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August 29, 2013

Reactions to Syria briefing from Corker, Pelosi

Here are reactions from two key voices, following Thursday night's briefing on the Syria situation by Obama administration officials.

Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee, top Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee:

"While I’m opposed to American boots on the ground in Syria, I would support surgical, proportional military strikes given the strong evidence of the Assad regime’s continued use of chemical warfare.  Whatever limited action is taken should not further commit the U.S. in Syria beyond the current strategy to strengthen the vetted, moderate opposition,” said Corker.

“While the administration has engaged in congressional consultation, they should continue to be forthcoming with information and would be far better off if they seek authorization based upon our national interests, which would provide the kind of public debate and legitimacy that can only come from Congress.”

Here's House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi:

This evening's briefing was informative and beneficial.  For some of us, this was the third consultation with the Administration this week on the use of chemical weapons in Syria. 

"On the call, I agreed with Speaker Boehner and other Members who stated that there needs to be more consultation with all Members of Congress and additional transparency into the decision making process and timing, and that the case needs to be made to the American people.

"It is clear that the American people are weary of war.  However, Assad gassing his own people is an issue of our national security, regional stability and global security.  We must be clear that the United States rejects the use of chemical weapons by Assad or any other regime.

"What Assad has done is outside the realm of basic human rights.  On this evening’s call, I expressed my appreciation for the measured, targeted and limited approach the President may be considering.

"We were assured during the call there would be ongoing consultation with Congress."

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The Decider II

Corker: Whatever limited action is taken should not further commit the U.S."

Oh, if only that was true. What is "should" a lawyerese wiggle word? It shouldn't, but odds are it will.

How arrogant is the USG to think it turns off and on war, off and on justice, and that no one else can act or speak.

Once you start down this road, where is the stopping point? How do you know that you will not be saying, "well, now that x happened, we have to escalate." You will. But there is no return policy for the American people after having been chumped into another stupid war.

All this pointing at Assad - Assad this, Assad that - and never does the finger of accountability point to the policy of destabilizing the entire middle east - our policy. To paraphrase Obama, Assad didn't build this war all by himself. He, alone, didn't kill the alleged 100k or displace 2 million. He had help.

I see Washington has given up on nation building. Now, we just do nation destroying.

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