As Congress prepares to vote on military action in Syria, former Texas Rep. Ron Paul said Sunday that it would be “reckless and immoral” for the United States to intervene in the country’s civil war.
“President Obama announced this weekend that he has decided to use military force against Syria and would seek authorization from Congress when it returned from its August break,” Paul wrote in a weekly column posted Sunday on the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity website. “Every Member ought to vote against this reckless and immoral use of the US military.”
Obama is calling for U.S. military action in response to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s apparent use of chemical weapons in Syria’s civil war.
Paul — a former presidential candidate with an avid following of libertarians — strongly disagreed with Obama’s suggestion that the alleged use of chemical weapons on the people of Syria has national security implications for the U.S.
Those in favor of strikes have argued that it is important to send a signal to the world — especially to places like Iran and North Korea — that the U.S. will not put up with the use of weapons of mass destruction.
“I disagree with the idea that every conflict, every dictator, and every insurgency everywhere in the world is somehow critical to our national security,” Paul said. “That is the thinking of an empire, not a republic. It is the kind of thinking that this president shares with his predecessor and it is bankrupting us and destroying our liberties here at home.”
Paul acknowledged that “any chemical attack, particularly one that kills civilians, is horrible and horrendous,” saying that “all deaths in war and violence are terrible and should be condemned.”
“But why are a few hundred killed by chemical attack any worse or more deserving of US bombs than the 100,000 already killed in the conflict?” Paul asked.
He added: “For that matter, why are the few hundred civilians killed in Syria by a chemical weapon any worse than the 2,000-3,000 who have been killed by Obama’s drone strikes in Pakistan? Does it really make a difference whether a civilian is killed by poison gas or by drone missile or dull knife?”
Paul’s son, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, asserted Sunday that he too is against military intervention in Syria.