Tags: sanchez | loretta | mccaul | syria | war

Reps. Sanchez, McCaul Say Syria Action Could Lead to Larger War

Sunday, 08 Sep 2013 11:42 AM

By Greg Richter

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Democratic Rep. Loretta Sanchez of California isn't convinced America's national security is at stake, and is leaning against approving President Barack Obama's request to approve limited military action against Syria for using chemical weapons against its own civilians.

"I haven't heard that [President Bashar] Assad wants to use weapons against us," Sanchez said Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press." "I haven't heard that he wants to use weapons against our allies, that he's moving them to terrorist organizations."

Once an American cruise missile lands in Syria, "we are in the Syrian war," Sanchez said. "So for the president to say this is just, you know, a very quick thing and we're out of there, that's how long wars start."

"Little wars start big wars," added Republican Rep. Mike McCaul of Texas, also on NBC.

McCaul and Sanchez both expressed concern that some of the Syrian rebel groups have been infiltrated by al-Qaida. McCaul found it ironic that the vote over taking action will come on the eve of the anniversary of 9/11.

"Those images I saw of the children in Damascus are horrific," McCaul said. "Assad is a brutal dictator, but I don't want to see those images broadcast and shown in the United States with American kids."

Republican Rep. Peter King of New York backs Obama's plan, though he thinks he should have acted earlier without consulting Congress.

"For one year he said this red line was there. And then the red line is crossed. And he sends [Secretary of State John] Kerry and [Defense Secretary Chuck] Hagel out, all set to basically have an attack," King said. "We're told that Congress is not needed. At the 11th hour he brings in Congress. And then he says it's not his red line."

King said: "Here's a person who's vacillating. I can't imagine Harry Truman or John Kennedy or Ronald Reagan or Dwight Eisenhower ever putting the nation in a position like this on military policy."

Delaware Democratic Sen. Chris Coons also favors President Barack Obama's plan to strike Syria, saying Sunday on CNN, "This is about deterring another chemical-weapons use by Assad."

"I'm increasingly comfortable that we have addressed legitimate questions about whether this is a repeat of Iraq. This is not a repeat of the mistakes of Iraq," said Coons.

Democratic Rep. Gerry Connolly of Virginia said comparing the Syrian crisis to Iraq "is not the right analogy," and compared it to genocide in Kosovo.

Coons stood by his remarks.

"I do think that we know what the consequences of inaction will be, that we know that Bashar al-Assad, one of the worst dictators, who has used some of the worst weapons in world history, will continue to use cluster bombs and scud missiles and chemical weapons to massacre thousands of his own civilians," Coons said.

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