Tags: rand | paul | kerry | syria

Rand Paul to Kerry: Remember 1971 Anti-War Testimony

Image: Rand Paul to Kerry: Remember 1971 Anti-War Testimony

Sunday, 01 Sep 2013 12:14 PM

By Greg Richter

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Sen. Rand Paul on Sunday paraphrased a younger John Kerry, who in 1971 testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, had asked, "How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?"

"I would ask John Kerry, how can you ask a man to be the first one to die for a mistake?" Paul, a Kentucky Republican, said Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press."

Kerry, then a member of Vietnam Veterans Against the War, today serves as Secretary of State and is making the case for hitting Syria with missile strikes over its use of chemical weapons on civilians.

"I would ask John Kerry, do you think that it's more likely or less likely that chemical weapons will be used again if we bomb Assad?" Paul said. "I think all of the bad things you can image are all more likely if you get involved in the Syrian civil war."

Paul said he wishes Kerry would remember from his youth how awful war is, and that it shouldn't be a desired outcome.

If Russia and China had been brought into the diplomatic process long ago, he said, Syrian President Bashar Assad would likely have been removed from power already.

Paul said he fears the Syrian civil war may escalate out of control if America gets involved. While Assad is definitely not on America's side, Paul said, "I'm not convinced anybody on the Islamic side, the Islamic rebels, will be American allies."

President Barack Obama said Saturday he will seek Congress' input on taking action. Paul predicted the Democratic-controlled Senate would "rubber stamp" the request, but said the House, led by Republicans, were more likely to be "at least 50/50."

Kerry, appearing earlier on the show, would not say definitively whether Obama would act if Congress votes against authorization of military action. Paul said Kerry "waffled" and "wobbled" on the answer.

Obama made a "grave mistake" in drawing a red line a year ago that the United States would be stirred to act if chemical weapons, Paul said. He accused Obama of trying to show his own "machismo" after that line was crossed, saying the president is just adding "bad policy to bad policy."

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