As President Barack Obama tries to make the case for military action in Syria following alleged attacks on civilians using chemical weapons, the British Parliament votes against any such measures. US Senator Ron Johnson, a Republican from Oshkosh, says we’ve waited this long, there’s no reason to be hasty.
“At this point, having really kind of dithered for 2 1/2 years, you know, having not responded when we first had evidence of chemical use, there’s no reason to rush this through within a week. We should wait for Congress to get back in session early in September, make that case to the American public and do this in a more deliberate fashion.”
Obama told PBS there’s a possibility that chemical weapons could be directed at the U.S; though, there’s no “smoking gun” proving the chemicals were deployed last week by President Bashar al-Assad’s regime. UN weapons inspectors are in Damascus investigating.
Many American have grown weary of war. Johnson is cognizant of financial concerns. Can we afford another war? “We can’t afford all kinds of things … What is the alternative? Can we afford to have chemical weapons fall in the hands of terrorists? We are looking at bad options. We didn’t make this mess but the mess is there. Unfortunately, the world does look to America to lead.”
Al-Assad’s government maintains the rebels are to blame for carrying out the attack August 21 that killed hundreds of people. NATO said any use of chemical weapons is “unacceptable and cannot go unanswered.” Obama’s Administration is expected to release declassified intelligence that backs up his claims.
AUDIO: Jackie Johnson report 1:30
U.S. Representative Mark Pocan (D-Madison) issued a statement: “The use of chemical weapons is a reprehensible action. However, before any military action is taken by the United States, Congress should have a robust and thorough debate on the nation’s appropriate response. Any decision to engage in a military response must be done in consultation with and approval of Congress.
“I strongly urge the President to call Congress into session if he is serious about a military response to the civil war in Syria. While those who use chemical weapons must be held accountable, we too must be accountable to the Constitution and the laws of the land.”