September 9th, 2013
07:56 PM ET
7 months ago

Paul: We can't be allies with al Qaeda

(CNN) - The United States should not take action in Syria, because it would appear to be siding with an opposition force that has extremist elements, Sen. Rand Paul said Monday in the debut of CNN's new "Crossfire."

"We've seen priests beheaded by the Islamic rebels...We've also seen an Islamic rebel eating the heart of a soldier. So it's not like there's no atrocity on the other side, and al Qaeda is on the other side," he said. "I can't conceive of how we would go in and be allies with al Qaeda."

The Kentucky Republican has been a vocal opponent to President Barack Obama's August 31 proposal to take military action in Syria following the regime's alleged use of chemical weapons against the opposition.

For his part, Sen. Robert Menendez, D-New Jersey, argued he's not calling for the U.S. to align with al Qaeda but said there are "vetted elements of the Syrian opposition that we believe...would largely share our values."

"If you just sit back and say 'you know what, there's no consequences to the use of chemical weapons. Go kill another 1,400. Go kill another 14,000,' at what point do the consequences of those actions not only send a message in Syria, but globally we want the Ayatollah in Iran to head our message," he said. "We want the dictator of North Korea to understand 'Do not cross a line' as well. This is, I think, even beyond Assad."

Menendez is chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations committee, which passed an authorization resolution last week to grant authorization to the president. Paul is also a member of the committee but voted against the resolution.


Filed under: Bob Menendez • Crossfire
soundoff (31 Responses)
  1. Thomas

    Randy Paul only wants to bomb Iran ..

    He will do what it takes , he's the AQUA BUDDHA !

    September 9, 2013 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  2. GOP = Greed Over People

    Oops, one of the GOP "whacko birds" is dissin' the "songbird's" new BFFs!

    September 9, 2013 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  3. Tampa Tim

    Rand continues to make Bunning look like a genius.

    September 9, 2013 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  4. Ngoc-V-Le/Le-Roy

    TO EVERYONE! Living in the WORLD. Dear: Sir/ Madam.Who want to be the War?The War no go to Business or Economics.The War that is a Enemy Between the people to the people!but matter effect toThe Children life..we need pacific all together and humane,moral. Dear:Sir/Madam in the World only Communist Party Themselves inhuman,immoral..who what everwant to be the WAR Because! THE war the People kill the people .not. Somebody want to be WAR.

    September 9, 2013 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  5. Evergreen

    Sen. Paul should have the conversation with Sen. McCain.

    September 9, 2013 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  6. bear

    All of this "we have to strike at Assad so Iran and N. Korea will behave themselves" talk is BS. If this was the case than the Iraq War would have caused both Iran and NK to drop their nuke programs. Instead it just reinforced to them that they need nukes to keep us from invading.

    Strike at Syria and you will convince other nations of the need to have some sort of trump card to use against us should we suddenly decide we do not like what they are doing.

    September 9, 2013 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  7. DCBill

    Paul's wrong and is in his campaign mode for the GOP nomination.

    In WWll, we warmed up to part of the French ("those who didn't side with Hitler") when it was questionable. Ditto with the Russians.

    Wake up, Rand.

    September 9, 2013 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  8. David Davidson

    This man should be president

    September 9, 2013 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  9. Hohumm

    For once, and probably only once, I fully agree with Rand Paul. We need to keep out of Syria. It's LOSE/LOSE!

    September 9, 2013 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  10. alecmowat

    I liked the part when Cutter cut him off and said "That's not true" and completely lied to all of our faces.
    Last time I watch anything on CNN.

    September 9, 2013 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  11. ricardo1968

    "Don't be allies with Al-Qaeda." it sounds sensible, but Assad has proved himself to be every bit as bad as Al-Qaeda, and there is no reason for anyone to prefer him over them. Add to this the fact these petty dictators are the very reason Al-Qaeda exists in the first place, and the choice is clear. Get rid of the Assads of the world, and Al-Qaeda will fade away.

    September 9, 2013 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  12. jerd

    i can't stand rand paul, but he's got a point on this one.

    September 9, 2013 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  13. elvinmerij

    Ok, I don't get it. You've got Democrats now sounding more like hawks, and Republicans sounding more like doves.

    September 9, 2013 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  14. Vox Populi

    Paul is too sane to be nominated by the GOP they will run him out like they did his father, and they will look back and go "oops!"

    September 9, 2013 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  15. Spette

    A lot of people would not like Rand Paul's or his Dad's views on "what really happened" on 9-11.

    September 9, 2013 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  16. Tampa Tim

    Paul should have travelled this weekend to Egypt with Gomert, Bachmann, and King where they promptly showed an ignorance that is worthy of Rand. Thanks to them, we have the world laughing at right wingnuts even more.

    September 9, 2013 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  17. jimmy

    so we're really not gonna bomb Syria because of chemical weapons but to send a message to iran and north korea? I don't believe iran or north korea has ever remotely contemplated using chemical weapons. I distinctly remember, however, pictures of little vietnamese children that the US dropped napalm on. I guess we also have to send iran and north korea a message because they might want to build nuclear weapons. and the only nation ever to use nukes on civilians was?...

    September 9, 2013 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
  18. S. B. Stein

    I think that Paul isn't paying attention. There is no way to totally exclude Al Qaeda from anything. Egypt is an example where the Muslim Brotherhood could share some of the values. They were out of power so long that they couldn't control themselves and tried to secure power.

    September 9, 2013 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  19. Wisdom

    We've been stating all along our war on terror is against Al Qaeda, and now we're helping Al Qaeda, because they are Freedom Fighters for the Free Syrian Army or rebels. Washington's lies and horse dung excuses to go to war are finally beginning to smell in Americans living rooms. Before many of us knew they were lying, but there were still a majority of the masses who believe the idiots in Washington; however, not even the majority who first believe your fabricated crap believe anymore. America as a whole knows our leaders are full of it. The very thought of being allies with the people who took down the World Trade Center is heresy and abominable. Maybe why our leaders are willing to so close with Al Qaeda now is because they know they had nothing to do with the WTC. It makes you say hmmmm

    September 9, 2013 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  20. Orygun Duck

    Don't help al Qaeda like Ronald Reagan helped the Taliban.

    September 9, 2013 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
  21. Henry2000

    Yes right, some kind of "chairman" of the Senate Foreign Relations committee that Menendez is! According to Menendez, US bombing opposition of al Qaeda, hence paving the way for al Qaeda to get stronger and to gain more power, is not equivalent as helping terrorists.

    September 9, 2013 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  22. Anonymous

    I like you and your dad Mr. Paul but you are totally wrong on this on and what you said did not make any sense:
    "We've seen priests beheaded by the Islamic rebels.." You must be the only one, sir. I challenge you to show evidence..
    "We've also seen an Islamic rebel eating the heart of a soldier." He never ate anything Sir.Go back and watch the video. It was a Horrible display of revenge against a mass rapist but he did not eat anything!
    "I can't conceive of how we would go in and be allies with al Qaeda." We won't. We will be with children against child killers; with women against rapists; and with a people demanding freedom against a tyrant.
    You had it all wrong, sir!

    September 9, 2013 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  23. Larry L

    Paul waits to be "against" something – without actually providing any solutions. The easy thing about being an anarchist is all of your ideas are overly-simplified sound-bites. You don't actually have to offer pragmatic solutions for anything. He has all of the negative attributes of his father – but none of the positive.

    September 9, 2013 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  24. boungiorno

    stranger things have happened like for example, take this poll, and the question; being put out; now what are the chances of my answer being any more important than the next we all put effort in surving, and when we share our ideas it makes life worth living for.

    September 9, 2013 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm |
  25. What's in that tea anyway?

    This guy with his juvenile eye rolls and his vapid approach to foreign policy just nauseates me. A presidential contender ...not a snowball's chance but in the GOP/Tea Troll clown car; fits in to the theme the party of no will only get close enough to smell the curb out front of the WH.....can anyone say dog catcher shoe in?

    September 10, 2013 12:16 am at 12:16 am |
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