Schumer supports striking Syria



LAKE PLEASANT - United States Senator Charles E. Schumer (D-NY) feels he can support a limited military response to the use of chemical weapons in Syria.

“There are two conflicting goals,” he said Friday during a tour of Wilt Industries here. “One, we don’t want some dictator to use poison gas unanswered; on the other hand, we don’t want another war in the Middle East.”

President Barack Obama wants to launch military strikes against the Syrian government as punishment, saying Syrian President Bashar al-Assad used the nerve gas Sarin in a suburb of Damascus in August. The Assad regime has denied the charge.

Schumer says allowing the use of chemical weapons to go unanswered would encourage other rogue governments, as well as the Assad regime, to use them again.

Money spent on war would be better used domestically to deal with problems in the U.S., he added.

Schumer said Obama’s first proposal to Congress was too broad, but has been narrowed by the Senate’s Foreign Relations Committee. “I feel I can support that narrower plan,” he said, which would put limits on a response.

The limits include no U.S. forces on the ground and an expiration date on any authorization passed by Congress.

Obama announced Aug. 31 that he would seek Congress’ approval to intervene in Syria’s civil war. Congress will resume session Sept. 9.