The opinion that Turkey’s offensive against Syrian Kurds began because of the decision of Donald trump to withdraw the troops, mistakenly, says US Senator Rand Paul in an interview with Fox Business. According to him, the Turks would have invaded Syria in any case, and 50 Americans would not be able to stop them. The Senator stressed that the main hope of the Kurdish Alliance with Bashar al-Assad and Russia.
RAND PAUL, US Senator: Not that the President (trump. — Inotv) said of Turkey: “Please come and Stargates to Syria!”. It is the Turks called the President and said, “anyway, we’re going. There you have 50 soldiers, we are giving you fair warning that those 50 soldiers should not be there in the way of tens of thousands of Turkish troops”.
The President never promised to stay, the American people do not want to have hundreds or thousands of soldiers. We do not need another Iraq war. We have no national interests. So, I think the President was absolutely right. But he had no choice. Those who believe that 50 military scared away the Turks… No, the Turks always wanted to go! And when they decided to come, they warned us. And instead of trying to prevent a massacre, the President was wise: had redeployed troops.
As you know, the President is much criticized. And the editorial Board of The Wall Street Journal this morning published an article titled: “the Syrian mess trump”. Here is what they write: “Mr. Trump at first was able to look strong by waging war against ISIS* and applying force to force Mr. Assad pay for using chemical weapons. But that image faded when he gave vent to his inner Rand the Floor and began at every opportunity to declare that the main purpose of his foreign policy — to put an end to “endless wars”. Further, Senator, the editorial Board calls it “obtuse isolationism”.
RAND PAUL: Yeah. I would say that The Wall Street Journal, John Bolton and the faction war in his own naive when they think that their war somehow made the middle East better. Is the world a safer and better middle East that toppled Saddam Hussein? Or because that overthrew Gaddafi? So, over and over again The Wall Street Journal supported the change of regimes, they and the Assad regime want to change!
But here’s the paradox: no matter how much the President criticized the Kurds, the Kurds were once allies of Assad, and if they can negotiate with Assad a deal, they will have a much better chance on its own territory in Syria than ever in the last hundred years.
So we really need a discussion, but no discussion, because no one on our side, including The Wall Street Journal, does not want negotiations with Assad. Assad must be part of the peace settlement, and the Turks too. Frankly speaking, Russians, and Iraqis. All players must participate in the discussion. And we should suspend deliveries of weapons to use that as leverage with the aim to bring all to the negotiating table.
But isn’t it true that you fought-that is the Kurds? The Americans helped them with weapons, as you just said, provided arms. We lost so much… Listen, any human loss is a bad thing, right?
RAND PAUL: Right.
Over the past five years we have lost many people, but if you look at the numbers, Americans have big losses. Fighting actually Kurds, we only supported them with weapons!
RAND PAUL: the Kurds live there…
RAND PAUL: AND they are fighting to regain their villages, and it is wonderful.
What is wrong if USA will help them repel the attack of the Iranians who need this oil?
RAND PAUL: Mary, when our country goes to war, the Constitution is very clear on how to do it. To go to war, we need to vote on whether we go to war. So, if America wants to go to war to protect the Kurds, we should have a discussion at the national level, and if you can convince a sufficient number of Americans that the war in Syria is in our national security interests, then so be it.
But I don’t think Americans want to. And I don’t think we should break into another civil war in every God-forsaken corner of the Earth. But here’s another paradox…
What if you come back IG? Senator, that if the IG will return for his?
RAND PAUL: yeah, Yeah, “what if”…
What if the IG will get to this oil, will start to sell it and get a new source of income?
RAND PAUL: I know, I Know. “What if”. So you can say about Afghanistan, about Libya, about Mali…
RAND PAUL: But the thing is that if you say “what if” in every corner of the world, it is possible to try to occupy, but we don’t have it neither money, nor troops. So I think that’s a mistake. I think we need to get out of the Afghan war from the Syrian war. I think we need to be strong, we must have good intelligence. If we must attack our enemies, we will do so. But if you ask our soldiers: “Want to be cops? Want to be a world police? Want to rebuild the state, to engage in road projects in Syria and Afghanistan?” they say, “No. Enemies we kill, but we are tired of being stuck here for decades.” The President did the right thing was to withdraw its troops.
Last question on this topic. This question is about sanctions. The President imposed sanctions against Turkey and increased duties on Turkish steel. He also threatened a more severe financial penalty if they (the Turks. — Inotv) will continue to advance in Northern Syria. Is that enough? How do you think this will work?
RAND PAUL: I Think we should stop supplying weapons to Turkey and other countries, such as Saudi Arabia if they do not behave as true allies. And I don’t think Saudi Arabia or Turkey behaved. So I stop the supply of weapons. And I think it would give us great leverage.
But, in my opinion, more important than sanctions and even termination of arms supplies — that have occurred in the region last 24 hours. The value of this, in my opinion, cannot be overstated. The Union of Assad, the Russians and the Kurds is, paradoxically, the best chance the Kurds some autonomy for a region within Syria. It’s already been decided.
So, the sanctions can come into force and take effect for many months, but the front line will be determined much earlier. If we can convince the Turks to speak with Assad, and Assad will be able to convince them that they will control its border and there will be no encroachments on the part of the Syrian Kurds…
RAND PAUL: Another paradox about all this love for Syrian Kurds is that it turns out to be the socialist workers party, in fact it is the Kurdistan workers ‘ party. And many Iraqi Kurds, the Syrian do not like, and even gave them to the Turkish government, because they were supporters of attacks across the Turkish border.
RAND PAUL: This war has been going on a hundred years, and we should not think that we will become the deciding factor in a century-old showdown of the Kurds with the Turks.
Date aired October 15, 2019.
* “Islamic state” (IG) — declared a terrorist organization by the decision of the Supreme court dated 29.12.2014.