On Wednesday, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) raised eyebrows when he took to blaming some of his Republican colleagues for the rise of the Islamic State (ISIS) terror group. In doing so, he remained almost completely indifferent to the Islamic Republic of Iran’s rapid expansion throughout the region.
On Wednesday, Paul told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” that “ISIS exists and grew stronger because of the hawks in our party who gave arms indiscriminately and most of those arms were snatched up by ISIS.”
“The hawks wanted to bomb Assad, which would have made ISIS’s job easier,” he added.
But Paul offered no proposal to counter Assad’s slaughter of his own civilians, which has been going on for years with the expressed approval of the Iranian regime. Many experts believe that without Iran’s backing, the Assad regime would quickly collapse.
On Tuesday, in an appearance with CBS, Paul said that “everybody who is willing to fight” should be used as manpower against ISIS. When asked about the Iran-backed Shiite militias, who have committed atrocities proven to be just as barbaric and ruthless as those carried out by ISIS, Paul had no issue with their presence on the battlefield.
“We have tolerated the Shiite militias and we have tolerated the Iranian influence. I’m not sure we could stop it if we wanted to. People need to understand that the Middle East is complicated and there are no easy answers,” said Paul.
Paul’s opinions fall on the fringe of his party when it comes to negotiating with the Ayatollah’s regime in Tehran. He has on multiple occasions openly supported negotiations with Tehran, while many within his party remain skeptical that the Mullahs are only at the table to exploit weakness within the Obama administration, as they seek to buy time for their race towards nuclear weapons proliferation.
In defending his position on the Iran talks, Senator Paul has accused skeptics of the deal of favoring war, as if war and diplomacy are the only two instruments of statecraft available in conducting foreign policy.
Paul asked fellow Republican presidential nominees during a recent forum, “Are you ready to send ground troops into Iran? Are you ready to bomb them? Are you ready to send in 100,000 troops?”
While the atrocities committed by ISIS continue to shine brightest, Iran continues its quiet but rapid expansion of the radical ideology behind its Khomeinist revolution. The Mullahs now assert influence over four Arab capitals—Baghdad, Damascus, Beirut, and Sanaa. The regime continues to finance terror operations through Hezbollah, Hamas, and other terror insurgencies. The Islamic Republic has even recently developed a foothold in the western hemisphere.
What will Rand do, if anything, to stop Iran?