Following a classified briefing on Sept. 1 for Members of Congress on the actions of the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad, U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) released the following statement:
After receiving this classified briefing and being briefed by the White House National Security staff…, there is no doubt that the Assad regime is using chemical weapons against its own people, including innocent children. As a leader in the world community, the United States cannot be silent and turn our back on such atrocities. I agree with Secretary Kerry’s statement that the campaign launched by the Assad regime against its own people is a moral obscenity that cannot go unanswered.
If the Assad regime is willing to use these weapons on innocent civilians and children in his own country, we must consider that no neighboring country is safe, including Israel, Jordan, and Turkey, all of which are strong and important allies of the United States in the region.
It is my firm opinion that the use of limited military force is not only warranted, but necessary to send a resolute message to Bashar al-Assad that these types of atrocities cannot, and will not be tolerated by the United States.
I know that many in this country are weary of war, but each military conflict is unique. Iraq was not Bosnia, and Libya was not Afghanistan. The evidence is clear to me that Syria violated a 100-year-old international norm against use of chemical weapons as a legitimate weapon of war. Accountability for this horrific violation should be certain and severe.
The use of military force must be weighed carefully, and be held as a last resort. Pres. Obama was right to seek Congressional approval of his proposal to hold Assad accountable. We will benefit from hearing one another’s insights as representatives of the American people. As Congress prepares to debate and vote on whether the Syrian regime’s heinous actions should be met with a limited use of American military force, I will voice my support and cast my “aye” vote reflecting my conscience and my belief as a mother, that at the very least, we must stand up to a tyrant murdering his nation’s children.