Lynn Westmoreland 3rd District Congressman
September 14, 2013
No one can help but feel pain and sorrow for what is happening to the people of Syria. Of course my heart goes out to those people suffering under brutal dictators and anyone who has been subjected to the use of chemical weapons – especially the children. War is hard, and often those who are the most vulnerable, like children, are the ones who suffer the most. But that does not mean that the United States should involve itself in a civil war in a country halfway around the world. The dispute in Syria is internal – and it currently does not pose a threat to America’s national security.
In addition, we are still unclear on exactly who all of these rebels are. While I’m certain there are many freedom-loving rebels who only want to depose a cruel dictator, there have been credible reports that terrorist entities have infiltrated the rebels. Unless we can absolutely guarantee that is not the case, I cannot support siding with the rebels. In this instance, the enemy of the enemy is not my friend – he’s an even worse enemy who wants nothing more than the destruction of our country.
Let’s be honest here. The president is not pushing for military action in Syria because chemical weapons were used. By the White House’s own admission, this was at least the 11th time chemical weapons have been used there. And it’s not because people are suffering or because 1,400 people died in this specific attack. People are suffering under the brutal rule of evil dictators in many countries around the world. And it is estimated that more than 100,000 people have died since this war began and millions more have been displaced. The only reason the president is pushing for military action in Syria is because he went off the teleprompter and made an off-handed comment about a “red line”. And that is absolutely not the way to responsibly develop and implement foreign policy.
I could care less about off-handed promises the president makes to the press. He’s spent his entire presidency making promises he hasn’t kept – so I’m not really surprised. And I’m not going to vote for the United States to stick its nose where it doesn’t belong just to give the president political cover because he’s finally trying to keep a promise.
As the president announced in his address to the nation, he is once again exploring a diplomatic solution. Syria has offered to turn over all of their chemical weapons to the international community, and the president has indicated that if they actually do that he would stop pushing for military strikes. Obviously, this is still an ongoing issue and I will continue to monitor it, but I’m skeptical this approach will work because both Syria and Russia have not always been forthcoming.