Should Edina's representatives in Congress, Keith Ellison and Erik Paulsen, vote in favor of a United States attack on Syria? Let us know in the comments.
President Obama asked Congress to vote on whether the United States should attack Syria after an alleged chemical weapons attack by Syrian President Bashar Assad that is reported to have killed more than 1,400 people and violated international rules of war.
As Americans are "weary of war," the president said in an address to the public that put the decision in the hands of the people's representatives was more in line with the country's democratic ideals.
How do you think your congressmen should vote?
News media have interpreted the statements of Rep. Keith Ellison (DFL-MN) as supporting Obama's proposed military action.
Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-MN) has called the strike to broad.
“I believe the President’s request for military action in Syria is too broad, too open-ended, too risky and does not identify a clear U.S. national interest for military engagement and putting U.S. troops in harms way,” he said in a Sept. 1 statement.
Ellison said on his website:
“The Assad regime’s horrific gassing of innocent civilians through the use of chemical weapons has precipitated a deepening crisis in Syria. Unfortunately there are no sure strategies for the international community to stop or reduce the violence being perpetrated by Assad. Despite the lack of good options, the United States should work with its international partners to develop a strategy to degrade or deter the Syrian military’s ability to commit more chemical weapons attacks against women and children. President Obama is right to seek authorization from Congress before a strike against the Assad regime.
“My longstanding foreign policy perspective is to oppose war and favor diplomacy over military action. I share Americans’ concerns about the dangers and risks of interventions – even if short-lived and targeted. I agree with our military leaders and other foreign policy experts who say we must have clear objectives and avoid mission creep. To be clear, I do not support U.S. boots on the ground. But with more than 100,000 people dead and last week’s criminal massacre in Damascus, nations with the power to act have a responsibility to enforce international norms that murderous dictators will face consequences when they commit crimes against humanity.
“To repeat, the crisis in Syria leaves policymakers with few good options, including inaction. As Secretary Kerry said, there is no “military solution” to the crisis in Syria, but we must consider whether limited military action will reduce Assad’s capacity to kill more innocents. Congress will now have a chance to examine the facts, debate the strategy and vote on a way forward.
“To its great credit, the international community has repeatedly tried to find a diplomatic solution to the conflict, and those efforts must continue. While I have deep concerns about military action of any kind, the international community must respond when chemical weapons are used against innocent civilians.”Where do you stand? Should Ellison and Paulsen vote in favor of the Syria attack? Let us know in the comments.