Washington Memo: Barring any changes in Syria, I oppose military action
First District Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter released a statement this week outlining her opposition to a proposed U.S. military strike on Syria. Here is what she said:
After attending classified and unclassified briefings on Syria and speaking with people across New Hampshire, at this point, I oppose the United States taking military action against the Assad regime in Syria.
While Syrian President (Bashar) al-Assad has committed vicious crimes against his own people, and I especially condemn the use of chemical weapons, it is hard to see at this time how a military air strike against Syria will fix this.
If the United States launches a sustained and heavy attack, we run the risk of swapping Assad out for some equally ruthless group. If we launch a smaller, targeted attack, we run the risk of emboldening President Assad and causing more casualties.
Barring any changes to the situation in Syria, I will vote against the current resolution authorizing the president to take military action in Syria.
I do not believe that military action will help resolve the civil war in Syria, and it might lead to more chaos and more regional instability.
I am not against all war, but in order to justify this act, there has to be a threat to national security, a strong strategy, and a good possibility of success.
At this moment, I do not believe the situation in Syria meets these criteria, and I fear that the United States could be drawn into a lengthy and deadly conflict.
Make no mistake, the situation in Syria is a tragedy, and the murderous Bashar al-Assad has lost all credibility as the leader of Syria.
However, I believe that the conflict in Syria will only be resolved through a negotiated political settlement, and I believe the world needs to condemn and isolate Assad while providing more humanitarian aid, helping border countries deal with the refugees, and working toward a negotiated political solution to this crisis.
(U.S. Rep. Carol Shea-Porter is a Democrat from Rochester.)