- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Rep. Ted S. Yoho on Tuesday used Syrian leader Bashar Assad’s comments to a French newspaper to make the case why the United States should not intervene in Syria at the moment.

“I think it’s like Assad said — you’ve got a powder keg ready to explode over there, and I don’t want to be the match that ignites that,” Mr. Yoho, Florida Republican, said on MSNBC.

Mr. Assad made the remarks to the French newspaper Le Figaro.

“We shouldn’t just talk about a Syrian response, but what will happen after the first strike,” Mr. Assad said, according to Reuters. “Everybody will lose control of the situation when the powder keg blows. There is a risk of a regional war.”

Proponents of military intervention have made the case that chaos will ensue if the U.S. does nothing and that inaction will set a terrible precedent for future dealings with countries such as Iran and North Korea. 

But Mr. Yoho and others counter that there is no clear and present danger to U.S. national security interests at the moment from Syria’s civil war.

“If you can prove 100 percent that this is a national security threat to Americans on American soil, I think that’s a point that everybody would support, but right now it’s not a national security threat to us,” the freshman lawmaker said. “I think what you saw with Britain last week, where they had the emergency session with Parliament, brought everybody together and they voted resoundingly not to support this at this time — I would hope that our president, if Congress comes out and says that we’re not going to support this would act the same way.”

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