June 22nd, 2014
10:45 AM ET
7 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.

β€œIt’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. Jeff Brown in Jersey

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

    How does Obama's hypothetical son link into what Rand Paul said? You really have to stretch just to say something stupid about the President. Typical Republican jerk.

    June 22, 2014 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  2. Viyaya

    Evacuate all the innocent people, but let the terrorists fight themselves to smithereens.

    June 22, 2014 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  3. tejaspenguin

    Oh, how I agree with you Mr. Paul. No one should have to send a child off to "that mess." That said, we would not be in "that mess" if not for Bush, Cheney, etc. If they had to send their children we wouldn't have been there in the first place. As a parent that eagerly awaits her daughter after a year in Afghanistan I can tell you that even if your child is in a so-called "safe" place, a parent wakes up every morning and goes to sleep every night thankful for another day gone in a year's deployment. A year is a long time to worry, Mr. Paul. Thousands upon thousands of parents over these last eleven years can confirm that.

    June 22, 2014 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  4. Name JK. SFL. THE GOP HOWDEE GOWDEE SHOW with special guest ISSA the CLOWN

    NO, but is send the WHOLE CHENEY BOZO FAMILY OVER THERE right NOW!!!!!!!

    June 22, 2014 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  5. Mary

    I am with Paul on this one.

    June 22, 2014 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  6. Loathstheright

    Of course not....he's a conservative, they only send other people kids to die.

    June 22, 2014 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  7. kebcarerra

    They could smuggle a nuke across our southern border tomorrow , no problem

    June 22, 2014 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  8. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    @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

    Once again, your writing makes no sense. Are you dyslexic? Have you had a lobotomy? Why do you continue posting when no one can understand what you are trying to say?

    June 22, 2014 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  9. cile

    Why don't we send him , Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Condi and the rest of those idiots to be the boots on the ground. Works for me.

    Mother of a twice deployed son to Iraq

    June 22, 2014 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  10. lewtwo

    The one and only time that I have ever agreed with him

    June 22, 2014 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  11. jinx9to88

    This is why I agree with Paul. Romney wouldn't send his 5 sons into war, Cheney wouldn't send his, Rumsfield wouldn't send his, McCain wouldn't send his daughter to war, but theses clowns have now problem sending other people children into useless wars. GOP these days are pathetic hypocrites!!! Plain and simple.

    June 22, 2014 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  12. strangways

    next, Rand Paul should acknowledge the role HIS PARTY played in Iraq – namely the Bushies relentless push for the war they wanted. THEN, all the Bushies should be hauled into a Congressional Inquiry as to WHY we invaded and why they repeatedly fumbled it.

    June 22, 2014 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  13. joel bishop

    Seriously, Ron Paul has a point, these people can grow some backbone / nuts and defend themselves with the tools we gave them to defend or they need to get pounded into the dirt. This is not our war and we should never have been there... BTW Paul is the last thing I would call as a true republican, He always has been a neither left nor right center oriented libertarian that's offered fair and honest solutions to our nations problems.

    June 22, 2014 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  14. joel bishop

    Seriously, Ron Paul has a point, these people can grow some some and defend themselves with the tools we gave them to defend or they need run into the dirt. This is not our war and we should never have been there... BTW Paul is the last thing I would call as a true republican, He always has been a neither left nor right center oriented libertarian that's offered fair and honest solutions to our nations problems.

    June 22, 2014 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  15. Nora

    That's the first thing I have ever agreed with Rand Paul on!!

    June 22, 2014 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  16. Bob Ramos

    Congress, because of the GOP, has a 7% approval rating whereas Obama has a 42% approval rating. I would rather trust Obama than the GOP. Give Paul some slack, he is being honest about his son. But he deserves comdenation because this is something Obama could not control. Ever since 632 AD, the Shittes and the Sunnis have been warring againist each other even across national lines. No one, except Saddam, has ever being able to control this struggle. And we hanged Saddam.

    June 22, 2014 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  17. Mark

    Cheney took 5
    student deferments
    to avoid 'Nam.

    June 22, 2014 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  18. sasss31

    Rand Paul as usual is a liar. The ISIS fights against the Free Syrian Army. The FSA has lost lives fighting these terrorists. The reason ISIS rose in to fill the power vacuum that was created in Syria was because our lack of action in supporting the Syrian people when the opposition was primarily moderate and secular. Rand Paul once again showing that his libertarian isolationism is an ideology devoid of facts, reason and any sense of moral sensibilities.

    June 22, 2014 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  19. tanya

    GREAT stance for the GOP...should of had the same attitude BEFORE troops went initially......

    June 22, 2014 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  20. david dee

    Paul has a son? Poor kid.

    June 22, 2014 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  21. Winston Smith

    Get wise. During this conflict damn few politicians kids served in the service, regardless of party affiliation, War, is a curse of the poor. The wealthy and politically entrenched are often in places that allow deferments to be handed out. Just ask one of your former leaders that wanted this war in the first place. Dick Cheney, the worlds biggest chicken hawk (Heavy emphasis on chicken), has always been allergic to military service. He breaks out in a rash that turns his spine to jelly.

    June 22, 2014 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  22. The REAL Truth...

    There goes any chance of the4 2016 nomination... he's not only alienating the MI complex, but also the conservatives who's father/son/mother/daughter went off to fight in some useless IraQ/Afghan conflict and camer home in a box...
    BUt he IS right !

    June 22, 2014 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  23. traceya117

    Utter chutzpah. And, idiot Redubs, Obama didn't start ANY of these wars.

    June 22, 2014 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  24. Brian

    Eric no offense but alot of dems voted to go to war in Iraq too including Hillary. So the blame itself is on the President of the time, which none, in along time over 40 years has been for the people. Congress is just the presidents escape goats when he cant do something.

    June 22, 2014 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  25. hfdsfe

    Shirking responsibilities as usual. Typical GOP.

    June 22, 2014 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
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