- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky said Monday that it was a “mistake” to topple Saddam Hussein in Iraq and criticized the United States’ subsequent intervention in Libya.

“All the way back to the Iraq War, I think it was a mistake to topple [Saddam] Hussein. Hussein was the bulwark against Iran. The Sunnis didn’t like the Shiites, now Iraq is a vassal state for Iran,” Mr. Paul said at headquarters of the National Society for Hebrew Day Schools in Brooklyn, according to the New York Observer. “I’m worried [Iran] is twice as strong as it was before the Iraq War.”

Mr. Paul, as he has in the past, also took a shot at former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton for the intervention that toppled Moammar Gadhafi in Libya.

“Hillary’s war in Libya is, was, and continues to be an utter disaster. Gadhafi wasn’t a good guy but he suppressed radical Islam,” Mr. Paul said. “Each time we topple a secular dictator, I think we wind up with chaos and radical Islam seems to rise.”

Mr. Paul, a 2016 presidential candidate who has battled with more hawkish Republicans over U.S. foreign policy, also told the crowd of Orthodox Jewish leaders that he’s “not an isolationist.”

“I’m somebody who believes that war is the last resort,” he said, according to the New York Times.

With respect to Iran, Mr. Paul also said that he’s “for negotiations as opposed to war.”

“If there’s a way we can have a negotiated peace, I want peace as opposed to war.”

He criticized those who, “I think, frankly, have a simplistic understanding of this, who think war is the only option.”

“I still think there are other options,” he said. “That doesn’t mean I favor a bad deal, though.”

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