Kentucky's Rand Paul says Obama didn't convince him on Syria

kward1@herald-leader.comSeptember 10, 2013 

Sen. Rand Paul remains unconvinced that attacking Syria would be a wise move, the Kentucky Republican said after President Obama's national address Tuesday night.

Paul said an attack could provoke Syrian President Bashar Assad to expand his use of chemical weapons or, if Assad were deposed, could allow the weapons to fall into the hands of Islamic extremists.

"Twelve years after we were attacked by al-Qaida, 12 years after 3,000 Americans were killed by al-Qaida, President Obama now asks us to be allies with al-Qaida," Paul said in a videotaped response posted on YouTube after the president's speech. He said Russia's offer to attempt to get Syria to turn over its chemical weapons could provide "a welcome resolution," but the United States should "proceed with caution on the details."

"Can we trust the participants in this plan?" he asked.

Paul, who might have ambitions for a 2016 presidential run, also appeared to take some credit for the development.

"The chance for diplomacy would not have occurred without strong voices against an immediate bombing campaign," he said. "... The voices of those in Congress and the overwhelming number of Americans who stood up and said 'slow down' allowed this possible solution to take shape."

Karla Ward: (859) 231-3314. Twitter: @HLpublicsafety

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