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President fails to convince Collins about Syria

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 10 September 2013 at 12:00 am

Congressman says Obama plan ‘ill-conceived’

President Barack Obama delivers an address to the nation regarding Syria, in the East Room of the White House. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

President Barack Obama in a televised address to the nation asked tonight for the country to support a military strike against Syria.

The president said two years of diplomatic efforts have not prevented Syrian President Bashar Assad from using chemical weapons against his own people, including hundreds of children.

“Our ideals and principles, as well as our national security, are at stake in Syria, along with our leadership of a world where we seek to ensure that the worst weapons will never be used,” Obama said in his speech. “America is not the world’s policeman. Terrible things happen across the globe, and it is beyond our means to right every wrong, but when with modest effort and risk we can stop children from being gassed to death and thereby make our own children safer over the long run, I believe we should act.”

Congressman Chris Collins, R-Clarence, was not swayed to support military force.

Collins issued this statement after the president’s speech:

“After carefully considering the matter and waiting for President Obama to make his best case to the American people, I have decided that I will vote no to authorize U.S. military action in Syria, if and when the vote comes to the House.While I understand that this situation is very fluid, and the administration has agreed to diplomatic efforts through the United Nations, I am unconvinced that a U.S. military strike in Syria would be in the best interest of America and its allies in the region. The emergence of a non-military solution to this crisis – as we have seen in just the last 24 hours – demonstrates how ill-conceived and poorly thought out the President’s plan has been since its inception.

“Proposing military action is one of the most serious decisions a President can make, and therefore requires a clear set of objectives and a clear exit strategy. This administration has satisfied neither, leaving us with serious questions about whethera U.S military strike in Syria will be indirectly assisting anti-American jihadist forces inside of the country and will not guarantee that Assad is unable to launch future chemical weapons attacks.

“Since the President proposed military action in Syria, and more recently since he decided to seek Congressional authorization for such action, I have received a tremendous amount of feedback from my constituents. I appreciate the more than 4,000 New York-27 residents who took time to let me know how they view this important national decision. My constituents are overwhelmingly opposed to any U.S. military involvement in Syria and after thoroughly deliberating on the matter; I believe they are justified in their opposition.”