Kentucky Senator and GOP presidential candidate Rand Paul argued that “part of the solution” to fighting ISIS “would be Assad going into exile” on Friday’s broadcast of CNN’s “The Lead.”
“There’s a couple things I would do. One, I would promise the Kurds a homeland. They’re the best fighters over there, and I would equip them directly with arms. I wouldn’t have it go through the Shiite government. I think there’s a little bit of tension between the two, between the Kurds and the Shiite government” Rand stated.
Rand continued, “I wouldn’t say, ‘Tomorrow I’m recognizing the Kurds, but I would go to the Turks and I would say to the Turks and to the Kurds, I would say, ‘What about the Kurds having a homeland within Iraq, and maybe within that little sliver of Syria up there near Kobani? But the Kurds would have to give up pretension to wanting land in Turkey. It would have to be a three-way peace deal, where actually had the Turks saying to the Kurds, ‘You’re giving up all claim to our land, and we’re going to now have peace,’ but the advantage to that is I think you can get the Turks more involved. I think the Turks have been too passive in this. And if the Turks were to bring up significant forces, I think it changes the outlook for ISIS.” Although he added, “there’s all kinds of goals that are easier said than done.”
He concluded, “I think ultimately the victory comes from boots on the ground, but I think those boots on the ground need to be Arab boots on the ground. If the Iraqis are not willing to fight for their country, I don’t think I would send American GIs to do it, if the Iraqis are not willing to fight for it. But part of the solution is also saying, ‘You know, we need to have a stable government in Syria.’ So part of the solution would be Assad going into exile and having a stable government, where it’s the government of Syria versus the bad guys, ISIS. Now, you have 1,500 groups fighting Assad, and you’ve got bad people on both sides of the equation. So, it isn’t very easy to do. And then the third part of this is, I would get the Saudis and the Qataris, and I would tell them, ‘Look, you’ve grown rich off of our petro dollars, why don’t you do something useful? And t hat’s help us fight ISIS, on the ground, with your troops on the ground.”
Paul also discussed NSA surveillance, arguing, “Well, I think for those who know their constitutional history, the 4th Amendment is a big deal.” And “what the framers objected to was that British soldiers were writing the warrants and that they were general warrants. They didn’t have Jake Tapper’s name on it, or Rand Paul’s name, they just had everybody, and the soldiers could go in anyone’s house. This was a really big deal. And so the Fourth Amendment is a big deal, was to our framers, and still should be. So, if you have a warrant right now and it says Verizon on it, that to me sounds like a general warrant. That sounds not very specific, and it sounds like you’re collecting the records of everybody at Verizon. That’s what was revealed by Snowden. So, you now have a warrant that collects the information on millions and millions of Americans for whom there is no suspicion that they’re a terrorist. And in fact, the court recently, the court just below the Supreme Court, the appellate court, said that even the Patriot Act, which says that you can gather information if it’s relevant to an investigation, said ‘How could it be relevant to an investigation in the sense that it’s being collected before you even start your investigation?’ So, the court has said it’s illegal. The president started this through executive order. I think the president ought to immediately stop it, because the court says now that it’s illegal.”
Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett