“It has been reported that President Obama and some American allies including Great Britain and France are considering military action against the Assad regime in Syria in response to the possible use of chemical weapons in the ongoing Syrian civil war. I firmly believe that America must not become involved in this conflict unless President Obama convinces the American people that vital U.S. national interests are at stake, that we have a full understanding of who exactly we are supporting, that those to whom we would offer assistance would be supportive of American interests and the American people’s representatives in Congress vote to give him the authority to act.
"In the Libyan civil war we learned the lesson of what happens when this test was not applied. President Obama ordered U.S. military involvement in Libya even though it was unclear who we were supporting and there was great evidence that elements of al Qaeda were involved with the Libyan rebels. After the toppling of Kaddafi, al Qaeda terrorists based in Benghazi, Libya attacked our consulate and murdered the American ambassador and three other brave Americans. This past Sunday former Secretary of State Colin Powell was asked about the Syrian conflict and said, 'I am less sure of the resistance. What do they represent? And is it becoming even more radicalized with more al-Qaeda coming in? And what would it look like if they prevailed and Assad went? I don't know.' If we do not know who it is we are supporting, and we have great reason to believe al Qaeda terrorists are among the rebels then America has no business intervening in this conflict.
"I opposed American involvement in Libya because I did not believe vital U.S. interests were threatened and I oppose any involvement in Syria for the same reason. If President Obama wants to commit military forces in the Syrian civil war he must make the case to the American people, win their broad support and secure a vote approving any involvement from the United States Congress. Absent an imminent threat to American interests I believe unilateral action without the approval of Congress would not be consistent with the requirements of our Constitution and I will oppose any such action.”
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