WASHINGTON (CBSDC) — Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., is calling on “civilized Islam” to help take on the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria terror group.
President Barack Obama laid out his plan to deal with ISIS during an address to the nation Wednesday night, saying that the U.S. will expand airstrikes in Iraq and authorized strikes inside Syria for the first time. The president also announced that he will be sending an additional 475 American troops to Iraq to assist and advise Iraqi forces and is calling on Congress to authorize funding to arm and train moderate Syrian rebels to help combat the terror group.
Paul, a potential Republican presidential contender, agrees that the U.S. needs to take on ISIS, but Muslim nations must also help in the fight against the terror group.
“Ultimately, civilized Islam will have to step up. We need to do everything we can to protect ourselves. I’m all in for saying we have to combat ISIS, but also the ultimate war … is going to need allies from civilized Islam,” Paul told Fox News. “I think it is important not only for the American public, but for the world, and for the Islamic world to point out that this is not a true form of Islam.”
During his address, Obama said that ISIS did not represent Islam.
“ISIL is not Islamic. No religion condones the killing of innocents. And the vast majority of ISIL’s victims have been Muslim,” Obama said, using an alternate acronym for the terror group.
Paul stated that Obama was making the point that ISIS is not the true depiction of Islam.
“The long-term victory is going to require allies who are part of the civilized Islamic world, which is the majority of the Islamic world, but they have to step up because frankly they’ve been allowing too much of this to go on and countries like Saudi Arabia have aided and abetted the rise of ISIS,” Paul told Fox News.
The Republican senator believes that the U.S. allowed a “festering chaos” to ensue following the toppling of secular dictators in the Middle East.
“There have been four secular dictators who have gone: Gadhafi, Mubarak, Assad, maybe, and Hussein. Every time the secular dictator has failed, chaos has arisen and radical Islam has become dominant,” Paul told Fox News.
Obama authorized the use of airstrikes without the approval of Congress. Paul called this unconstitutional.
“The Constitution is very clear,” Paul told Fox News. “He should’ve come before a joint session of Congress, laid out his plans as he did tonight and then called for an up or down vote on whether or not to authorize him going to war.”
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said in a statement that the United States military is ready when Obama gives the order.
“President Obama laid out a strong, comprehensive strategy to degrade and ultimately destroy ISIL, and the United States military is prepared to carry out its responsibilities in this counter-terrorism campaign,” Hagel said. “The men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces are ready to carry out the orders of our commander-in-chief, to work with our partners across government, and to work with our friends and allies around the world to accomplish this mission.”