President Barack Obama's pledge to initiate a limited operation in Syria will likely escalate into a full-blown war, with Americans supporting a rebel cause that is backed by al-Qaida, retired Texas Rep. Ron Paul is arguing.
"The president has opened a can of worms that will destroy his presidency and possibly destroy this country. Another multibillion dollar war has begun," Paul wrote in a column posted on The Free Foundation
The three-time presidential hopeful, registered Republican and champion of libertarian values, likened American involvement in Syria to both the Iraq and Vietnam wars.
"This plan to transfer weapons to the Syrian rebels had become policy much earlier than that, as The Washington Post reported that the CIA had expanded over the past year its secret bases in Jordan to prepare for the transfer of weapons to the rebels in Syria," wrote Paul.
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"The process was identical to the massive deception campaign that led us into the Iraq war."
He also said "the Obama administration promises us that this is to be a very limited operation, providing small arms only, with no plans for a no-fly zone or American boots on the ground."
"That sounds an awful lot like how Vietnam started.
"When these few small arms do not achieve the pre-determined U.S. policy of regime change in Syria, what is the administration going to do? Admit failure and pull the troops out, or escalate?" Paul asked.
"History suggests the answer and it now appears to be repeating itself once again," Paul said.
Obama's decision last week to arm rebels in the Syrian civil war came after heavy pressure from advisers and former President Bill Clinton, and in spite of Obama's own lack of confidence that U.S. intervention would have an effect on the two-year war, The New York Times reported
Paul, who retired from Congress in November, said Obama's decision is particularly irresponsible, given that "main rebel factions have pledged their loyalty to al-Qaida."
"Does anyone else see the irony?" Paul asked.
"After 12 years of the 'war on terror' and the struggle against al-Qaida, the U.S. decided to provide weapons to the allies of al-Qaida. Does anyone really think this is a good idea?" he asked.
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