Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul spoke out against his fellow members of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations this week after they voted 15-3 in favor of arming elements of Syrian opposition. According to Foreign Policy, the bipartisan bill “would authorize the shipment of arms and military training to rebels ‘that have gone through a thorough vetting process.’”
Gee, what could go wrong?
“This is an important moment,” Paul announced. “You will be funding, today, the allies of al Qaeda. It’s an irony you cannot overcome.”
FP has more:
The dispute centers on the issue of whether the United States could properly vet Syrian rebels so that weapons and body armor would not fall into the hands of extremist groups, such as the al Qaeda-aligned al-Nusra Front. The Pentagon’s top brass has vacillated about whether it’s logistically possible to keep track of weapons as they enter a conflict involving a complex mix of opposition groups, as the new bill would require. [...]
[Sen. Bob] Corker added that not arming rebel groups such as the more moderate Free Syrian Army would ensure the dominance of the better-equipped al-Nusra Front. Paul responded, saying, “It’s impossible to know who our friends are … I know everyone here wants to do the right thing, but I think it’s a rush to war.”
To get a sense of how adamant the committee is to authorize more aggressive intervention in Syria, an amendment offered by Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM) to limit the types of weapons delivered to rebels was forcefully rejected as well. “The senator from New Mexico wants to use shotguns against SCUD missiles,” McCain said dismissively.