U.S. presidential candidate Senator Rand Paul told a Jewish audience that he did not support a war with Iran over their nuclear weapons program, and that it was the wrong decision to oust Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein since he had served as a bulwark against the greater threat of Iran.
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According to a report in The Observer, the libertarian Kentucky Senator said that the Sunni-Shi’ite divisions in Iraq were exacerbated by the war, which only turned Iraq into an Iranian vassal state, making Iran much stronger.
Paul was speaking to Jewish leaders at Torah Umesorah, a Hebrew day school in Brooklyn at an event organized by an Orthodox Jewish supporter, which was open to the press. He added that waging a war in Libya was also a mistake, pointing to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s, the likely Democratic contender for president, as the person responsible for the chaos that ensued there after U.S. forces toppled Muammar Qadafi.
In Libya, too, argued Paul, the decision was misplaced since Qadafi, although an evil ruler, suppressed radical Islam. With his departure the country became embroiled in a civil war, in the course of which an American ambassador was killed and the embassy staff dispersed. Libya is now a divided country, a third of which supports the Islamic State (ISIS). He argued that toppling President Assad in Syria would have the same effect.
Paul believes in the centrality of faith in society, and sees Israel as one of America’s best friends and allies. He won applause when he stated his support for school vouchers and charter schools. Several attendees said that they were impressed by the Senator.