McCain, Graham Blast Syrian Chemical Weapons Deal
WASHINGTON (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — Two Republican senators who have sharply criticized President Barack Obama’s foreign policy say a Syrian chemical weapons agreement hailed by the president is meaningless.
Arizona’s John McCain and South Carolina’s Lindsey Graham say friends and enemies of the U.S. will view the deal as “an act of provocative weakness” by America.
They argue that the agreement will embolden Iran as it continues its push for a nuclear weapon. The senators say Syrian President Bashar Assad will just use the time the agreement gives him to delay and deceive the world. Further, McCain and Graham argue that the agreement doesn’t resolve the underlying civil war that has caused the deaths of more than 100,000 people and turned millions of Syrians into refugees.
But some Texas congressman agree with President Obama’s push for the agreement.
Senator John Cornyn tweeted that “It’s important not only for the President to make the case for Syria to Congress, but also to the American people.” He previously called for President Obama to call Congress back to session to debate military action in the country.
While speaking with reporters in Washington D.C., Representative Michael Burgess said he remained skeptical that the U.S. should take military action. “Certainly the mood in the district that I represent is do not so this, and I honestly didn’t hear anything that I ought to have a different position,” he said.
A spokesperson for Representative Joe Barton said Barton does not support direct American military action in Syria, based on what he has seen so far.
Congressman Jeb Hensarling released the following statement on military action in Syria: “The president made the right decision to seek authorization from Congress for military action in Syria. Now he must make a compelling case – clearly laying out how military action is in the best interest of our national security and credibility abroad and putting forth a clear and detailed plan of action – to receive the approval of Congress.”
Representative Ralph Hall says he does not support U.S. military involvement in Syria. “I have received hundreds of calls and letters from constituents expressing strong opposition to any U.S. involvement in Syria, and I plan to vote ‘no’ in accordance with their views,” said Hall in a statement. “Along with many of my colleagues, I urged the President to seek Congressional authorization in a letter sent August 28th. His decision to do so gives Americans more time and opportunity to express their views through their elected representatives. When Congress begins debate on this issue next week, I will continue to listen to my constituents and vote with my District.”
Representative Sam Johnson, a decorated combat veteran released a statement questioning America’s “clear” objectives in Syria. “I strongly believe the Obama administration has failed to articulate a clear mission and path to victory,” he said in a written statement. “I want to know the mission. Who will go in? What would they do? When would they go? And most importantly WHY would we send them?” he questioned. “The Administration has to answer some tough and gripping questions before I will vote to put our military men and women in harms’ way,” he continued.
Senator Ted Cruz tweeted the following about Obama on Sept. 11, 2013:
President Obama is far too dovish when it comes to standing up and defending our national security interests.—
Senator Ted Cruz (@SenTedCruz) September 11, 2013
(©2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)
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