Thursday, September 12, 2013

Indiana Congressional Responses to Obama's Syria Address

WIBC has provided a digest of responses by members of the Indiana congressional delegation to President Obama's address on a potential strike against Syria and the prospect of a diplomatic solution involving Syria's surrendering its chemical weapons. (Senator Joe Donnelly is not included.) Republicans, unified in their opposition to anything the President proposes, seem to be having a difficult time staking out a reasonable position.

Fifth District Congresswoman Susan Brooks said "I don't believe that a strike will have the intended consequence that we need and that's to, in my view, figure out what is going to happen with all of these chemical weapons that (Bashar al-) Assad has." If the disposition of Assad's weapons is her main concern, why isn't Brooks vigorously supporting negotiations to bring Syria into the chemical weapons convention?

Senator Dan Coats was skeptical of Russia's proposal, fearing some chemical weapons have been moved or stored elsewhere. "It just doesn't seem like a plan that is going to be able to be executed in a way that will make a difference," Coats said. What portion of Assad's chemical weapon supply would have to be destroyed before Coats would consider it to have "made a difference"? 95 percent? 80 percent? 50 percent? It seems like any significant reduction of Assad's access to these weapons could be construed as "making a difference."

And of course Todd Rokita has his usual difficulty in making sense at all.
Fourth District Congressman Todd Rokita said Obama's comment that an attack on Syria would be a limited, targeted strike and not an open-ended conflict was a mistake. "No one can guarantee that. Absolutely no one," Rokita said. Sure, and no one can guarantee that the universe won't end tomorrow at 7:08 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. But certainly designing a strike to be limited in its nature with a promise of "no boots on the ground" means something. Clearly, no movement of troops and materiel comparable to the build up to our "open-ended conflicts" in Afghanistan or Iraq is in progress.

And can anyone parse Rep. Rokita's next statement? "All you do when you say something like that is embolden the guy that you're trying to go after because if he can survive this limited attack, figuratively or literally, then supposedly all is good."So if Assad survives a strike that is not designed to kill him, he wins? What?

You can read more from WIBC here.