June 22nd, 2014
10:45 AM ET
6 months ago

Paul: 'I'm not willing to send my son' into Iraq

Washington (CNN) - One U.S. lawmaker firmly believes the United States should keep its sons and daughters out of Iraq's increasingly tangled and bloody conflict.

"I'm not willing to send my son into that mess," Sen. Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, told CNN chief political correspondent Candy Crowley on Sunday.

Appearing on "State of the Union," Paul acknowledged that while the chaos in Iraq intensifies by the day, he believes advances by jihadist Sunni militants on Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's Shiite government forces do not pose an immediate threat to U.S. national security. Though he refused to rule out some kind of U.S. assistance, Paul said absent that threat, President Barack Obama's administration should not send ground troops to assist al-Maliki's government.

"Let's not be involved in the Iraq civil war," Paul said.

He painted the current security situation as a battle between a "feckless" ally in al-Maliki and "allies of al Qaeda" - the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, an al Qaeda splinter group. Paul said he doubted the jihadist fighters would contemplate action against the United States in the middle of their campaign to take Baghdad.

"I don't believe that ISIS, right now, is in the middle of a battle saying, 'Hmm, I think we're going to send intercontinental ballistic missiles to America,’" he told Crowley.

In an interview Friday with CNN's Kate Bolduan, Obama pressed Iraqi leaders to find a political solution to governing their nation. But as 300 U.S. military advisers head to the war-torn nation, Republican critics like Paul are laying the blame for the current crisis at the feet of the Obama administration.

"I think there's chaos in the Middle East, and the chaos is because we've created a vacuum," Paul said. "One of the reasons why ISIS has been emboldened is because we've been arming their allies."

While the Obama administration has reportedly dispatched weapons and other military assistance to moderate opponents of President Bashar al-Assad's government in Syria, details remain murky about just where those resources may have ended up.
Paul says some Sunni militants who were among the Syrian rebels, more radicalized than the administration anticipated, are now blitzing Iraq's major cities with U.S. weaponry.

“It’s now a jihadist wonderland in Iraq precisely because we got overinvolved - not because we had too little involvement,” Paul said.

"We are where we are because we armed the Syrian rebels. We have been fighting alongside al Qaeda," he added.

He said any further action in Iraq should be put to a vote in Congress.


Filed under: Iraq • Rand Paul
soundoff (193 Responses)
  1. macira

    I don't agree with Paul on most of his Libertarian stuff but on this I do.

    June 22, 2014 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  2. Hairy reed

    SweePee

    It is time to 'suit up' Mr. Cheney and load him up and ship him out.

    Give him a gun and a helmet and a bottle of water and make him clean up his mess.
    -------------------------------
    Time to 'suit up' hittlery, kerry and the rest of the demoKKKrats who voted and pushed for war prior to Bush becoming President.

    June 22, 2014 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  3. Satta

    There is no play for the US government in this conflict. Bombing more brown people will do nothing but foment even more instability in the region and more resentment toward Americans. Bombing should not be the US government's default foreign policy response to every crisis. American taxpayers who, after all, made all of this possible, ought to feel shame and anger about how their government uses its military overseas.

    June 22, 2014 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  4. Farrok

    Let the Fire burn itself out.

    June 22, 2014 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  5. travismatthew

    It is time to 'suit up' Mr. Cheney and load him up and ship him out.

    Give him a gun and a helmet and a bottle of water and make him clean up his mess.
    -----------
    Time to 'suit up' hittlery, kerry and the rest of the demoKKKrats who voted and pushed for war prior to Bush becoming President

    Really! The Iraq was was put into motion by a Republican President, Republican Controlled House and a Republican controlled Senate! All being told that there were WMD's and lied to by the Bush Administration. Bush declared war on March 19th, 2003. These are the last few statements of his speech when he addressed the nation....google it, read the whole speech....

    Our nation enters this conflict reluctantly, yet our purpose is sure. The people of the United States and our friends and allies will not live at the mercy of an outlaw regime that threatens the peace with weapons of mass murder.

    We will meet that threat now with our Army, Air Force, Navy, Coast Guard and Marines, so that we do not have to meet it later with armies of firefighters and police and doctors on the streets of our cities.

    Now that conflict has come, the only way to limit its duration is to apply decisive force. And I assure you, this will not be a campaign of half measures and we will accept no outcome but victory.

    My fellow citizens, the dangers to our country and the world will be overcome. We will pass through this time of peril and carry on the work of peace. We will defend our freedom. We will bring freedom to others. And we will prevail.

    May God bless our country and all who defend her."

    Do your research before you place blame.

    June 22, 2014 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  6. Chirac

    Bush should have listened to Chirac and forget his personal vendetta against Hussein.

    June 22, 2014 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  7. blome republiklans blome

    Load up all the tough guy republican warmongers who like to play with their guns and ship them to Iraq and Syria, its a win, win.

    June 22, 2014 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  8. don in albuquerque

    dHairy Reed
    "voted and pushed for war prior to Bush becoming President"? Nice try at a history re-write. Sadly most of the country does not remember it that way. This is totally owned by Bush and the GOP. As for the Dems who voted for the war, I imagine they were fed the same hog-snot as the rest of the country was. It was not a time to come out against the President, if you did you were not a patriot or real American. Check out the "Dixie Chicks". One man however voted against the war, His name was Obama, and he can sleep at night.

    June 22, 2014 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  9. markdonners

    Volunteer army doesn't make what is done right. "Just following orders" has a limit.

    June 22, 2014 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  10. LWJR

    Rand Paul is another SPOON FED ELITE who never did any military service. Not fit to run.

    June 22, 2014 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  11. Gman

    How it started has absolutely nothing to do with today, Point fingers doesnt do a thing for Iraq today, Yest every article that pops up on CNN about Iraq thats the mantra. Like this is somehow gonna fix it. We should never have gone to Iraq a second time end of story, Thats a given, These old men who talk of going back are backyard dogs barking at the fence, No one in America is listening. Obama isnt going back, I imagine we will send in enough ground personnel to insure our assets are either destroyed or recovered then we are gone.

    June 22, 2014 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  12. Anonymous

    Rand just may improve his ratings and stature with his stance on this. I'm not too happy with the presumptive President candidates of either party. I just might vote for him if the opportunity presents itself.

    June 22, 2014 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  13. Kevin

    So people outside of your own national borders aren't worth the effort. I'll make a note of specifically that when you try to run for president.

    June 22, 2014 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  14. chrissy

    This is totally owned by Cheney you mean! We all know he was the *ahem* brains behind these things during the Bush years! He needs to be gagged and muzzled...preferably permanantly!

    June 22, 2014 11:22 pm at 11:22 pm |
  15. MrBohonus

    "Someone needs to remind Mr Paul that his republican party started this war and now the gutless wonders want someone else to finish it!!"

    Ahhh, the Classics.

    June 23, 2014 05:18 am at 5:18 am |
  16. Marie MD

    Send that heartless cheney in and let him take the shrub #43. They will be treated as liberators after they accomplish their mission!

    June 23, 2014 06:34 am at 6:34 am |
  17. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    I wouldn't either and I think all of those that want us to send troops should start with themselves and their sons and grandsons. While I agree with Rand on this, I would never vote or support him for POTUS , thanks to him having a secessionist in his employ and his view on Civil Rights. I truly don't care what he says because people will say anything to get in office and then turn around and do the opposite.

    Snyder of MI comes to mind.

    June 23, 2014 07:56 am at 7:56 am |
  18. Rudy NYCX

    Paul acknowledged that while the chaos in Iraq intensifies by the day, he believes advances by jihadist Sunni militants on Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's Shiite government forces do not pose an immediate threat to U.S. national security.
    ----------------------
    Once again, Sen. Paul demonstrates just how wrong he is on so many things. While the ISIS fighters may not represent an immediate physical threat to our national security, they do represent a threat to the global oil industry and our long term economic security.

    June 23, 2014 08:07 am at 8:07 am |
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