June 22nd, 2014
10:45 AM ET
9 years 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.

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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. bill

    Thats OK. iF Obummer had a son he wouldn't send him either.

    June 22, 2014 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  2. MaryM

    This is the One thing I agree with Paul

    June 22, 2014 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  3. jpmichigan

    This is a religious war in Iraq which has been going on for centuries. We gave them all they need to develop an bi-partian government, which the existing PM did not fulfill. So change the leadership and develop a government for all religious sections.

    June 22, 2014 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  4. G D

    Unfortunately, it's a stand too late Mr. Paul. We should have never sent any of our sons & daughters into Iraq or Afghanistan. The middle east should be dealt with, particularly with respect to force, by the countries of the middle east. Perhaps Iraq I had some merit, but we are not the world court or its SWAT team. Diplomatic & sanction actions are one thing, war completely another that should be approached with far more restraint than we have recently shown.

    June 22, 2014 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  5. drake mallard

    republican CHICKEN HAWKS never have a problem sending other people's children to war

    I voted for the Iraq War" because it was the right thing to do.
    paul ryan

    How come politicians never join the military when they are sending other people children to war? To the politicians War is good for business invest your self and own your own children,wife husband! Let the rich kids get drafted and the rest voluntarily enlist...that would ensure WAR is a last resort!

    June 22, 2014 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  6. Rick McDaniel

    That is a bad place to be, for a politician.

    June 22, 2014 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  7. king

    just like a repub, he will send the expendables in our society to go make them rich in wars, but to hell if they had to send their own sons.

    June 22, 2014 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  8. Randy. San Francisco

    Sen Paul should be reminded that the Iraq mess was created by Bush and Cheney and the now defunked conservative think tank, the Project for a New American Century.

    June 22, 2014 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  9. The Real Tom Paine

    Paul's position is consistent, but a president does not have the luxury of being ideologically consistent. People need to recngise there is a difference between a lawmaker who can afford to grandstand, and the Chief Executive who has to make decisions based upon a different calculus. No one should ever think that decision is easy or frivolous. Oh, and in case anyone thinks I have no stake in whether or no troops are sent, my nephew has completed 2 tours in Aphganistan.

    June 22, 2014 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  10. Chris-E...al

    Who knows ? But there is something we do know or will soon ? The democrats are masters of creating confusion and poverty in a deliberate and conniving grievous fashion they are the D in destruction

    June 22, 2014 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  11. Thomas

    "I think there's chaos in the Middle East, and the chaos is because we've created a vacuum," Paul said.

    I thought we were going to created as liberators ?

    Where is Ahmad Chalabi ? Why isn't there a bounty on this scam artists head .


    June 22, 2014 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  12. rrjkr

    Paul has for once said something sensible.

    June 22, 2014 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  13. Vence

    An honest politician! Naaah!

    June 22, 2014 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  14. 1776usa2016

    Congress passes nothing. There is no reason to put anything to a vote in Congress. It's become totally dysfunctional.


    June 22, 2014 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  15. Eric

    Why on earth did we ever go in "there" in the first place? 4486 US lives lost and 1.7 trillion dollars wasted for this? Yet another unstable middle-east nation. I want the Republicans to pay America back the money wasted in Iraq.

    June 22, 2014 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  16. Joe

    President Romney's family has no history of military service. Oh, wait a minute, he'e not President.

    June 22, 2014 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  17. Glenn

    This is a good stand for a Republican to finally take. People are FED UP with war there that is NOT going to end. He is the most electable of the Republicans – unless they want a right wing nut that will lose.

    June 22, 2014 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  18. DP

    Just a little clarification for the comments section: Paul Ryan and Rand Paul are not the same person.

    June 22, 2014 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  19. Thomas

    After the invasion Chalabi had been placed in charge of "deBaathification"—the removal of senior office holders judged to have been close supporters of the deposed Saddam Hussein. The role had fallen into disuse but in early 2010 Chalabi was accused of reviving this dormant post to eliminate his political enemies, especially Sunnis. The banning of some 500 candidates prior to the general election of 7 March 2010 at the initiative of Chalabi and his Iraqi National Congress was reported to have badly damaged previously improving relations between Shias and Sunnis

    America was taken for a ten year joy ride by a con artist , who's only intention was money and power .

    Thank you Neocons for the over priced tickets to nowhere !

    June 22, 2014 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  20. ImpeccableVision

    I do not want to send my only son to Iraq as most my countrymen in the USA think the same as well! Just send our AC-130 Gunships with A-10 spitfires with Gattling Canons to rain bullets on the heads of the murderous murderers in the FOREVER CHAOTIC LAND Iraq!
    This Forever Chaotic Land Iraq will requited MILLIONS of YEARS to do the weeding out their Murderous Murderers ! These folks are damned to crzy and too HOT in Murdering as their Instinct tells them to do so! (ImpeccableVision)

    June 22, 2014 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  21. mark

    Want to know who we'll be fighting in the future?
    The groups that we're arming.... today.

    June 22, 2014 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  22. John


    just like a repub, he will send the expendables in our society to go make them rich in wars, but to hell if they had to send their own sons."

    Did you even read this article before commented? Obviously you didn't but instead used this as an opportunity to be completely partisan and thus part of the problem which plagues American politics.

    The headline says he won't send his son but the VERY FIRST SENTENCE says "One U.S. lawmaker firmly believes the United States should keep its sons and daughters out of Iraq's increasingly tangled and bloody conflict."

    June 22, 2014 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  23. JetLi

    Get out of Iraq, and stay out of Iraq.

    June 22, 2014 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  24. Repub Snub

    If the President sends advisers to Iraq, the Repubs are against it. If he shows caution and wants to wait. the Repubs say he's indecisive, cowardly and not looking out for the interests of the United States. If there was a Repub president and this happened, it would still be their policy to bomb a totally unrelated country to the conflict. Maybe Canada.
    As for Rand Paul, he's doing nothing more than a "Remember Me!" to get his name in the news.

    June 22, 2014 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  25. ImpeccableVision

    HOPPED INTO IRAQ AND HOPPED OUT OF IRAQ that is a crazy vision to fry too many good American sons and daughters of the USA nation and burned trillions of dollars that in the end the result is a CHAOS IS STILL EXISTING as PROVEN NOW!
    The USA nation needs not crazy decision-makers to harvest more troubles for our Americans to absorb and digest!
    This vision is a perfect vision of ImpeccableVision that most Americans will in the end will agree at last! (ImpeccableVision)

    June 22, 2014 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
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