Cong. Tom Cotton (R) called on his colleagues to support Pres. Obama’s request to move forward with a limited military strike in Syria.
Earlier in the week, Cotton, a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said he had attended a classified briefing and has read several top-secret reports.
“Having reviewed the evidence, I have virtually no doubt that the administration’s publicly stated conclusions are accurate: Bashar al-Assad’s regime intentionally used chemical weapons on August 21 against opposition-controlled suburbs of Damascus,” Cotton said.
Obama is seeking Congressional support for a limited strike in the wake of purported chemical weapons attacks in Syria. Republicans are largely divided on the issue as Secretary of State John Kerry made a trip to Capitol Hill on Wednesday (Sept. 4).
Peter Urban with Stephens Media reports:
“Miracle of miracles, I am in support of the president’s call for action in Syria,” said Cotton, who is typically opposed to Obama’s policies.
But in this case, the use of chemical weapons by Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad’s regime combined with inaction from the United States poses a deeply troubling threat to the world, Cotton said during a hearing of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
“The day that the U.S. does not act is not just the day that Bashar al-Assad knows it is open season for chemical weapons but … more ominously is the day that Iran’s Supreme Leader Sayyid Ali Khamenei spins his centrifuges into overdrive,” Cotton said.
Cotton suggested that Iran would be empowered to speed its efforts to develop a nuclear arsenal that could reach U.S. soil.
Cotton also called for stronger measures to be taken to remove Assad from power and replace his regime with a moderate, pro-western government.
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On his Congressional web site, Cotton said:
“I’ve held these views for years and I’ve long called for action in Syria. Regrettably, President Obama’s indecision and dithering has caused the situation there to deteriorate. Moreover, I share concerns that the president won’t execute a strategically sound military campaign. Nevertheless, I believe that U.S. inaction would still be a worse outcome for our national-security interests.”