Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul implored his fellow senators on Thursday to not authorize President Barack Obama’s request to train and arm the “feckless” rebels in Syria in order to fight the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.
“Let’s not compound the problem by arming feckless rebels in Syria who seem to be merely a pit stop for weapons that are really on their way to ISIS,” Paul said during a lengthy floor speech Thursday afternoon before the Senate voted on the bill. The House approved the legislation Wednesday.
“If there is a theme that connects the dots in the Middle East, it is that chaos breeds terrorism,” Paul said. “What much of the foreign policy elite fail to grasp, though, is that intervention to topple secular dictators has been the prime source of the chaos.”
Paul, a likely candidate for president in 2016, said “intervention that destabilizes the Middle East is a mistake.”
“And yet, here we are again,” the Kentucky senator said, “wading into a civil war. I warned a year ago that involving us in Syria’s civil war was a mistake, that the inescapable irony is that someday the arms we supply would be used against us or Israel. That day’s now…. we are now forced to fight against our own weapons, and this body wants to throw more weapons into the mix.”
“It is a mistake to send more arms to the Syrians,” he said.