NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Z_CNHI News Service

August 29, 2013

Cole warns against strike on Syria

DUNCAN, Okla. — President Barack Obama put himself into a tough spot when he threatened action against the Syrian government if it used chemical weapons on its people, said U.S. Rep. Tom Cole.

The Oklahoma Republican is among 140 members of Congress - including 21 Democrats - who signed a letter this week warning the president against delivering on that threat without their consent.

Cole, who is home during Congress' August recess, told a town hall meeting in Duncan on Wednesday that Obama "irresponsibly drew red lines in the sand."

The president, said Cole, seems set on a military response to reports that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad ordered a chemical weapons attack. Cole said that “would be using military means to give him credibility for probably saying something he shouldn’t have said.”

The Obama administration and British leaders say they have evidence of a gas attack last week that killed hundreds of Syrians, marking an especially heinous escalation of a nearly two-year civil war that's already killed more than 100,000 people.

The United Nations has sent inspectors to Damascus to investigate those reports.

The White House announced Thursday that it will brief Congressional leaders on Syria.

Cole, who represents Oklahoma's 4th District, touched on various other topics during his exchange with about 100 people.

He took an unpopular stance among some in the room when he said he's unwilling to vote to stop all government spending unless the Affordable Care Act is defunded - even though he's voted 40 times to repeal Obamacare.

While some urged a more aggresive position, Cole said he's unwilling to cut money to the military, veterans, National Weather Service and other vital government services to make a political point when Congress returns to session next month.

"I think it would be a political disaster (for Republicans) in 2014,” he said.



Mike Smith is a reporter for The Duncan Banner.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Z_CNHI News Service

Offbeat
NDN Video
Viral: It's Not Pitbull - It's Amy Poehler! Raw: Leopard Bites Man in India Jenna Dewan-Tatum Strips Down Rise of the Milkbots TRENDING: Brian Williams Raps 'Gin and Juice' on ‘Tonight Show’ Middle School heroes rescue students from burning bus WHOPPER OF FISHING STORY: Florida man catches massive Mako shark Maks Chmerkovskiy's "DWTS" Meltdown The many faces of Mike Woodson Ape Builds A Fire And Toasts Marshmallows In Amazing BBC Video Manchester Utd sack manager David Moyes "RHOA's" Dramatic Brawl High school, College Drug Ring Busted In Montgomery County High Court to Hear Dispute of TV Over Internet Raw: Keflezighi, Jeptoo Win Boston Marathon Teen hitchhikes in wheel well of flight from California to Hawaii Lindsay Lohan's Jaw-Dropping Secret President Sends Message To Boston And Marathon Runners LA Pastor Attracts Churchgoers with Pot Lauren Stoner Shows Off Her Incredible Bikini Body
Special Features
NRA Waterfront Plans