The Washington Times-Herald

Local News

September 7, 2013

Congressman will not support action in Syria

LOOGOOTEE — The use of chemical weapons may have been verified in Syria, but 8th District Rep. Larry Bucshon, R-Newburgh, says he will not vote to support military action against the Middle East country. The congressman made the comments to a small group in Loogootee as part of his “Listening Tour” through the district. Bucshon says one reason he is opposing military action is that people in his district don’t support it.

“I have not talked to a single person in the district who believes we should fire missiles into Syria,” said Bucshon. “The leadership from both parties will stand by the President on this, but I won’t vote for a resolution to authorize military action.”

The congressman says there are additional reasons that he opposes military strikes. “My concern about Syria is that if we hit them, then Iran will get involved and fire missiles into Israel, and it will become a bigger conflict and we will eventually have troops on the ground.”

Even if a war would remain confined to Syria, the congressman has doubts about the U.S. maintaining a limited involvement. “It always starts with a few air strikes, but it doesn’t always end that way,” he said. “We don’t need to get our troops in the middle of a civil war. That will just make them targets for both sides.”

President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry made the case for Congress to approve armed action against the current Syrian regime saying there is evidence that chemicals weapons were used against the rebels. Bucshon says he is not convinced that happened. “There are multiple groups fighting against the Assad regime, and there are reports that some of them overran a chemical weapons facility,” said Bucshon. “There is the possibility those rebels used the weapons in an effort to draw the U.S. into their war.”

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