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.

“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. Louise

    Just as 2 faced as the rest of his republican brothers and sisters

    June 22, 2014 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  2. Jaded Jayda

    Well, I guess Obama's pink unicorns & magic fairy dust wasn't very effective with these cave dwelling barbarians! Nor, were his "Red Lines"....... NO TROOPS over there, not even 300! Enough is enough!

    June 22, 2014 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  3. traceya117

    Utter chutzpah. Has no problem sending in other people's children. Scum! And, idiot Redubs, Obama didn't start ANY of these wars!

    June 22, 2014 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  4. Louise

    Just as 2 faced as the rest of his republican brothers and sisters.

    June 22, 2014 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  5. Louise

    I said nothing offensive or untrue

    June 22, 2014 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  6. Aleric

    If Paul keeps making sense he will never get the republican nomination.

    June 22, 2014 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  7. 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.

    June 22, 2014 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  8. beancounterz

    It sounds like its time to create a Congressional Division as part of our military first response force. This division will consist of Congressmen/women, and all family members who can pass a physical to enter the military. I suggest including 2 generations of family to have a large enough force. Anytime congress wants to send troops to a region, this "Congressional Division" will be the first troops on foot and will ALWAYS be at the front line of the fight.

    June 22, 2014 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  9. panz4ever

    Paul will not to send "his" son but yet it was okay to send all the other sons and daughters during Gulf 1 and Gulf 2. Typical member of Congress. Most have no military experience or background but talk a good game.

    June 22, 2014 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  10. JG

    This is one issue that I agree with Paul on, he is the only republican that has this stance on getting involved in these no-win wars and it will probably cost him the republican nomination. He is from the tea party, and about all republicans are war monger fools, itching to get in another war.

    June 22, 2014 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  11. ANNIER

    He'd never send his kid there? Quelle surpise!!...just like the rest of his cronies. Let the kids of OTHERS do their dirty work; let the 6,000+ kids who died at w's hands be someone's else's....

    June 22, 2014 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  12. Peace

    That makes sense Rand Paul. No one should go and fight with people we have taught how to fight. Wait a minute, the man who has just replaced Eric Cantor , was talking today saying everything must be on the table. Does he has a son/sons to send them their first? Ours will not go.

    June 22, 2014 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  13. maurice

    the u.s. has been in iraq since after sept 11, 2001 when bush was looking for the weapons of mass destruction that were never found. redumblicans im sorry republicans didnt have a problem sending other peoples kids to war

    June 22, 2014 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  14. Lee Eng

    ISIS is armed by the west fighting Assad in Syria. Evidence can be seen by where ISIS started basically at the Turkish Syrian border. Supplied by western arms! Who would be so retarded as to send their son to a war in which our own government stirred and created this mess! Who makes out the most the Us oil companies. Why? oil production in Iraq was set to dramatically. Large amounts of oil of oil hitting the market would lower world prices do to increased supplies. Current situation has had the opposite effect.
    Source on increased oil production Rueters Oct 23 2013.
    Source on ISIS, Google news map showing ISIS stronghold on Turkish Syrian border.

    June 22, 2014 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  15. dave

    In time of war, all politician's families, men and women, should be required to serve in uniform, in combat where possible. In time of war, tax policy should reflect paying for the war, it should not be possible to just borrow to pay for wars. Acts of war should include an automatic raise in taxes, especially on the rich, there should be no such thing as tax breaks for the rich in war time.

    June 22, 2014 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  16. sosupernova

    Paul simply can't bring himself to say that Obama is doing the right thing by keeping us out of Iraq Furthermore, he fails to address the root cause, the exclusion of the Sunnis by Al Maliki and the Shiites.

    June 22, 2014 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  17. Susan

    Can't blame any father for trying to stop their son or daughter from fighting any unfunded/underfunded/illegal wars the U.S. big-shots in D.C. drag the country into. I figure one good reason the 'volunteer' army meets recruitment is for the benefits a lucky one gets out of it and the fact that for so many there isn't any other future.

    June 22, 2014 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  18. Lee Eng

    ISIS is armed by the west fighting Assad in Syria. Evidence can be seen by where ISIS started basically at the Turkish Syrian border. Supplied by western arms! Who would be so retarded as to send their son to a war in which our own government stirred and created this mess! Who makes out the most the American oil companies. Why? oil production in Iraq was set to dramatically increase. Large amounts of oil hitting the market would have lowered world prices due to increased supplies. The current situation has had the opposite effect.
    Source on increased oil production Rueters Oct 23 2013.
    Source on ISIS, Google news map showing ISIS stronghold on Turkish Syrian border.
    Sorry previous edited properly.

    June 22, 2014 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  19. Ann

    Did we have this CHOICE in Vietnam? Mr. Paul is not presidential material. If he does not want to have his son join the military why should any of the rest of us? It is HIS job as a US senator to help us stay out of these problems, not just complain after the fact.

    June 22, 2014 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  20. Gino

    The puppets elected to the White House will continue to involve this country in other countries' business, and continue to kill our young people and dump billions into endless garbage pits in the name of "leading the democratic way". So tired of this load of political crap.

    June 22, 2014 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  21. Susan

    You'd think in a real 'democracy' (not the oligarchy we are in) that if if around 75% don't want any involvement in another countries stinking civil religious war that said government would start pulling everything that belongs to them out of that country. I can't imagine the lying and the secrets going on about this.

    June 22, 2014 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  22. pchelp, Juneau, AK

    Although I understand Paul's feelings I wonder when he will be willing to fight Al Quaeda & its allies? Only after they commit another atrocity on US soil? Or perhaps he thinks Al Quaeda is no longer an enemy of the US? I might understand him thinking Al Quaeda is no longer effective but the success of the Al Quaeda-linked ISIS argues otherwise. So, Mr. Paul, if you don't want to fight ISIS now what do you propose to do, let them alone until they're strong enough to attack the US? Personally I believe in destroying my enemies before they become strong enough to hurt me. What do you believe in?

    June 22, 2014 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  23. drake mallard

    Rich old men will always send poor young men to fight their wars while protecting their sons

    Romney supported the Vietnam War, but did not enlist. Instead, he got
    draft deferments and worked as a missionary ["minister of religion"] for
    31 months, for the Mormon church, in France, one of those "European
    countries

    in 1989, The Washington Post writer George C. Wilson interviewed Cheney as the next Secretary of Defense; when asked about his deferments, Cheney reportedly said, "I had other priorities in the '60s than military service."

    while the middle and working class of America sent their sons and daughters off to war during the past 11 years NOT EVEN ONE of these 5 Romney son’s (all who were of military service age) served their nation during that time frame. No, not even one!

    June 22, 2014 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  24. TM

    They have been fighting for two thousand years, and will be fighting for the next two thousand, and this is Obama's fault.

    June 22, 2014 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  25. Dave - Phx

    Paul only cares about minimizing expenses on rich people. End of story.

    June 22, 2014 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
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