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Iowa GOP to Obama: Heartland doesn’t want war with Syria
Mr. Obama has said he considering ordering the U.S. bombing of selected sites in Syria after U.S. intelligence officials concluded Syrian President Bashar Assad used chemical weapons on civilians in Syria in a suburb of Damascus earlier this month.
“We believe the prosperity of America’s next generation is worth more than profits for defense contractors and the bump in the polls you and your fellow politicians may receive from portraying yourselves as
wartime leaders,” the two men wrote.
The two Republican leaders noted that the U.S. has “been at war for over 10 years now, costing us trillions of dollars and resulting in the death of thousands of American soldiers and untold numbers of civilians. Many of those who survive come home with debilitating injuries, strained families, and emotional scars.”
Mr. Obama finds himself in an unusual situation as the liberal leader of the liberal party in America threatening war against a Muslim Arab country in the Middle East, while some liberals in his own party have joined with conservative Republicans such are Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Rand Paul of Kentucky — members of what was tagged as the “war party” during the presidency of George W. Bush — in opposing military action in Syria.
Texas GOP Chairman Steve Munisteri declined to take a public position without first consulting with his state party’s other elected leaders — except to suggest Mr. Obama needs congressional authorization for military action.
“I have made it a policy of not issuing resolutions or proclamations without specific authorization by our platform or state Republican executive committee, unlike the president who appears to think he can move forward with military action without authorization from Congress,” Mr. Munisteri said in an email.
The two elected Iowa state GOP leaders argue in their letter to Mr. Obama that U.S. “troops have been called up again and again as we continue to engage in wars that pose no threat to American security, fighting to control the borders of other countries while our own borders at home remain unsecured.”
Mr. Spiker and Mr. Fisher noted that the U.S. claims to “set the standard for freedom and liberty, yet we trample our Constitution, spy on our citizens, engage in nation building, and continue to police other countries whether the people of that country want us there or not. What we have to show for all these military engagements is death, destruction, more enemies, and a broken economy, with a national debt that is over $17 trillion and climbing.”
Mr. Cruz and Mr. Paul, both considered likely contenders for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination, have argued that, absent the need for immediate retaliation for an ongoing attack on the U.S. homeland, only
Congress has the right to declare war under the Constitution. Both men have urged that the question of bombing Syria be debated in Congress before any act of war is undertaken by the U.S.
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About the Author
Chief political writer Ralph Z. Hallow served on the Chicago Tribune, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Washington Times editorial boards, was Ford Foundation Fellow in Urban Journalism at Northwestern University, resident at Columbia University Editorial-Page Editors Seminar and has filed from Berlin, Bonn, London, Paris, Geneva, Vienna, Amman, Beirut, Cairo, Damascus, Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Belgrade, Bucharest, Panama and Guatemala.
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