The Washington Times - September 11, 2013, 12:56PM

A growing group of Republican senators lined up Wednesday to lambaste President Obama’s handling of the situation in Syria, saying his impassioned push for a limited military strike to punish Syrian leader Bashar Assad has been muddled by see-sawing objectives and diplomatic options.

Senate Minority Whip John Cornyn of Texas said Mr. Obama has not demonstrated how the use of force would advance America’s interests.

SEE RELATED:


“In the case of Syria, President Obama has not offered a clear strategy or clearly laid out his objectives,” Mr. Cornyn said, adding: “Military force is like a hammer, and you can’t thread the needle that President Obama wants to thread with a hammer.”

Republican Sen. Deb Fischer said she opposes military action in Syria and that Mr. Obama failed to outline a serious plan or show how a strike would protect America’s interests.

The Nebraska freshman senator said Mr. Obama’s case is “weak” and focuses narrowly on Mr. Assad’s use of chemical weapons on Aug. 21 amid a civil conflict that has “raged for years and claimed over 100,000 lives.”

“Unfortunately, what we’ve seen from the commander-in-chief so far has been indecision, verbal gymnastics, and a reluctance to step up and lead,” she said. “This ‘pinball diplomacy’ — haplessly bouncing from idea to idea — is untenable.”

She said Mr. Obama should pursue a diplomatic solution presented by Russia to dismantle Mr. Assad’s chemical weapons supply, but retain a “tough” stance during negotiations.

“I expect the president to follow through and not let the issue fade,” she said.