UPDATED: Congressman Gibson says he’ll vote no on Syria attack

Chris Gibson. (Photo by Dan Barton)

Chris Gibson. (Photo by Dan Barton)

U.S. Rep. Chris Gibson, in an interview Tuesday, Sept. 3, stuck by his Aug. 31 statement saying he will vote against authorizing President Obama to use force in Syria and added he will work to convince his fellow lawmakers that diplomacy and humanitarian aid, not military action, is the way to bring fighting there to an end.

“I continue to dialogue with my colleagues and looking to influence them to fully think this through and vote no on the authorization to use military force,” said Gibson.

U.S. military action against Syria became a serious possibility after an Aug. 21 nerve gas attack, allegedly launched by the regime of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, killed more than 1,400 people in a Damascus suburb. But in the wake of the United Kingdom’s House of Commons’ rejection of an appeal by Prime Minister David Cameron for a sign-off on the British use of force, Obama announced late last week he would seek Congressional approval for a retaliatory strike. The president has called upon Congress to vote as soon as possible after its return to Washington next week; this week, legislators were deeply split, with some arguing that failure to strike Assad would damage American credibility and let a dictator get away with using chemical weapons on civilians, while others argue that a war-weary America has no place in interfering in Syria’s civil war and that any attack would be counterproductive.


For his part, Gibson (R-Kinderhook) says he’ll oppose a strike, arguing for a continuation of diplomatic efforts to end the two-years-running war which has taken an estimated 100,000 lives so far.

“Certainly I’m very saddened by what’s been going on, on the ground in Syria,” Gibson said Tuesday. “But I think if we want to make a difference, if we want to bring about a peaceful resolution to the Syrian civil war, then we need to stay on the diplomatic track and we need to work with the warring factions, the stakeholders in the region, bring them to the table…use our economic leverage as well, in terms of ratcheting up sanctions and pressure to bring a peaceful resolution to the civil war.”

As the debate unfolds, the Obama administration is holding number of classified briefings which it hopes will persuade reluctant lawmakers to support a strike. Gibson said he expects to receive one of these briefings, but he is unlikely to be swayed by its contents.

“I will be going to more briefings when I go down to Washington and I look forward to that, but again, my views on this issue are fully thought through, in terms of my experience and my belief that striking Syria will not make things better — it will make them worse.”

As he doesn’t support an attack on the Assad regime, he also is against arming any one of the half-dozen or so rebel coalitions, some of which are alleged to be allied with al-Qaida, saying even that step would “Americanize” the war. “I’m opposed to arming the rebels because I also think that will exacerbate the situation on the ground,” said Gibson. “Some of those rebel forces shot at our troops in Iraq. I’m concerned about empowering forces who mean to bring us harm.”

Constitutionally consistent

While Obama’s move can be seen as a risk for his own prestige and the credibility of the U.S. and is a departure from the modern presidential tradition of attacking first and asking permission later, Gibson praised Obama for his decision to consult the legislative branch. “That’s consistent with our Constitution,” said Gibson, who has co-authored a bill that would rein in the president’s military prerogatives under the War Powers Act. “The Founders intended for the people to have a voice, to express their views to their representative and their representative would think through those positions, come to the Congress, research the issue, have a full debate and have a vote on record before we authorize a military strike of any kind.”

Nor does he see the president asking Congress for an attack OK as a sign of weakness, or a political miscalculation. “I think that any time we follow our Constitution, we get stronger,” said Gibson. “Our Constitution was designed for people, to be self-governing, for the people to have input, and in this case, that means listening to our constituents.” (He noted that while he has gotten a lot of constituent input against attacking Syria, he’s heard virtually nothing so far from its supporters.)

Gibson said he isn’t buying the argument that the Assad regime must be punished for the use of weapons of mass destruction. “There has been use of WMD [in the past] that has not elicited a response. I do not support the idea of escalating the Syrian civil war fundamentally because it’s not in our interests, I don’t think it’s going to resolve the matter and I think the best way to achieve the desired end-state is to continue to work the diplomatic track.”

As of mid-week, serious lobbying was taking place, with House leaders John Boehner and Nancy Pelosi coming out in support of Obama and pundits across the political spectrum predicting legislative horse-trading and vote-corralling on an epic scale prior to the actual tally. Gibson was asked if he’d care to make a prediction on how the vote will come out. “It’s too close to call, or it’s too early to know is what I would tell you.”

There are 73 comments

  1. The Red Dog Party

    Congressman Gibson – thank you for your stand, hold fast and vote no. This intervention would be another folly and has the potential of further inflaming the middle east. Have we not learned from history?

    1. Ron W.

      Is it any wonder that He has not learned from history. He doesn’t know American history, period. He’s like a foreigner who got lucky and became President of the US. And what if Assad decides to return fire with his own scud missiles?

  2. Bob Wallace

    Congressman Chris Gibson’s position is the most reasonable I have heard or read thus far concerning the issue of the U.S. possibly intervening in Syria. Let’s hope that his colleagues in the House are as reasonable and vote NO to our entering this tragic conflict. We can help with generous humanitarian aid and vigorous diplomatic pressure.

  3. O'Hara

    Do you think that a “Ten minute time out” would be appropriate? Obviously humanitarian assistance is part of the American spirit, however Syria has used sarin gas which was not to be used due to humanitarian reasons, if anyone try’s to provide aid for humanitarian reasons Syria will not respect them as well.

    1. Bob Wallace

      No one is condoning the criminal use of sarin, but how does the US convince the Assad regime not to use gas by shelling the country with Tomahawk Missiles that result in only more deaths? Our current humanitarian aid comes in the form or food, clean water, and medical supplies, all of which are urgently needed. We can also extend further assistance to Turkey and Jordan with additional aid, as those countries are presently absorbing the bulk of Syria’s refugees. We should exert diplomatic pressure by continuing our discussions with the Putin government in Russia, a Syrian ally that may may have the greatest foreign influence over Assad. Additionally we must recall that one of the major insurgent groups in Syria today is al-Nusar, an extremist fundamentalist group that has strong links to al-Queda in Iraq. While we may want to see Assad toppled, we certainly do not want to see a terrorist organization triumphant in Syria either.

    2. Frank

      The “rebels” released that stuff and after we’ve pounded Syria into submission the truth will come out. Remember the WMD’s in Iraq? Same scenario – different president different country.

    1. WhiteRose

      I am totally opposed to ANY USA military action in Syria. When will the USA realize that we CANNOT police the entire world? Too many Americans have already died trying to do so. Kerry’s sarcastic remark to a senator who said the American people do not want any more military actions was rude and not applicable to the present situation. Just because some politicians – on both sides – want to write ther legacies by the number of wars they have fougt in/started is not good enough resaon to continue the murder and mayhem that is currently taking place. Two wrongs DO NOT make a right!


  4. M Redden

    We do not belong in their battles. We are not the police of the world. Obama will just executive order it anyway. He needs to be impeached!

  5. Keown.Stephen

    Please vote NO ,Liberal elite’s are planing to get rid of Isrial with there Hands off,If we bomb Syria ,Iran will bomb Isrial and then we will have another World WAR this is not a good thing ! Vote NO !

    1. Trish Dubois

      I agree, vote “NO”…!!! In regards to Isra-lies, they are the keepers of the Nutron bomb, plus, they are NOT the true Israel of the bible. It is a CORPORATE Zionist bankers empire. The stage is being set to bring about a war unlike any war ever fought by mankind. I must say as big as biblical proportions according to the prophets warnings. After W.W. III, the war of Gog and Magog, seven years men will wear protective suits to clean up the bleached bones and radioactive waste to cleanse the land (after the Isra-lies release it in self defense “when” the war gets too hot for them to handle and the U.S. and Nato give the okay.) I can only say Pandora’s ultimate box is being opened…!!! God help us all and ALL of OUR sons and daughters over there in uniform. They just don’t know what is in store. The Nutron bomb is the most henious of all weaponry invented by mankind. The Nutron bomb leaves buildings in tact while the flesh of all human and animal species is vaporized from their bones as they stand upon their feet…!!! Do your own research on this. For anyone who has sons, daughters and grandchildren serving over there in uniform, I strongly suggest informing them and I hope they do the right thing and go A-wall immediately…!!!

      1. Trish Dubois

        Well folks, it looks like they’re going to bring the hammer down on Syria regardless how many of us “we the people say no…!!!” God help us all, this will lead to W.W. III a war this world does not need.

  6. Vince

    Take care of the Sandy Victims who have been waiting 11 months for assistance, take care or the brave veterans and families who died at the Fort Hood Shooting which was “Work Place Violence” (Give Me a Break), Find the facts on Benghazi and punish those involved, find jobs for all the Americans out of work, take care of our vets who are waiting for benefits forever…….Then we can waste the taxpayers money on Syria, whoever takes over will still Hate Americans……So I say……Stay the hell out of there….Period

  7. Peter Bonk

    Good for you. Why doesn’t Saudi Arabia or some other Arab country do something about Syria. They Saber rattle but want the US to do the dirty work.

  8. Randy Rumpf

    The President disembowels the military and now he wants to send missiles into Syria. While I am sickened by the use of the chemical attacks on innocent men, women, AND children, this is a trend that continues and will continue throughout the Middle East. Unless our ONLY known ally, Israel is under fire I’m opposed to starting another conflict with another band of outlaws. It’s another deflection by the Obama Administration to draw attention from all the other scandals that should be addressed. I’m a Vietnam veteran. As if that makes a difference. VOTE NO Congressman.

  9. D. Mark

    We do not need to get involved in another conflict? The next war that we get involved in, the President should be the one who leads the troops into battle! We have lost enough of our military personnel and spent enough money fighting wars that we should not of got involved in the first place? We cannot solve every problem in the world?

  10. David Hobday

    With sides unsettled and the situation in flux it is unwise to commit Americans soldiers and resources to a unfriendly country and an unappreciative people. Please vote no military action.

  11. e urdanoff

    Please vote NO MILITARY ACTION. Whether the Assad regimen or the rebels are killing Syrian civilians with the use of chemical weapons, our becoming involved will have no good outcome. If the UN and a large number of our allies wish to make a punitive strike and the people guilty of using the forbidden weapons are convincingly identified, we should contribute to a unified strike.

  12. Doris M Dallas

    I think it is about time we start fixing our own country. We could start with our own corrupt government spending. Then we will have money to fix our own country.

  13. Karen Guy

    Finally, a politician that gets it! said Gibson. “Our Constitution was designed for people, to be self-governing, for the people to have input, and in this case, that means listening to our constituents.”

    He makes a great deal of sense-Do not get involved with Syria’s civil war.

  14. Jake rosa

    We as Americans don’t need to be involved in Syria’s civil war. We need to stay out unless they ( Syriaian people ) attack an American embassy and American citizen.

  15. Pat Reardon

    I am proud to have voted for Chris both times. He shows the common sense and leadership ability that is sorely lacking in the White House and most of the rest of the Congress. How many more of our young men and women need to come home with limbs blown off, disfigured and suffering mental anguish from the horrors of war before our “leaders” realize the insanity of it all? Our nation is not being threatened by Syria and therefore there is no need to strike them. Also, this game of chicken that Obama is playing with Putin is a very dangerous game. The Russians are already in the area and have warned Obama not to attack Syria. What will Obama do if Putin decides to shoot down our planes and/or strike our warships after we attack Syria? My guess is that he will be cowering under his desk in the White House sobbing and mumbling to himself. God Bless our Nation and save us from these lunatics who seem to have an unquestionable thirst for war. I agree with one of the other reponders, let Obama lead the charge on a white horse. It’s time he stopped “leading from behind” anyway!




  17. Bev Griffin

    We need to mind our own business & stay out of this. We can’t keep going over seas & fighting others battles. The US citizen is getting tired of losing our service men & woman in these wars over seas. The money spent to get envolved in these other countries would be better spent here at home. Our own country is falling apart. Our government officals need to start thinking about America & helping our own people who are having a hard time just to survive. There is much that needs taken care of right here in the US. It is time for this insanity to stop. We go from one conflict to another & in the end these countries kick the US in the butt.

  18. Edward F.Rossley

    Dear Chris I’m with you HELL NO stay out of Syria. Like you I’m a 30 year retired veteran and don’t believe we should get involved.Let them fight their own civil war. By the way thanks for the Flag,I was surprised when Paula knocked on my door and handed it to me.
    Edward F.Rossley
    Bovina Center,NY

  19. P Ward

    Link to your survey didn’t work on my browser but wanted to let you know I’m opposed to miitary action in Syria–thank you for your stand on this issue.

  20. C. German

    The US should not pursue ANY military action in Syria. No American soldiers need to die in their civil war. Have we learned nothing from all the previous conflicts in which the US has been involved. Stay out of Syria.

  21. Vaughn Fowler

    I am forever amazed that so few countries come to our aid in quelling conflicts throughout the world. We ought to be calling them out and taking names. I am sick to death with how we (the USA) entangle ourselves in these affairs. Therefore, I am in total agreement with Congressman Gibson’s approach in this matter.

  22. John M. pinto

    Congressman Gibson,
    As a fellow Kinderhook native and a concerned US citizen that actually has had the opportunity to have visited the country, during my years as a documentary film maker,I have to agree with you and also believe that a military strike will only create more problems that we as a country should not become involved with. The Syrian people only want to live in peace, unfortunately there are many factions that prevent this. Also, why have we as a nation have not gotten involved with other countries that have brutal dictators..Rwanda, and other African countries that have had serious civil wars, genocide..etc..I know economics, being oil or strategic positioning drive the reasons for war, but We as a nation need to focus on our own country being that we have massive unemployment, crumbling infrastructure, and poverty. I say bring our troops back home, guard the borders, inspect the containers coming in from China, Taiwan, and other countries, guard our rail systems, planes, water systems, etc…develop high speed rail corridors necessary to improve economic prosperity and cut down on unnecessary government spending. Should I say more????

  23. Cynthia Cuppernell

    Vote “NO” to military action in Syria!!!!!!!!
    Vote “NO” to financial aid, no weapons, and no other aid!!!!!!!

    Unfortunately, in my opinion President Obama is using the issue in Syria yet as another political issue and as a smoke screen hoping the American people will forget about Fast and Furious, IRS, Benghazie, NSA, the lies coming from his staff while under oath and all the other troubles since he has been in office. Actions that have caused negative outcomes for the American people, irreversable damage to this country and our futures and that have destroyed our credibility around the world.

    In my opinion, attaching Syria without the support of our allies sends a strong message and should be concerning to everyone. WHY are our allies so resistent to supporting us? What do they know or dont know for them not to want to back us? Is it solely because we are now preceived weak and a joke around the world? I dont think so. I think it is because “we” are preceived as having a dishonest and self serving government and president who is using this situation as a tool for politics since we have not acted in the past when we had evidence of chemical weapons being use. Im sure, our allies dont want to get involved in our issues because it is clear to me they realize the severity of such action against Syria and that it wont end with just one strike. It will lead to war and war with not just syria but other countries with loss of many lives and financially devestating.

    I have many other concerns that are valid and I am certain others/most will feel the same. For example,
    – Why would the president want to strike Syria when historically he has gone without consistently reinforcing policy and law when it comes to chemical weapons.
    -The majority of the American people dont back the decision to strike
    so why would he want to go foreward with such action.
    -How can we financially justify the costs and why should we pay the costs with little or no help from other countries.
    – Why should we risk lives of our Service Members for a strike… and eventually war ……when there is no risk to our country or our safty? What about Obama wanting to down size our military? How will this affect his decision? Point: We shouldnt down size! We need to maintain our military for homeland security and for real crisis situations that could affect our safty at home.

    We seriously need to up hold the Constitution, educate ourselves before voting and vote, minimize the power of our government and make our leaders accountable, and use our Service Members more efficiently. Especially, when technology is opening many doors to avoid death and injury of our Service Members.

    In conclusion, President Obama has a history of playing word games with the people and ignoring our opinions. He is an incompetent leader and should be impeached as evident by the deteriation of our countries founding principles resulting in a more divided country, unsettling futures for us and our children, and deteriation of our credibility as a once super power throughout the world. There is no doubt in my mind that Obama relys on the uneducated, uninformed, and media as tools for political gain and to get away with his UNCONSTITUTIONAL and UNACCEPTABLE actions.

    We need to stand together and fight back on issues such as this. We can not afford to ignore these issues or we will become more vulnerable to attack (in the many forms advancement in technology brings) and dependant upon other countries because we will be bankrupt in mind, spirit and financially. Let us protect our homeland first and take care of our people and our futures so our children have a change at the American Dream!!!!!

  24. Jim Kingston

    Stay the course. The situation in Syria has nothing to do with the US. It does not threaton us one bit. The problem in the middle east id for those cpountries in the middle east to solve./ Attrition, over the course of time will settle the iaaue. If we send in missles we will incure collateral damage, and we will be labled as killers of babies etc. It is a lose/lose situation. Do not secumbe to the siren song of thiis currupt administration.

    1. William Felgner

      I think we should mind our own business and stay out of this mess. We have already had enough of war and its time we got out and take care of business at home. Besides, we cannot afford any more wars.

  25. Maureen McCarthy

    Stay out of Syria. Obama has nothing but disdain for our Country and all that we have stood for. How sad that our first black President is an incapable sociopath.

  26. Doris E. O'Hara

    We should stay out of it. It will make no friends for us, and we have too much debt snd most of all———–we shouldn’t waste one of our men’s lives on these people

  27. Constance Clapper

    I agree that we should NOT USE MILITARY ACTION – Look at all the messes we have gotten into, without accomplishing anything but HUGE DEPT, loss of LIFE of our young men and women, and further distain from the world.

  28. walter syvarth

    Obama says that the world is appalled by Assad’s actions, so let the world take action, not just the U.S.Let’s get out of the U.N. since it’s useless as a world body.

  29. John M Hendrickson(USN-R)

    We are currently involved in another middle eastern country as well as still mopping up Iraq.Why in the name of reason would we take the chance of meddling in another’s internal problems? At this point as long as it is not an imminent danger to the United States let them kill one another off,as the kids say” it’s what they do”. No Mr. Gibson we should not get slightly involved in Syria!

  30. Walter Byrne

    The Syrian situation should out rage the entire world!! Why hasn’t it! Why are we the only nation wanting to take action! I believe we should NOT TAKE ANY ACTION IN SYRIA!!I DON’T BELIEVE WE REALLY KNOW WHO IS TRULY RESPONSIBLE FOR THE MASS MURDERS!

  31. Roberta Trask

    I say stay out of there. Why is it always the United States that thinks it has to stick its nose in everything and who is the loser. Our young men who have not even started to live, being killed and maimed for nothing. Let those places take care of themselves, and lets take care of the problems we have in the United States, with people who can’t afford to live themselves. Stop sending all our hard earned money to all these countries, most of them hating us anyway, and give our people food, shelter and medical.

  32. Carolyn T. Kuhn

    I am also appalled by the mass murders in Syria however, we should not take any action in Syria’s problem. We will accomplish nothing by sticking our nose where it does not belong. We cannot “fix” what is written in the Bible( see Revelations ). Obama is using the Syrian crisis as a means to “sneak” bills and laws into place. We need to watch and secure our borders for that is where the biggest threats to America lies !!!

    I am a staunch Republican and very conservative–I pray that my Party finds a man to meet my expectations and those of other Americans before our beloved Country is totally ruined. God bless America !!!!!!

  33. Wallace E Sonntag

    WES Sept 5, 2013
    I agree with your position. We must, however conduct serious negotiation with both friends and enemies, including bad people. We also must provide humanitarian assistance in large amounts. It’s a small price to pay and much less expensive than waging war.

  34. Margaret B. Tomlinson

    I agree with Gibson’s position. Why doesn’t Saudi Arabia get involved? Obama’s position will only worsen what is already a tragedy. He should not have made a “Red Line ” ultimation. Certainly we should do what humanitarian help that we can.

    Margaret B. Tomlinson
    Sept. 8, 2013

    1. Jim Konopka

      Chris, Vote NO!!! We dont need to fight for people that both sides
      hate and kill Americans. If we want to go war??? Why didn’t President,
      Senate and Congress do something about the killing (4) BRAVE AMERICANS???
      Its been almost a year and nothing done yet.

  35. Janna Wiedemann

    I totally opposed minitary action in Syria, Haven’t we learned anything yet. Don’t we remember what happen in all the other places we put on nose in their business and what happened or have we forgotten already?’
    Can’t we take a hint from our allies like Britian and Russia and what they think.
    Just stay out of it.

  36. MARIA


  37. Colleen

    Launching hundreds of missiles into Syria is dangerous and unethical. There are real human beings on the ground that will be killed and hurt!
    Why are the Representatives not listening to the American people?

  38. bob curtis

    I am with you 100% Comgressman Gibson!!!
    We didnt win in Vietnam. We didnt win in Iraq and we didnt win in Afghanistan. Stop meddling in other legitimate governments affairs.
    Did anyone attack this country when our own government failed to protect the RIGHTS OF African-Americans? I hope and pray citizens of this country realize we are going the way of all empires/policeman-Downhill!!

    1. Alan E

      I think that the united states should take care of their own people first. People are still waiting for help from the hurricanes. we need to take responsibilty of are own. We don’t need to take the tax payers money and send a billion dollars to help other countries that are in need. I’m a vietnam vet. We don’t win wars we just support them and get our men and women killed for nothing. We don’t get nothing out of it. Stop sending money to them. And have them buy weapons from us.

  39. Alan E

    Chris Gibson should vote no. Why doesn’t the united nations step in not the united states who think they are the caretakers of the world. And why are we stepping in after 2 years of a civil war. Let the united nations step in first. Vote no

  40. Columb

    The Iraq war was faught because Saddam Hussein fired Scud missiles into Israel every day for months. Iraq had nothing to do with 911. If the US can draw Iran into the fight, then Iran & Syria can be taken out & distroyed. Many hundreds of Thousands will DIE!!!
    This is certainly a case of the Tail (Israel) wagging the Dog (USA)
    We’re always talking about Democracy & freedom BUT we seem to be so focused on Bombing, Torturing. We can do much better than this!

  41. floyd varney

    no intervention. I am tired of the middle east and all their problem. ets take the cost of all the missels and feed and shelter our homeless and old folks. we dont need another conflict. I am tired of being the world policeman especially to a area of the world where we are mostly hated. its there problem . let them solve it.

  42. Chuck

    Vote NO! It is not our war to fight. Let them kill each other. There will be less of them to fight another day. It will direct their anger toward each other and less toward the US.

    “I don’t oppose all wars. What I am opposed to is a dumb war. What I am opposed to is a rash war… What I am opposed to is the attempt…to distract us from a rise in the uninsured, a rise in the poverty rate, a drop in the median income, to distract us from corporate scandals… That’s what I’m opposed to. A dumb war. A rash war. A war based not on reason but on passion, not on principle but on politics.” – Obama 2002

    In the Clowns own words he said it best.

  43. Nancy Hobday

    Dear Congressman Gibson,
    I had the pleasure of meeting you at a Republican dinner in Margaretville recently. I want you to know that I have had mixed emotions about the US role in Syria. I have come to the conclusion that we should not do anything but provide humanitarian aid to the refugees. I am Christian, and I have read Isaiah 17 through 19. Those passages speak of terrible upheavals from Iraq to Egypt, that will ultimately bring peace. Adding more bombs will not protect the Christian people of Syria, who seem to be caught in the middle of this mess.
    If we get involved, it should be all the way. That is what Barack Obama and the Democrats vilified George Bush for doing in Iraq. THAT is the ONLY way things can turn around there with our intervention. Not going in all the way will accomplish nothing, so I say stay out of it and let God sort it out!

  44. Nancy Hobday

    PS-I read one of the posts that says that the current Israel is not the Israel of the Bible. Don’t listen to that foolishness. Read up on the history of these people. They are a MIRACLE of our times! The Romans broke them up beginning in 70 AD and ending in about 100 AD at Masada. Like African slaves, they were forcibly removed from their homeland, however, their language, culture and religion remained intact despite many abuses,pogroms and the holocaust. Like African slaves their DNA was somewhat altered, but they continued. But they are unlike African slaves in the fact that our heritage was stolen from us. That is what usually happens to exiled people. Israel is unusual and prophesied repeatedly in Scripture. Please do not listen to ignorant people regarding Israel.

  45. Wayne Elliot

    Congressman Gibson,
    Thanks for giving us the chance to comment on this important issue.
    I believe that this is an important matter that can too easily be relegated to a simplistic “gut” response. If the question is, “do we want to lose another American life in a useless Middle East conflict”, then the answer is clearly no. However, if the question is whether America should stand up for a better world order, it’s not so simple! As President Obama pointed out last week, it is not his “red line”, but a line that was drawn by most of the world after WWI. The U.N. drew it, and most of the world’s nations ratified it. He did not further elaborate that the Brit’s also ratified that treaty, but it has been along time since Britannia ruled the waves. The US is the only Western Super Power left, and I believe that we should have an enhanced role in trying to maintain an international rule of law, as difficult as that may be.
    Thus, I ask you, as a man with extensive military and public service experience, to simply listen to the various arguments that you will certainly hear in the near future, and vote your conscience. That is all I can ask of my elected representatives.

  46. Mike Birmingham

    I do not believe Obama has a workable foreign policy. Bombing Syria makes no sense unless overwhelming power used in order to protect US national interests. Obama nor other politicians tell us the national interest. For more than a year Syria has used chemical weapons. It is late to be making it a international issue. Instead of golf, why did Obama fail to get the United Nations to pressure Syria to end its campaign of using weapons of mass destruction against its own people? I am also uncertain how humanitarian aid will end genocide. It may help save lives and bring hope and relief to long suffering civilians. I do not see it as a means of ending the civil war. What we have is no workable answer to a terrible problem in our times. It reminds me of the dilemma during WWII with the Nazi murdering of Jews and other groups. The world stood by without an effective means to help the helpless. I also marvel why Obama gutted the military and now thinks they should step in where only fools would tread. Rattling sabers when carry a light stick makes no sense. The country is mislead and I hold politicians responsible on both parties and particularly the party in power.

    1. Jim Kingston

      While I also have sympathy for those non-combatents effected I in no way feel that it is the United States responsibility to do anything. It is not our fight. I suspect that we were in no way responsible for the onset of hostilities. There is no American interests involved (not even oil). We as a people can, and have been over the years, very generous in helping others in need. I’m sure that trend will comtinue when normalacy returns (should it ever) to Syria and indeed the middle east. I say let the Arab world (nations), if anyone should, be the ones to become involved.

  47. Joanne Bonesteel

    Stay strong, Chris, in your effort to be the voice of the majority of people who do NOT support military action. After all, that is what a representative of the people should do. Unfortunately, many in Congress have forgotten where their allegience lies. As my wise old grandmother would always say, Charity begins at home. Let’s take care of the struggling middle class in our own country first then we can extend a hand to those in need abroad.

  48. Karen

    Is all of this pointless since our illustrious president said today that “as president he doesn’t feel that he has to listen to consensus . How arrogant is that! Can’t impeachment procedures be started before our once great country falls any further?

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