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Rep. Rogers on Syria: US Will 'Pay a Price for Generations'

Thursday, 29 Aug 2013 07:36 PM

By Greg Richter

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The United States will pay a price "for generations" if it doesn't make the right decision on Syria, says Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Michigan.

Ignoring the civil war for the past two years was a "terrible decision," Rogers told CNN on Thursday, but if the United States takes no action after President Barack Obama issued a "red line" threat, it is a worse decision, he said.

Obama said in August 2012 that the Syrian government would cross a "red line" that would change his "calculus" in the region if it used chemical weapons. The White House says it has proof Syria did just that last week with an attack on civilians.

That initially caused many lawmakers to say he had to act, most likely by firing cruise missiles at limited targets. But as time has passed support has dwindled amid fears of the United States being dragged into a protracted conflict.

Rogers remains in the camp that action must be taken.

"We're going to pay a price for this," he told CNN. Russia, China, and Iran all are emboldened by America's inaction, he said. "They think that the United States just won't do anything."

While it is true that the United States must be concerned about retaliation, Rogers said, "You also worry about the fact if you say, 'Oh, Iran has threatened us; let's stand down.' That also presents some real consequences for the United States."

The British Parliament voted against joining a coalition earlier Thursday. The United Nations can't be expected to help since both Russia and China would be expected to veto any resolution. Russia is closely allied with Syria.

Rogers warned that U.S. credibility is at stake, not just now, but "for generations if we do not get it right."

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