SYRIA

Syria: Senator Ben Cardin supports military strike

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WASHINGTON (WJLA) -- President Obama has started calling congressional rank and file members to personally discuss his plans for Syria and try to win support.

He may have backup in the Senate, but does not currently appear to have it in the House, where a number of members question if the time to strike Syria has already passed.

That question led to a testy exchange on Thursday at the State Department.

The Department of Defense has made it clear that unlike Libya, where there was an looming crisis within 48 hours, this is a case where if the U.S. takes action in a week or two, even a month, we can still have a successful outcome.

The handshake and greeting between President Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin was courteous and quick, as the relationship between the two nations is already strained over Edward Snowden. And it is now reaching a boiling point over Syria’s alleged use of chemical weapons.

“I think our joint recognition that the use of chemical weapons in Syria is not only a tragedy, but also a violation of international law that must be addressed," said President Obama.

"We still need convincing and legitimate evidence or proof," responded a Russian spokesperson.

After three days of classified hearings on Capitol Hill, many congressional leaders believe that proof of chemical weapons use exists – but that doesn’t mean they or their constituents support the president’s call for military strikes in Syria.

Senator Ben Cardin of Maryland says it was a heart-wrenching decision to support the president’s plan. He also says his constituents have been flooding his office with calls, worried that Syria will become the new Iraq.

But after sitting in classified hearings, Cardin sees a huge difference between the situation in Syria and in Iraq:

"It was open-ended... It was troops on the ground and it led to one of the longest wars in the history of America. I didn't support that. It wasn't a popular vote at the time, but it was the right vote. Here, I think we've got to stand up against the use of chemical weapons.

 

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