Strong military action is supported by Sens. Johnny Isakson and Saxby Chambliss after the Bashar Assad regime apparently used sarin gas to kill more than 1,400 of its own citizens. Chambliss has indicated he favors a bigger operation than the limited strike President Obama talked about before suspending his plan in order to seek congressional approval. Chambliss said, “Short of putting troops on the ground, I believe a meaningful military response is appropriate.” Isakson wants “strong action against Syria.”
But a half-dozen Georgia members of the U.S. House don’t see it that way — at least not until they know more about Obama’s plan.
Rep. John Barrow (D-Augusta) will not support the authorizing resolution as originally written, a spokesman said, according to WSAV-TV. Similarly, Rep. Rob Woodall (R-Lawrenceville) does not support an attack on Syria, based on what he now knows, the AP reported. And Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Savannah) said, “I’m leaning no but I want to find out how wide of a strike this would be and what would be the ramifications of it.”
Three other House members representing parts of Cobb County also have voiced doubt and concern about Obama’s plan to strike Syria, as reported by the MDJ. Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-Marietta) said, “the United States must not get mired down in the Syrian civil war.” Rep. Tom Price (R-Roswell) said it’s a question of determining “whether or not our national security interest is best served by military intervention.” And Rep. David Scott (D-south Cobb) said in a letter to the president, “More answers are needed” before U.S. resources “are spent on another Middle Eastern conflict.” Amen.
There’s no question that more answers are needed. The question is: can we rely on the answers? There’s always the unexpected, isn’t there?
Some Democrats as well as Republicans question the broad scope of the proposed resolution authorizing military force against Syria or they are outright opposed to another military venture in the Mideast. It’s certainly no foregone conclusion as of now that Obama will get the resolution through the House.
Juxtaposed against members of Congress favoring minimal or no action are two of the biggest Republican hawks in the Senate, John McCain and Lindsey Graham. Since the civil war started two years ago, McCain has been pushing for the U.S. to do more for what’s called the moderate opposition in Syria. After a Monday meeting with Obama, the senators said there seemed to be some sort of broad agreement by the president to degrade the Syrian regime’s “capabilities as well as upgrading the Free Syrian Army.”
It sounds good. It is the moral thing to do, isn’t it? But then we remember Afghanistan and Iraq, and we must ask what if Syria doesn’t work out as planned? What if more attacks are deemed necessary? What if the war widens as Assad says it will? What then?