskins fan — 400 combat missions, two silver stars, four bronze stars…were on the SEAL Team Six mission, obviously, to kill Osama bin Laden…the SEAL Team Six mission to rescue Captain Phillips…and help rescue fellow SEAL Marcus Luttrell, and the list goes on."
With that said, she adds: "Some of us are surprised to see the blowback against you. I realize it's controversial to speak out as a Navy SEAL. Are you surprised more SEALs haven't come out and said, I disagree with you speaking out, but this is my brother?"
O'Neill: I have had that. Some of my friends. Even the ones that disagree, they're supportive. I know these guys. They're the best people in the world as far as I'm concerned. And I want to be liked by all of them."
O'Neill compares SEAL life to "a train that's moving very, very fast. And if you jump off the train it's going to keep moving." He adds, "They're doing their job, and it's just not in the SEAL culture to speak out, but something of this magnitude…just the positive effect I can have on the country…on 9/11 families…on vets." With regard to his reference to helping vets, O'Neill elaborates on his work with a veterans support charity (YourGratefulNation.org) and their focus on supporting special operations veterans leaving the military without a pension.
O'Neill makes note that he served 16 years and left the military without the security of a pension.
His objective: "I'm trying to pay it forward."