Syria http://wfpl.org en Kentucky Lawmakers Respond to President Obama's National Address on Syria http://wfpl.org/post/kentucky-lawmakers-respond-president-obamas-national-address-syria <p>Kentucky lawmakers in Washington are reacting to President <a href="http://wfpl.org/post/live-blog-obama-addresses-nation-syria">Obama's national address where he said he was asking Congress to postpone a vote on authorizing military strikes against Syria</a> as the U.S. pursues diplomatic solutions.</p><p>Since the president first said he was seeking congressional approval for a limited attack on the Assad regime, members of the state's federal delegation have voiced either opposition or skepticism to the plan.</p><p>Poll numbers show the <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2013/09/09/politics/syria-poll-main/">vast majority of Americans oppose</a> U.S. intervention.</p><p>The president acknowledged the public's war weariness but outlined his rationale for why he believes the U.S. should get involved. At least one lawmaker was pleased with Obama's primetime address for clearing a path to diplomacy.</p><p>From Democratic Congressman John Yarmuth:</p><blockquote><p>"It is in our national interest to delay a vote on military action against the Syrian government while we pursue diplomatic opportunities to force the Assad regime to surrender its chemical weapons. I strongly support this approach and, like all Americans, will continue to monitor these developments as the international community re-evaluates its responsibilities in Syria."</p></blockquote><p>Others remained oppose to the idea of U.S. intervention, even as reports reflect the <a href="http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2013/09/10/putin-chemical-weapons-united-nations-obama/2794529/">Russian government is persuading the Syrian government</a> to release their chemical weapon stockpiles to avert U.S. strikes. Wed, 11 Sep 2013 02:44:00 +0000 Phillip M. Bailey 6797 at http://wfpl.org Kentucky Lawmakers Respond to President Obama's National Address on Syria Senator Mitch McConnell Opposes President Obama's Syria Resolution http://wfpl.org/post/senator-mitch-mcconnell-opposes-president-obamas-syria-resolution <p>Speaking on the Senate floor Tuesday, Republican Leader Mitch McConnell ended days of speculation and came out in opposition to President Obama's request for military strikes against Syria.</p><p>McConnell said he is not an isolationist and argued the U.S. has a role on the world stage that cannot be ignored, but the GOP slammed the president's foreign policy strategy overall.</p><p>He says Obama has been a "reluctant commander-in-chief" and that the administration hasn't made a compelling case for intervention.</p><p>“So I will be voting against this resolution. A vital national security risk is clearly not at play, there are just too many unanswered questions about our long-term strategy in Syria, including the fact that this proposal is utterly detached from a wider strategy to end the civil war there, and on the specific question of deterring the use of chemical weapons, the president’s proposal appears to be based on a contradiction," he says.</p><p>Watch:</p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="360" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/4eAQt0xbP4k" width="480"></iframe> Tue, 10 Sep 2013 16:38:22 +0000 Phillip M. Bailey 6786 at http://wfpl.org Senator Mitch McConnell Opposes President Obama's Syria Resolution Congressman Brett Guthrie Voting Against Syria Resolution http://wfpl.org/post/congressman-brett-guthrie-voting-against-syria-resolution <p>After receiving a classified security briefing, Kentucky Second District Congressman Brett Guthrie is opposing the Obama administration's resolution to launch military strikes against Syria.</p><p>The announcement comes as the rest of Kentucky's congressional delegation is either vocally opposing or questioning the president's request to authorize action against the Assad regime.</p><p>Fellow Republican congressmen Andy Barr, Thomas Massie and Ed Whitfield have all voiced opposition.</p><p>In a statement to WFPL, longtime Kentucky lawmaker Hal <a href="http://wfpl.org/post/congressman-hal-rogers-wants-precise-details-favoring-syria-strike">Rogers says he wants "precise" details</a> before deciding.</p><p>And the lone Democrat in the federal delegation, Congressman John Yartmuth, told WFPL he remains unconvinced by the Obama administration's arguments.</p><p>Guthrie says he is voting against the resolution because none of the information shared by Obama's national security advisors on Monday is persuasive enough to support military action.</p><p>"There is no doubt that the Middle East is ripe with conflict and that the chemical weapons attack against the Syrian people on August 21 was horrific," Guthrie said in a statement. "But I do not believe that a bombing campaign against the Assad regime would be appropriate, and may even further enflame regional tensions."</p><p> Mon, 09 Sep 2013 23:38:25 +0000 Phillip M. Bailey 6776 at http://wfpl.org Congressman Brett Guthrie Voting Against Syria Resolution Congressman Hal Rogers Wants 'Precise' Details Before Favoring Syria Strike http://wfpl.org/post/congressman-hal-rogers-wants-precise-details-favoring-syria-strike <p>Kentucky's longest serving member of Congress wants more details from President Obama before supporting the administration's resolution seeking military action against the Syrian government.</p><p>"The ongoing civil war in Syria is heartbreaking, but I have great reservations about intervening in Syria," says Congressman Hal Rogers, who was first elected in 1980.</p><p>Speaking at a news conference in St. Petersburg, Russia, the president announced he will <a href="http://wfpl.org/post/obama-has-no-intention-strike-syria-if-congress-says-no">address the nation from the White House next week</a> to make his case for intervention before the American public.</p><p>For the most part, Kentucky's federal delegates in the House and Senate are leaning against the mission.&nbsp;</p><p>Congressman John <a href="http://wfpl.org/post/congressman-john-yarmuth-unconvinced-obama-administrations-argument-attack-syria">Yarmuth, the lone Democrat, says he remains unconvinced</a> by the Obama administration's argument.</p><p>Republican congressmen Andy Barr and Ed Whitfield have both voiced opposition while Brett Guthrie said via Facebook he would "listen carefully" as the administration makes its case.</p><p>Senate Republican Leader Mitch <a href="http://wfpl.org/post/mcconnell-make-syria-decision-coming-days-feels-certain-about-no-boots-ground">McConnell has been noticeably absent from the debate</a>. But in a recent public appearance, McConnell said he would announce his position in "the coming days."</p><p>While Rogers, who chairs the powerful appropriations committee, told WFPL he has serious doubts about the mission, the GOP lawmaker also indicated he is open to being persuaded by Obama's argument. Fri, 06 Sep 2013 16:02:06 +0000 Phillip M. Bailey 6739 at http://wfpl.org Congressman Hal Rogers Wants 'Precise' Details Before Favoring Syria Strike Former Indiana Congressman Lee Hamilton Supports Military Action Against Syria http://wfpl.org/post/former-indiana-congressman-lee-hamilton-supports-military-action-against-syria <p>Former Congressman Lee Hamilton says he hopes U.S. lawmakers act responsibly and give President Obama authorization to launch military strikes against Syria.</p><p>The president's request to strike Syria has divided Democrats with many—such as Congressman John <a href="http://wfpl.org/post/congressman-john-yarmuth-unconvinced-obama-administrations-argument-attack-syria">Yarmuth of Kentucky—saying they are unconvinced</a> by the administration's argument thus far.</p><p>Considered a foreign policy expert, Hamilton is a Democrat who represented Indiana’s Ninth Congressional District for 35 years. He is scheduled to speak about the wide-ranging foreign policy challenges facing the U.S. at a speech Thursday evening at Bellarmine University set for 7 p.m.</p><p>In an interview with WFPL News, Hamilton says Congress has been too deferential to U.S. presidents on foreign affairs in the past, but he would back the president's efforts in Syria.</p><p>"I would vote for the resolution. You have three options: first of all, do nothing. I think that’s not acceptable. That would mean in effect that (Balshar) al-Assad can with impunity attack his own people with chemical weapons," he says.</p><p> Thu, 05 Sep 2013 15:40:52 +0000 Phillip M. Bailey 6724 at http://wfpl.org Former Indiana Congressman Lee Hamilton Supports Military Action Against Syria Senator Rand Paul: President Obama Failed to Make Case Against Syria http://wfpl.org/post/senator-rand-paul-president-obama-failed-make-case-against-syria <p>Senator Rand Paul, R-Ky., says President Obama has failed to make a compelling case for the U.S. to launch a military strike against Syria.</p><p>The Senate Foreign Relations Committee <a href="http://wfpl.org/post/senate-panel-passes-authorization-force-against-syria">voted 10-7 to give the president authority to do just that</a>, with three Republican senators joining Democrats to support the resolution.</p><p>Paul voted against the resolution along with four Republicans and Democrats Tom Udall of New Mexico and Chris Murphy of Connecticut.</p><p>The resolution is now headed to the full Senate for a vote next week.</p><p>Paul says he isn't convinced a limited bombing of Syria will detour its government from using chemical weapons again, and he warns it could escalate violence in the region.</p><p>From Paul's office:</p><blockquote><p>"We are told there is no military solution in Syria, yet we are embarking on a military solution. The president has failed to demonstrate a compelling American national interest in the Syrian civil war.</p><p>To be sure, there is a tragedy of a horrific nature in Syria, but I am unconvinced that a limited Syrian bombing campaign will achieve its intended goals. I frankly think that bombing Syria increases the likelihood of additional gas attacks, may increase attacks on Israel and turkey, may increase civilian deaths, may increase instability in the Middle East and may draw Russia and Iran further into this civil war.</p><p> Wed, 04 Sep 2013 21:30:00 +0000 Phillip M. Bailey 6717 at http://wfpl.org Senator Rand Paul: President Obama Failed to Make Case Against Syria McConnell to Make Syria Decision in 'Coming Days,' Feels Certain about No Boots on the Ground http://wfpl.org/post/mcconnell-make-syria-decision-coming-days-feels-certain-about-no-boots-ground <p><span style="line-height: 1.5; ">Kentucky’s senior U.S. senator says while he hasn’t made up his mind on a possible U.S. strike in Syria, he’s certain American military forces won’t be placed inside that country.</span></p><p>Republican Mitch McConnell spoke to the Bowling Green Noon Rotary Club Wednesday, and said even those in Washington who are advocating for U.S. involvement in Syria are stopping short of calling for boots on the ground.</p> Wed, 04 Sep 2013 19:57:52 +0000 Kevin Willis | Kentucky Public Radio 6712 at http://wfpl.org McConnell to Make Syria Decision in 'Coming Days,' Feels Certain about No Boots on the Ground Congressman John Yarmuth Unconvinced by Obama Administration's Argument to Attack Syria http://wfpl.org/post/congressman-john-yarmuth-unconvinced-obama-administrations-argument-attack-syria <p>The Obama administration's case to take military action against Syria after its government allegedly used chemical weapons against civilians has yet to convince Kentucky's lone Democratic congressman to support intervention.</p><p>Speaking on a WFPL News special, Congressman John Yarmuth, D-Ky., says the country's international reputation is not enough to launch a strike.</p><p>President <a href="http://wfpl.org/post/president-obama-speak-syria">Obama is seeking congressional authorization before launching strikes</a> against Balshar al-Assad's regime, which is engaged in a two-year long civil war with rebel forces.</p><p>The Obama administration is making its case to lawmakers beginning with a presentation before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee this week.</p><p>Over 100 lawmakers attended a confidential briefing with national security experts on Sunday.</p><p>Yarmuth was among those lawmakers, and while he believes in the evidence presented by the administration showing the Syrian government used chemical weapons against civilians, the congressman isn’t convinced the U.S. should get involved.</p><p>"The general public probably considers national security interest any direct threat to the United States homeland, embassies, troops or property. The administration has a much vaguer I would say definition of national security interest, and they’re talking about the security of our allies and certain esoteric interests that I don’t think most Americans would agree is our national security interest," says Yarmuth.</p><p>Yarmuth says he is also concerned because the U.S. is acting alone without many allies who are willing to join the fight against Syria.</p><p> Tue, 03 Sep 2013 21:12:40 +0000 Phillip M. Bailey 6705 at http://wfpl.org Congressman John Yarmuth Unconvinced by Obama Administration's Argument to Attack Syria WFPL News Special: Rep. John Yarmuth at 1 p.m. Today http://wfpl.org/post/wfpl-news-special-rep-john-yarmuth-1-pm-today <p>U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth will discuss a wide range of topics during a news special at 1 p.m. today.&nbsp;</p><p>WFPL political editor Phillip Bailey will ask the Louisville Democrat about immigration, Obamacare, education and more.</p><p>Yarmuth will also discuss <a href="/post/kentucky-lawmakers-react-president-obama-seeking-military-action-against-syria">the situation in Syria</a> as President Obama asks Congress to authorize the use of force in response to that regime's alleged use of chemical weapons.</p><p>He'll also be taking calls. Join the conversation at (502) 814-TALK.</p> Tue, 03 Sep 2013 15:11:46 +0000 Staff 6698 at http://wfpl.org WFPL News Special: Rep. John Yarmuth at 1 p.m. Today Rand Paul Calls U.S. Involvement in Syria a 'Mistake,' Questions John Kerry's Assertions http://wfpl.org/post/rand-paul-calls-us-involvement-syria-mistake-questions-john-kerrys-assertions <p>Saying it's a mistake for the U.S. to get involved in the Syrian civil war, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., challenged Secretary of State John Kerry's assertion that a military air strike is necessary.</p><p>Paul made the comments during his first ever appearance on NBC's Meet The Press on Sunday morning.</p><p>Speaking to host David Gregory, Paul reversed a famous quote by Kerry when as a war veteran and anti-war activists he asked lawmakers in 1971 who should be the last solider to die in Vietnam.</p><p>"He's famous for saying, 'How can you ask a man to be the last one to die for a mistake?'' Paul said. "I would ask John Kerry: How can you ask a man to be the first one to die for a mistake?'"</p><p>Watch:</p><p><object classid="clsid:D27CDB6E-AE6D-11cf-96B8-444553540000" codebase="http://download.macromedia.com/pub/shockwave/cabs/flash/swflash.cab#version=10,0,0,0" height="245" id="msnbc38410c" width="420"><param name="movie" value="http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/32545640"><param name="FlashVars" value="launch=52898985^480^210340&amp;width=420&amp;height=245"><param name="allowScriptAccess" value="always"><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"><param name="wmode" value="transparent"><embed allowfullscreen="true" allowscriptaccess="always" flashvars="launch=52898985^480^210340&amp;width=420&amp;height=245" height="245" name="msnbc38410c" pluginspage="http://www.adobe.com/shockwave/download/download.cgi?P1_Prod_Version=ShockwaveFlash" src="http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/32545640" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="420" wmode="transparent"></object></p><p style="font-size:11px; font-family:Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; color: #999; margin-top: 5px; background: transparent; text-align: center; width: 420px;"><a href="http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3032072" style="text-decoration:none !important; border-bottom: 1px dotted #999 !important; font-weight:normal !important; height: 13px; color:#5799DB !important;"> Sun, 01 Sep 2013 17:19:48 +0000 Phillip M. Bailey 6690 at http://wfpl.org Rand Paul Calls U.S. Involvement in Syria a 'Mistake,' Questions John Kerry's Assertions