United States Senator Rand Pal (R-Kentucky) says jihadist wonderlands are sprouting up abroad, and American foreign policy is to blame.
The possible 2016 presidential contender was discussing the escalating crisis in Iraq on camera with CNN host Candy Crowley over the weekend when he condemned the notion that the American military should intervene further.
According to the junior senator, other recent uprisings in the region that prompted a militarized response from the US only made matters worse and further fueled terrorist activities.
“We went into Libya and we got rid of that terrible Gadhafi. Now it is a jihadist wonderland over there,” Sen. Paul said. “There's jihadists everywhere.”
“If we were to get rid of Assad, it would be a jihadist wonderland in Syria. It's now a jihadist wonderland in Iraq, precisely because we got over-involved, not because we had too little involvement, but too much involvement,” Paul added.
The senator’s comments mirror similar remarks made by his father — former congressman Ron Paul — only weeks earlier this month.
In a video statement posted to the Ron Paul Channel website earlier this month, the former US representative for Texas claimed that Al-Qaeda was only made stronger after the US increased its military operations in the Middle East following the 2004 invasion of Iraq.
“But the real irony here is that Iraq had no Al-Qaeda in it when we went into Iraq, because right after 9/11 a story was concocted and based on lies and misinformation that Al-Qaeda was in Iraq, that there was weapons of mass destruction — all those things that motivated the people and the propaganda to get the support, and Congress went along with it and started spending all that money,” Ron Paul said.
“Not only did they pick up a lot of weapons and guns and equipment, but they end up getting Black Hawk helicopters. And this is money that the taxpayers paid and we gave it to the Iraqis. They were supposed to be trained in taking care of and protecting their country, and here the Al-Qaeda is taking over the country,” he added.
Similarly, his son said over the weekend to CNN that this activity created “wonderlands” that are now posing immense threats to American.
"We are where we are because we armed the Syrian rebels. We have been fighting alongside Al-Qaeda," Sen. Paul said to CNN.
As matters escalate, he added, Americans need to assess the possibility of whether US troops should once again be sent overseas to fight in another nation’s war.
“Obviously, we have the military might and power. But the country as a whole has to decide, do we want to send 100,000 troops in? Are we willing to have 4,500 young Americans die to save a city like Mosul that the Shiites won’t even save, that they have fled?" He asked.
“You have to ask yourself, are you willing to send your son, am I willing to send my son, to retake back a city, Mosul, that they weren’t willing to defend themselves?” Paul said. “I’m not willing to send my son into that mess.”
During the last week, US Pres. Barack Obama has announced the deployment of 250 troops to Iraq to be followed by upwards of 300 military advisors. According to the results of a New York Times/CBS Poll released this week, 29 percent of Americans say the president should do more and 22 percent would rather he do less.