September 16, 2014

Pocan unconvinced attack on Syria is necessary

Like many other federal lawmakers, U.S. Representative Mark Pocan (D-Madison) says there are simply too many unanswered questions when considering military action in Syria. “You know, the problem for me is, one, I do not see the direct United States security interest to have us go in and do a strike. I would like to know what other options besides a military strike were considered or are considered as we do this.”

While President Bashar al-Assad adamantly denies using sarin nerve gas against his own people, Pocan says there’s no question chemical weapons were used, and he says it’s extremely likely they were deployed by Assad’s regime. Still, he’s not ready for another battle.

Pocan says he and his constituents are “war weary,” and “I’d like to really know where the international community is. The UN report is gonna be coming out soon. Let’s do this with international partners. Let’s see what all options are short of a military strike and let’s figure out how to get it done. But right now, at this point, again, I’m not convinced.”

Pocan gives President Barack Obama “enormous credit” for going to congress, but it would be unwise for the president to go ahead with a strike if Congress does not approve.

Pocan says other lawmakers are “at minimal skeptical” and it’s more likely, he says, they are leaning toward a no vote. That coincides with the way members of Wisconsin’s Congressional delegation are thinking — either definitely against intervention or undecided, pending more information.

Obama meets with U.S. senators Tuesday. He speaks to the nation Tuesday night, hoping to make the case to the American people.