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by
Bridget Johnson

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August 27, 2013 - 6:45 am

A Democrat on the Senate Armed Services Committee said President Obama needs to add the Arab League or Turkey to his coalition against Bashar al-Assad so it doesn’t look like the West vs. Muslims.

“We’re getting closer every moment with Secretary of State Kerry’s announcement this afternoon that there’s undeniable evidence that this is a regime-directed attack using chemical weapons,” Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.) said of military action on CNN.

“We are moving closer. The hope I have, though, is first that we assemble such a coalition of European countries and NATO allies and worldwide that that political pressure might be sufficient. But my sense is, it probably will not, and that we might have to take further steps.”

Reed said unilateral action to enforce the red line after Assad used chemical weapons would be “a mistake.”

“I think we have to enlist all of the — a willing coalition. The statements by Great Britain, by France, by many others, the active statements of some of the Turkish leaders suggest that they could be and would be supportive,” he said. Of Arab allies, “without their participation, it looks as if this is just a Western-vs.-Islamic struggle. It’s not. This is to vindicate a basic rule of international law that these weapons will not be used, not by Iran, not by any power.”

The senator said “time is important, but doing it right is more important.”

“And without this political cohesion, we won’t be able not only to assemble the appropriate forces, but also over the long term to anticipate what the reaction might be from the Syrians and from others. We don’t want to assume just a one-off action will solve this dilemma,” Reed said. “We have to prepare if we take action to follow through, and that requires a cohesive political grouping, not just military action.”

He said cruise missiles launched from sea would be “the most realistic option” for strikes on Syria.

“But I think first we have to deliver a strong international message that this behavior cannot be countenanced. Second, we have to make it clear what our objective is, which is I think principally that these weapons will not be used and that the Syrians have to put them sort of in a situation where they won’t be used,” Reed continued.

“And then we can work, I hope, on the diplomatic front to try to get some type of diplomatic traction with the overall issues in Syria… But the president has to choose now.”

“If there is a strong coalition internationally, if we have precise objectives, and if we are also worried about a further use of chemical weapons, that might precipitate a response before Congress can come back together,” Reed added. “Definitely, Congress has to be consulted. Under the War Powers Act, they have to be notified. In Libya, the president notified us, but did not seek specific approval.”

Bridget Johnson is a career journalist whose news articles and opinion columns have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe. Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor at The Hill, where she wrote The World from The Hill column on foreign policy. Previously she was an opinion writer and editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. She has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, Politico and more, and has myriad television and radio credits as a commentator. Bridget is Washington Editor for PJ Media.

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A random thought from a cynical veteran of multiple combat actions....what if, and not too terribly large of a "what if" - it was 'discovered' that some of the weapons smuggled out of Libya were, uh, CHEMICAL WEAPONS? (A) The son of a MB big-dog incarcerated in Egypt claims the MB has info that would land Dear Leader in prison (B) Both sides blame the other for the chem attack in Syria (C) Does ANYONE TRUST Dear Leader to tell the truth? (D) What is behind our American Ayatollah's hard-on for supporting the MB? (A+B+C+D)= A foreign policy that's phoucked up like a football bat. We should let our enemies in Syria continue to kill one another without interference and allow Christians safe passage and asylum in the United States; don't hold your breath - this regime hates Christians like, well, like the mooslim bruthahood hates them.

Remember BENGHAZI!
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
Before trying to build an international coalition of "willing nations" to act militarily against Syria's Assad regime, it would be nice if the Obama regime tried to get the approval of a majority of Americans, and the consent of Congress, to conduct a war against the nation of Syria.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
"You may fire when ready, Gridley" - Commodore Dewey


Remember BENGHAZI!
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
Damn right, Gridley...these idiot politicians seem to love a good war. Funny, but I cannot remember EVER meeting the son of a politician during any of my six deployments...not one. We've got Assad (and Putin-Iran) on one side, killing Al-Queada-Mooslim Bruthahood on the other....looks like we win either way without getting involved. But, our American Ayatollah has to support his and Huma's bruthas. Absolutely despicable, stoopid, unnecessary...

Remember BENGHAZI!
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
The consent of the governed? What a quaint idea.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
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