“Part of the problem is the Kurds aren’t getting enough arms. The Kurds are the best fighters. The arms are going through Baghdad to get to the Kurds and they’re being siphoned off and they’re not getting what they need. I think any arms coming from us or coming from any European countries ought to go directly to the Kurds.”
“I would draw new lines for Kurdistan and I would promise them a country. I think [the Kurds] would fight like hell if we promised them a country. It’s a little easier to say than it is to actually make it happen, because in order to actually draw a new country, you’d have to have the complicity of Turkey and probably Iraq a little bit as well,” the senator added. “There really is no Syria to be complicit with, but there is just a little piece of Syria — Kobani, and in there is predominantly Kurdish. I think if you did that and could get peace between the Kurds and the Turks, and then the Turks would actually fight if the Kurds would give up any claim to Turkish territory.”
“As conservatives, we should not succumb to the notion that a government inept at home will somehow become successful abroad. That a government that can’t even deliver mail will somehow be able to create nations abroad. Without question we must be strong. Without question we must defend ourselves. I envision an America with a national defense unparalleled, undefeatable and unencumbered by nation building.”
Last summer, Paul was initially against becoming involved in Iraq when the Islamic State barged in from Syria. However, he later supported a U.S. airstrike campaign and endorsed U.S. ground troops joining the fight. Now that he wants to redraw Middle Eastern borders, he’s moving further in his gradual transformation from the libertarian he has tried to paint himself as throughout his entire career, and towards the warmongering frauds that establishment Republicans have proven themselves to be.
Realistically, Paul’s proposal doesn’t make much sense for the Iraqi Kurds or the Syrian Kurds – who have both fought against ISIL with the assistance of the U.S. In late February, Iraqi Kurdish representative Bayan Sami Abdul Rahman stated that although independence is a future goal, her government doesn’t intend on pursuing independence while fighting against the Islamic State. The United States was asked to arm the Kurds, but Abdul Rahman did not say that the Iraqi government “siphoned off” the weapons as Paul so boldly did. Syrian Kurds aren’t on board with Paul’s plans, either. Sinam Mohamad, a representative from Kurdish region Rojava, said that the Syrian Kurds wished to remain in a decentralized and peaceful Syria.
The same day Paul made his remarks, the Obama administration pushed back, stating that the creation of Kurdistan would be detrimental to the fight against ISIL while pointing out that Paul didn’t know as much about the region as he believed he did. A State Department official noted, “We believe a unified Iraq is a stronger Iraq. Iraq’s sovereign territory remains under threat from ISIL and the only way to address this threat is for all Iraqis — Sunni, Shia, and Kurd — to work together.”
Paul’s recent remarks about intervening in the Middle East are just a drop in an ocean full of hypocritical comments he’s made over his career. He’s become notorious for trying to be progressive and work with the left, and then immediately backpedaling, and proven that he’s more far-right than even his father.
Opinion columnist and former editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.