by Henry Waxman, 33rd Congressional District Representative
President Obama’s remarks on Syria [two weeks ago Tuesday] made a compelling case for an American response to the use of chemical weapons in Syria.
Syria’s use of chemical weapons is unacceptable. We have all seen the graphic images of this unfathomable tragedy and it is only human to feel the need for a robust response.
The President’s proposed military strike represented a credible military threat and likely compelled President Assad to consider giving up his stockpile of chemical weapons.
It has always been my deep belief that military force should only be used as a last resort. It is an option that should nonetheless be available, but diplomacy is far more effective, and I welcome the opportunity to pursue a diplomatic solution to ensure that Syria gives up its chemical weapons.
With that said, we cannot allow President Assad and President Putin to stall, conceal, or equivocate. The execution of this plan must be swift and verifiable and must carry consequences for Syrian non-compliance.
This plan sends an important message to any tyrant who is thinking of using weapons of mass destruction: the use of these weapons has consequences. If Syria can use weapons of mass destruction with impunity, why wouldn’t Iran think they can get away with the same? Iran still has time to abandon its nuclear program and its support for global terrorism, and Iran and Syria can learn a lesson from this crisis.
I will cautiously monitor this situation, and I look forward to continuing discussions with my constituents, my colleagues in Congress, and the Obama Administration on this matter. ER