Journal Express, Knoxville, IA

August 31, 2013

Grassley, Loebsack want more info on Syria


Journal-Express

Washington, D.C. — Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley and Rep. Dave Loebsack both have concerns about possible American Military action in Syria, and would like more information. 

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that President Obama said he is prepared to take action against Syria for the alleged use of chemical weapons. While the President is Commander in Chief of the military, only Congress has the authority to declare war. Obama intends to seek Congressional approval before moving forward. 

"I'm ready to act in the face of this outrage. Today I am asking Congress to send a message to the world that we are ready to move forward together as one nation," the WSJ quotes Obama as saying. 

The White House routinely releases transcripts of Obama's statements and conferences. The Journal-Express receives these, but nothing has been received regarding Obama's statements on this issue. 

“I met with Iowans in 15 communities this week.  There are a lot of questions about possible military action by the United States against the Syrian government.  Statements today by the Secretary of State and our President are compelling, and there’s no doubt the world community should be united in condemning any chemical weapons attack.  Congress has an important part in reflecting the concerns and views of Americans and should convene to discuss Syria and the role and response of the United States under our tradition of moral leadership as well as what is a national security interest of the United States and what justifies the expenditure of U.S. resources.  I want to know what the goal of the military strike is, how civilian casualties will be avoided, what the strategic plan is, and how we will know if the effort was successful," Grassley said in a statement. 

"I have called on the President to seek congressional authorization but more importantly, before any action is taken, the administration must make the case to the American people and the American people must support it. As a member of the House Armed Services Committee, I was briefed by the White House and believe the Administration must lay out their strategic reasoning behind military action, define the national security reasoning for such action, and establish an end goal for potential use of force," Loebsack said in a statement. "The use of chemical weapons against civilians is morally reprehensible and should be unequivocally condemned by the international community. However, after more than a decade of war during which time our troops and military families have made great sacrifices on our behalf, we must exercise extreme caution in undertaking military action.”

No statement has been received from Sen. Tom Harkin's office, nor is there a release about Syria available on his Senate website.