reply to post by wildtimes
My Rep wrote me back too. Basically, he gave me the party line about the Syrian government using Sarin, which is unproven, IMO, per the NYT letter
from Putin and etc.
Included, in case you wanna read the oficial line on this.
Thank you for contacting me about your concerns regarding potential U.S. involvement in the Syrian conflict. I appreciate you taking the time to write
and share your thoughts with me.
There is no question that the ongoing conflict in Syria has become a major humanitarian crisis and a cause of significant regional instability. This
conflict, which started more than two years ago when protests against the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad turned violent, has gone from bad
to worse. In fact, more than 100,000 Syrians have died and more than two million have been displaced and now live in refugee camps in countries like
Jordan and Turkey.
In the midst of this terrible conflict, there is strong evidence from intelligence reports (from our country as well as reports from France and the
United Kingdom) that the Assad regime recently used chemical weapons, brutally murdering over 1,000 Syrians – including hundreds children – and
having long-lasting negative impacts on surviving civilians.
In response, President Obama sought Congressional authorization for a limited military strike against the Syrian government. Then, during the
President's address to the nation on Sept. 10, he postponed a vote to authorize the use of force in Syria in order to pursue a potential diplomatic
solution proposed by Russia. This potential solution would require Syria giving up its chemical weapons to the international community.
I've heard from many constituents who believe that the US must exhaust all diplomatic options before taking military action. I agree. We should fully
pursue this diplomatic avenue.
While I am hopeful a diplomatic solution can be achieved, any proposal for Syria to voluntarily give up its chemical weapons to the international
community must be fully vetted to ensure that there is a realistic plan to overcome the challenges of containing these stockpiles in the midst of a
civil war. The key question regarding any US or international effort– diplomatic or military – is whether it will limit the ability of the Assad
regime to continue to use chemical weapons against its own people or transfer them to others who could use them against the United States or our
allies. I look forward to reviewing details of a proposal to determine whether it can be successful in this goal. Now is the time for Assad to back up
his words with action and give up his chemical weapons to prevent future atrocities.
Should diplomacy fail, Congress may still consider whether to authorize the use of military force. I am still reviewing the intelligence and analysis
surrounding the proposed military response. And I'm actively listening to the people I represent.
These are among the most difficult decisions our nation faces, and I believe it is appropriate and necessary that we have a full debate over what
action, if any, will be in the best interest of our nation. That said, I'd like to briefly share with you some of my thoughts.
Let me start by saying what I do not support: I do not support sending American troops into Syria. Having just returned from Afghanistan, I'm more
mindful than ever of the extraordinary sacrifices that have already been made by our servicemembers. And I return with very little appetite for seeing
our nation getting entrenched in another Middle Eastern conflict.
In addition, I do not support taking action that would start a larger regional conflict. And I do not support empowering extremist factions that may
one day take up arms against the United States or our allies.
In the days ahead, I want to do everything I can to understand the answers to some key questions and key considerations that I am weighing.
First of all, I want to understand what success looks like and how any military action would promote America's interests in the region and around the
What will be the impact of the strike in the short, medium, and long-term? Will military action actually degrade the Assad regime's capacity to use
chemical weapons? In what ways do we expect military action to affect our allies in the region? What happens if we approve the use of military force
and Assad again uses chemical weapons?
When the House Armed Services Committee held a hearing on the situation in Syria, I posed some of these questions to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey. I will continue pushing for detailed responses to these questions as the situation
continues to develop.
Moreover, I want to be sure we understand the implications of choosing not to act. By waging chemical warfare against his own people, it is clear that
Assad is openly defying the global community's long-standing opposition to these deadly weapons. Assad now joins Adolf Hitler and Saddam Hussein as
tyrants who have used chemical weapons during war. What message is sent to Assad – and to other leaders with bad intentions toward America and its
allies – if they believe they can use chemical weapons without consequence?
Finally, what role will the rest of the international community play to deter further use of chemical weapons?
We need to be very careful about not being further drawn into a conflict that we have limited ability to resolve. While the U.S. is right to call for
President Assad's removal from office, we have to be mindful that U.S. military action alone will not solve this civil war. There must be a political
solution between the regime's supporters and opponents. The United States cannot impose that solution through military action.
As the situation in Syria continues to evolve, I appreciate you sharing your views on this important issue. I welcome your continued thoughts and
Thank you for reaching out. It is an honor to serve as your representative.
Member of Congress