Kentucky Republican Senator Rand Paul moved away from Marco Rubio and the neocons on Sunday when he told CNN the U.S. fashioned a “jihadist wonderland” in Syria that has empowered ISIS.
“We went into Libya and we got rid of that terrible Qaddafi, now it’s a jihadist wonderland over there,” Paul said. “There’s jihadists everywhere. If we were to get rid of Assad it would be a jihadist wonderland in Syria. It’s now a jihadist wonderland in Iraq, precisely because we got over-involved.”
Paul said ISIS does not pose a threat to the United States. Other Republicans, including Florida Senator Marco Rubio, insist the terror group is a threat to U.S. national security. Rubio said he believes ISIS poses an “extremely serious” threat and is more dangerous to the security of Americans than al-Qaeda.
“You have to ask yourself, are you willing to send your son, am I willing to send my son to retake back a city, Mosul, that they weren’t willing to defend themselves?” Paul said. “I’m not willing to send my son into that mess.”
Former Vice President Dick Cheney believes Paul is an isolationist.
“Rand Paul, with all due respect, is basically an isolationist,” Cheney told ABC News. “He doesn’t believe we ought to be involved in that part of the world. I think it’s absolutely essential. One of the things I worried about 12 years ago — and that I worry about today — is that there will be another 9/11 attack and that the next time it’ll be with weapons far deadlier than airline tickets and box cutters.”
Speaking at the National Press Club in June, 2009 Cheney admitted Iraq was not involved in the September 11, 2001 terror attack. “I do not believe and have never seen any evidence to confirm that [Hussein] was involved in 9/11. We had that reporting for a while, [but] eventually it turned out not to be true,” he said.
Prior to the 2003 invasion, however, Cheney insisted there was a direct link between al-Qaeda and Saddam Hussein. He claimed Iraq was harboring Abdul Rahman Yasin, a suspect in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, and a relationship between Iraq and al-Qaeda existed in the 1990s and included training with weapons of mass destruction. He also claimed there was a connection between Iraq and Mohamed Atta, the alleged 9/11 ringleader.
The claims made by Cheney and the neocons turned out to be fabrications explained away as “intelligence failures.”