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Rand Paul Says Sooner the Better to Leave ‘Mess’ in Syria: Can ‘These People’ Not ‘Do Anything’ Themselves?

Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) appeared on CNN’s State of the Union on Sunday to discuss President Donald Trump pulling out American troops from Syria, a policy for which Sen. Paul is the most vocal supporter. Paul told host Jake Tapper that it was a move long overdue and ISIS is defeated.

“In the last 20 years,” Tapper asked the non-interventionist Republican, “is there any act with U.S. Intervention with military force abroad that you support?”

“Yes. After we were attacked on 9/11, I did support to go into Afghanistan. I would’ve voted for the resolution,” replied Paul. “But we’re ignoring the resolution, it said we’d go after those who planned, abetted, aided the people who attacked us. It never said anything about associated forces. It never said anything about war in Yemen, Somalia, Mali, Syria. None of this was ever authorized by Congress. So what we’re doing in like seven different war theaters right now is unconstitutional and we shouldn’t be doing it.”

“I would have declared victory long ago and come home,” he said. “When the president declares victory over ISIS, he’s exactly right. We took back 99% of their land. Aren’t these people going to stand up and now fight for themselves? Can they not do anything?”

The words “themselves” and “these people” refer in this context to the Syrians specifically, and the residents of Muslim nations in the Middle East more generally, as Paul explained to Tapper, saying that our presence there is unwelcome.

“It doesn’t work to have Americans there, policing Muslim lands. It just engenders more terrorism. The longer Americans stay, the more terrorism you’ll have,” he said. He indicated that American forces are so “forward-deployed” around the globe that “we can attack on a moment’s notice from anywhere,” and that therefore withdrawal doesn’t mean being unable to act or intervene in the future.

“But really the people who live there, the Muslims who live in these lands need to police the Muslims who live in these lands,” he said. “If it’s Americans it will always be seen as those who live there as some sort of religious crusade and it encourages more terrorism.”

“So the sooner we get out of that mess, the better,” he concluded.

Watch the clip above, courtesy of CNN.

[Featured image via screengrab]

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