Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky slammed members of his own party today for creating ISIS.
During an appearance on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" (video below), the 2016 GOP presidential candidate stated:
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. These hawks also wanted to bomb [Syrian President Bashar] Assad, which would have made ISIS' job even easier. They created these people.
ISIS is all over Libya because these same hawks in my party loved, they loved Hillary Clinton's war in Libya, they just wanted more of it. But Libya is a failed state, and it's a disaster, Iraq really is a failed state, or a vessel state now of Iran.
So everything that they've talked about in foreign police, they've been wrong about for twenty years, and yet they have somehow the gall to keep saying and pointing fingers otherwise.
According to The Hill, Paul said that he supported replacing Assad, giving weapons to Kurd rebels in Syria (who are fighting ISIS) and a future peace treaty between the Kurds and their enemies across the border, the Turks.
However, Republican Governor Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, who may also run for president in 2016, didn't take kindly to Paul's comments.
Jindal slammed Paul on his government website today:
This is a perfect example of why Senator Paul is unsuited to be Commander-in-Chief. We have men and women in the military who are in the field trying to fight ISIS right now, and Senator Paul is taking the weakest, most liberal Democrat position.
It's one thing for Senator Paul to take an outlandish position as a Senator at Washington cocktail parties, but being Commander-in-Chief is an entirely different job. We should all be clear that evil and Radical Islam are at fault for the rise of ISIS, and people like President Obama and Hillary Clinton exacerbate it.
American weakness, not American strength, emboldens our enemies. Senator Paul's illogical argument clouds a situation that should provide pure moral clarity. Islam has a problem. ISIS is its current manifestation. And the next President's job is to have the discipline and strength to wipe ISIS off the face of the earth. It has become impossible to imagine a President Paul defeating radical Islam and it's time for the rest of us to say it.
However, Jindal failed to mention that President Obama has been bombing ISIS since 2014, a fact noted by The Guardian.
The New Yorker reported in 2014: "Al Qaeda in Iraq was run largely by foreigners; ISIS is run by a council of former Iraqi generals, according to Hisham Alhashimi, an adviser to the Iraqi government and an expert on ISIS. Many are members of Saddam Hussein’s secular Baath Party who converted to radical Islam in American prisons."
The Daily Mail noted earlier this year: "Almost all of the regional commanders appointed by ISIS' leader and self-declared caliph, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, played prominent roles in the Baathist army before the 2003 invasion of Iraq and became involved with ISIS either in the resulting insurgency or after the dictator's 2006 execution."
In response to Jindal's attack, Paul's senior adviser Doug Stafford told Politico:
It’s ironic Gov. Jindal would level such a charge when he flip-flops on crucial issues like Common Core and national security, and he has cratered his own state’s economy and budget.
Senator Paul is the only Republican running it seems who is willing to learn from our mistakes in the Middle East in order to keep us safer and stronger. The American people are looking for a candidate who can express a coherent viewpoint, something Gov. Jindal and many other candidates have been unable to do thus far.