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.

[twitter-follow screen_name='politicalticker'][twitter-follow screen_name='jhseher']

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. qckslvr

    Mission Accomplished?

    June 22, 2014 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  2. jaydavid666

    99% of the time Ron and Rand Paul are wrong.
    But anyone who send her or his children to Iraq is throwing away their child's life on the trash heap of history.
    Same goes for Afghanistan.

    June 22, 2014 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  3. jaydavid666

    I wouldn't throw away my child's life on the trash heap of history that are Iraq and Afghanistan.

    June 22, 2014 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  4. jaydavid666

    We have already thrown away the lives of more than 40,000 dead and wounded in Iraq.

    June 22, 2014 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  5. ThinkAgain - Don't like Congress? Get rid of the repub/tea bag majority.

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

    if chicken hawk Rumsfeld had listened to the generals, we would have sent in enough troops (400,000) to successfully occupy Iraq. If the Dick hadn't decided to protect Iraq's Ministry of Oil and nothing else, we wouldn't have alienated the Iraqi people. Bremmer dismantling the Iraqi Army and disarming the Baathists. Abu Ghraib. The list goes on and on (the book, Breaking Iraq is a good place to start to better understand this).

    We shouldn't have invaded Iraq in the first place, but we did. And President Obama was given the mess to clean up. Typical of repub Rant to not contribute anything except to pander to his isolationist base.

    June 22, 2014 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  6. pourmonamiJC

    Let them sort this mess out.

    June 22, 2014 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  7. BMette

    It's refreshing to hear a politician speak candidly about the MESS in Iraq.
    The US had better stay out of that conflict; history has shown that whatever weaponry we supply will eventually wind up in the hands of the opposition anyway.

    June 22, 2014 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  8. ThinkAgain - Don't like Congress? Get rid of the repub/tea bag majority.

    @Viyaya: "Evacuate all the innocent people, but let the terrorists fight themselves to smithereens."

    Totally simplistic response to a complex situation.

    NEXT!

    June 22, 2014 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  9. skinnyminnie

    At least Rand Paul is being honest.Those flag waving hawks on Capitol Hill wont send their kids but never say so!

    June 22, 2014 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  10. gwc57

    This is a no win situation. Not an ah ha moment. Drones and other US and allied assets will need to be used but should be under complete control of the Iraq government and at no time should US, or allies, decide when to strike or what target to strike. Any other option will lead to criticism and blame in harming civilians.

    I disagree with putting any boots on the ground. We can 'advise' from anywhere in the world.

    June 22, 2014 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  11. Robert N. constant

    Ran and Ron Paul have been apologists for Edward Snowden. Snowden's actions in seal,ing and making public NSA procedures have made it harder for Homeland Security to protect Americans from another 911. We are all a little less safe because of Ron and Rand Paul and their Tea Party protege, Edward Snowden
    As for Paul not sending his son to war, he is right in line with Dick Cheney's five deferments and the Republican Congress. Fewer than 10% of those Chickenhawks have ever fired a shot in defense of the United States, Yet they are so willing to sent other people's children off to bleed for bad causes.

    June 22, 2014 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  12. ThinkAgain - Don't like Congress? Get rid of the repub/tea bag majority.

    @sasss31: "Rand Paul once again showing that his libertarian isolationism is an ideology devoid of facts, reason and any sense of moral sensibilities."

    I agree – and Rant's libertarian economic policies are equally divorced from reality.

    June 22, 2014 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  13. Harriett Heckel

    What a SLAP into the faces of the American people who have lost a family member. Pretty sad that Paul Ryan won't even fight for his own country! I guess his entitled children won't ever have to get their hands dirty.

    June 22, 2014 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  14. ThinkAgain - Don't like Congress? Get rid of the repub/tea bag majority.

    Rant is trying really hard to appear to know what he's talking about, yet again fails miserably. Only fools will vote for this dolt – especially given that Jeb has already been picked as the repub nominee.

    June 22, 2014 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  15. dofacc

    Hmmm, so the likelihood of ISIS sending ICBM's at us is very small, hmmmm. Do you think someone ought to mention 9/11 to Mr. Rand?

    June 22, 2014 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  16. Kathleen

    beancounterz has a great idea! Best yet. 🙂

    June 22, 2014 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  17. mike - MN

    There are Republicans with independent thoughts – who would have known

    June 22, 2014 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  18. Jeb Jebson

    I rarely agree with Paul on anything because he's a nut. But he's right about wasting more blood and treasure in Iraq.

    June 22, 2014 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  19. Farrok

    Only the poor and black fight America's Wars. You will never find anyone of wealth or substance on an American rifle line. In fact, I just witnessed a lecture at a VA Hospital where everyone in the room had been injured in an American War and were in wheelchairs or walking with canes and the VA pharmacist made reference that they were all Drug addicts because they took Opiates for war wounds and injuries.

    June 22, 2014 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  20. A Kickin Donkey

    First, DOES he have children to send? Or is this just s t hyperbole?

    Secondly, I'd be more impressed if he called out all the other Republican warmongers to put their children on the line e and he needs to do so by name.

    Third, the NEW NORMAL needs to be to demand from every warmonger
    a) a budget for ANY military action proposed. Then multiply it by a FACTOR of TEN
    b) a tax RATE increase to pay for it. No claims of savings from "x" is believable.
    c) an exit strategy for the war AND a post invasion/air strike MANAGEMENT strategy
    d) a statement regarding the basic US interests that the military action would serve and NO FLUFF

    June 22, 2014 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  21. JohnRJohnson

    For the first time in about 8 years, we actually have some significant leverage against the Iraqi government. They need our help, or they are all going to get beheaded in the next few weeks by ISIS. If we can get the Iraqi government - not just Maliki, who is a dead man - to become more inclusive and less tyrannical, then we will have actually achieved a worthy objective. And, it would appear that we can might be able to do this without exposing thousands of our kids to danger in that worthless country. I don't disagree with Rand Paul. At least he's being honest about not letting his son go to Iraq. However, Rand's foreign policy ideas seem to suffer from short-term thinking and isolationist bent. Not very realistic for the 21st century world we live in.

    June 22, 2014 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  22. woodcat

    "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. Wow you know that as a fact;
    Really Paul, youstart thinking about our sons now and not 10 years earlier????
    Why did not you convince Dick Cheney and Bush Jr and all the republicans and democrats not to go into Iraq in the first place; now you do not want your son to go into Iraq so start convincing you GOP buddies now. The democrats got our sons and daughters out of Iraq.

    June 22, 2014 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  23. Anonymous

    Politicians don't send their own children off to war, they send the children of the poor.

    June 22, 2014 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  24. herbsuperb

    He's right. This Sunni-Shia civil war that's been going on for 1300 years is NONE OF OUR AFFAIR!! Why is Obama taking sides in this nonsense. They are all savages. Neither side is 'better'. Let them whipe each other out to their hateful heart's content. Then deal as best we can with whichever side remains. I would love to hear Obama explain to the nation why he is supporting Shia in this war. What is his purpose behind that. Afterall, in Syria he is supporting Sunni.

    June 22, 2014 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  25. bob

    Politicians don't send their children off to war, they send the children of the poor.

    June 22, 2014 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8