Rand Paul: U.S. involvement in Syria a 'mistake'
September 1st, 2013
10:47 AM ET
9 years ago

Rand Paul: U.S. involvement in Syria a 'mistake'

Washington (CNN) – Sen. Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, said Sunday the United States should avoid military involvement in Syria. He challenged Secretary of State John Kerry on his assertion America should launch a strike.

"He's famous for saying, 'How can you ask a man to be the last one to die for a mistake?' I would ask John Kerry, 'How can you ask a man to be the first one to die for a mistake?'" Paul said on NBC's "Meet The Press."

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Kerry famously asked that question during his 1971 testimony at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee following his military service in Vietnam.

OPINION: Obama, don't rush into war in Syria

Paul previously spoke against U.S. involvement in Syria, and though he did applaud President Barack Obama's decision to consult with Congress on the matter, he said the situation in Syria is simply too murky for American success.

"I think the war may escalate out of control and then we have to ask ourselves who is on America's side over there," Paul said. "If the rebels win, will they be America's ally?"

Ultimately, Paul said the Obama administration should diplomatically engage more effectively with China and Russia, two of Syria's closest allies.

"I think the best outcome for all the major powers would be a peaceful transition in government. And Russia could influence that if they told Assad, 'No more weapons,'" Paul said.

Filed under: Rand Paul • Syria
soundoff (44 Responses)
  1. ge

    re-wind rand two weeks ago .

    September 1, 2013 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  2. jpmichigan

    One year ago running for re-election Obama set the red line for Syria not to cross, well Syria crossed the red line. After 5 years of not seeking Congress approval for just about any thing, our Commander-in-chief is waiting for Congress approval to do something regarding the red-line OUR President set! What will he do if Congress, like the British Parliament, states NO? If the situation in Syria is so serious as he (President) states, why hasn't he called Congress back from vacation? Use of chemical weapons is a moral issue that should be confronted by the UN. Countries surrounding Syria are more in danger of Syria using it against them first. None of them, except for Isreal , is prepared.

    September 1, 2013 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  3. G

    ask bush mr.rand

    September 1, 2013 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  4. MaryM

    Initial symptoms following exposure to sarin are a runny nose, tightness in the chest and constriction of the pupils. Soon after, the victim has difficulty breathing and experiences nausea and drooling. As the victim continues to lose control of bodily functions, the victim vomits, defecates and urinates. This phase is followed by twitching and jerking. Ultimately, the victim becomes comatose and suffocates in a series of convulsive spasms.
    Rand Paul, how would you like to suffer those symptoms. Imagine your children with those symptoms

    September 1, 2013 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  5. Tampa Tim

    Rand took the opposite position a few days ago. But, in his defense, he isn't very smart.

    September 1, 2013 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  6. wendel

    once again paul shows his lack of sense. As presidential material I think the world would laugh at him. why are we asking what he thinks anyway. Makes more sense to talk to the old farts like Graham or Mc Caine that a tea bagger.

    September 1, 2013 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  7. Gurgyl

    Is there no ground where two parties come to table have diplomatic solutions? Did you try, at least. I do not think war is the real solution. Wars BROKE USA TO THE GROUND LEVEL. Tax evaders Cary on Free-loaders ignoring the fact wars need tuns of money on foreign ground–at least these free-loaders are AMERICANS. JUST THINK, OBAMA. Writer is not muff–highly educated.

    September 1, 2013 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  8. Steve Walter

    Rand Paul is playing politics when he should be showing leadership in rallying Americans to support our Commander in Chief. This is not Obama's red line that Syria has stepped over, it is International Law that Syria has recklessly ignored – a law that says that poison gas must never be used in warfare at all, let alone against your own men, women, and children.
    Obama has shown real courage in being, apparently, the only world leader willing to stand up and say that Syria cannot ignore international law prohibitiing use of poison gas and suffer no consequence. Paul has demonstrated his lack of character and his lack of seriousness in how he has responded to this crisis in the mid-east.

    September 1, 2013 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  9. Thomas

    Tomorrow Rand will say he supports invading Iran and his support for Israel has never been stronger .

    Aqua Buddha 2016

    September 1, 2013 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  10. Tony in Maine

    I was wavering, but if Rand Paul is against, I'm for it.

    Actually, Mr. Paul (Dr. is reserved for those who actually doctor), give me a reasonable alternative besides cutting your taxes and I'll listen.

    September 1, 2013 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  11. Tampa Tim

    It is clear that congressional republicans want input on any action in Syria, but are on vacation and don't want to be bothered. At the same time congressional republicans are complaining that the president should have acted instead of trying to build a coalition. Whatever course is taken by our president, the right wingnuts will condemn it.

    September 1, 2013 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  12. slalom5

    Wendel – the world ( especially the middle east and Russia) is laughing at our current president.

    September 1, 2013 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  13. Clarke

    Rand Paul, did you see the victims. The burns all over their bodies, they did not know what hit them, many died, many may still die, many will be disabiled for life. They were in math class, no warning , no where to run. Nothing, I could not watch any longer.

    September 1, 2013 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  14. Tampa Tim

    Rand, yer either fer it or agin' it. You can't have it both ways.

    September 1, 2013 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  15. jboh

    The real mistake here was made by the good folks in kentucky by sending this clown to the senate.

    September 1, 2013 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  16. Gurgyl

    Obama, if you have to go to war with Syria–take Congress permission to be on safer side–or else they cry saying you did not get permission–either way you are safe. My advise.

    September 1, 2013 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  17. The Great Pontificator

    when I read your list of symptoms of exposure to Sarin, I thought, what, how long has the democrat party been exposed to sarin gas?

    September 1, 2013 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  18. The Great Pontificator

    Congress should shut him down. Most posts I read indicate people do not want us to attack. If the the President is going to give up his role as leader, make him put his money where his mouth is. When it is found out that the gas attacks were not what everyone thought and everything goes south, all the responsibility will be on him, ...UNLIKE when Bush went in with support of BOTH parties in congress, HILLARY included.

    September 1, 2013 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  19. The Great Pontificator

    Everyone who wants to jump in to this, if there is any loss of life on our side, would you want it to be your daughter or son, mother or father, sister or brother or just a good friend. In 10-20 years when no one even remembers this stupid crisis, the family of the lost will still be grieving. If we had national interests involved, it would be different. But we don't. Any friendly's that die will be a total waste.

    September 1, 2013 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  20. Pander Bear

    Translation: Now that Obama has decided on military action in Syria, I'm against it.

    September 1, 2013 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  21. Thomas

    Wendel – the world ( especially the middle east and Russia) is laughing at our current president.


    They can laugh all they want . Maybe they should show more responsibility to who the sell weapons too.

    Obviously you have more respect for a dictator president who wrestles tigers and bears , goes for a photo opp in a glass submarine and dumps his wife for a gymnast half his age .

    And I'm sure you would welcome a million Syrian refuges with open arms in your neighborhood .

    Do you remember how the world laughed at us when Rocky and Bullwinkle tried to pull a rabbit out of there hat in Iraq " WMDs.

    September 1, 2013 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  22. Liz the First

    But your 'president's' war was justified??? seriously??? do you even know the meaning of the word, 'hypocrite???'

    September 1, 2013 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  23. ThinkAgain

    "I think the best outcome for all the major powers would be a peaceful transition in government." [Sen. Paul]

    No Duh, Rant! President Obama and all our allies ARE engaging Russia to influence Assad. It's an uphill battle, though, in large part because Assad-led Syria is Russia's only foothold in the Middle East (not to mention Putin is a bit of a putz who wants nothing more than to antagonize the U.S.).

    BTW, weren't you just yesterday saying the President should go in with more force than just airstrikes to prevent a "stalemate"?

    One word for when Rant Paul speaks: "Whatever."

    September 1, 2013 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  24. ThinkAgain

    @slalom5: "Wendel – the world ( especially the middle east and Russia) is laughing at our current president."

    No, they are laughing at how American voters elect dimwits like Rant Paul and all the teatwit and GOP folks who have as their only agenda to tear our President down and our country apart.

    I mean, gee, look at all the money they save by not having to do it themselves!

    September 1, 2013 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  25. Geordie

    !100 000 people dead , many maimed and injured and many more have fled the country , no line drawn or met while the terrorists were ahead.
    Initially Syrian people took to the streets and demonstrated against corruption in their country , however this was soon hijacked by Muslim terrorists and to aid them would be an absolutely horrific outcome for Syria and it's people as they would turn it into a Muslim state.
    Let us not forget that Syria is a secular state and people of many religions have lived together in harmony.
    Has America not taken note what happened in Egypt .

    September 1, 2013 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
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