Rand Paul: Withhold Foreign Aid from ‘Crazy Countries’

The senator and his foreign policy.

Senator Rand Paul (R-TX) asks quesions during a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Permanent subcommittee on Investigations on Capitol Hill in Washington, District of Columbia, U.S., on Tuesday, May 21, 2013.

Photographer: Pete Marovich/Bloomberg

Kentucky Senator Rand Paul is traveling to New Hampshire next week, and he's been making the right preliminary moves, like a call-in to Howie Carr's Boston-area talk show. In his conversation Friday, Paul was pulled back into an argument over how the United States should and could respond to the actions of radical Muslims. The relevant part of the conversation:

Rand Paul: I'm calling for it, can't make it happen, but what I can do is withhold money from these crazy countries, if they are gonna not be supportive of us, if they are indiscriminately arming crazy/radical Islam in Syria, Libya and across the globe.

Howie Carr: Which countries would you call crazy?

RP: What I would say is..

HC: Is Jordan crazy?

RP: Jordan has been a good ally of ours, and I don't think Jordan has been fomenting or sending arms into the middle of the Syrian civil war.

HC: Saudia Arabia?  Are they crazy?

RP: I wouldn't characterize it by using that word. What I would say ...

HC: But that was your word.

RP: Yeah … I would say in this instance, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Kuwait have all sent arms indiscriminately into the Syrian civil war and many of the arms have ended up in the hands of ISIS, even American arms have landed in the hands of ISIS.  And we need to let our allies in the region know this is unacceptable, and we will no longer be giving arms, selling arms, or giving money to them if they behave this way.

HC: So are Qatar and Kuwait crazy?

RP: What I would say is what I just said, Howie. Do you want me to repeat myself?

HC: No I'm just saying, you went out kind of on a limb with the word crazy.

RP: Unacceptable is a better word to use there, Howie.

A day earlier, in a talk with Sean Hannity, Paul had pitched his perennial idea of encouraging Arab countries to fight ISIS. "There need to be civilized members of Islam who do step forward," he said. "Saudi Arabia needs to fight... I want to see every one of them on the front lines." Carr, who was less inclined to let Paul talk, wondered if the idea of counting on Saudi Arabia to fight conflicted at all with the idea that the Saudis did not deserve America's foreign aid.