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Lugar And Hamilton Support Strike On Syria

The former senator and congressman say the U.S. needs to send a clear message to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

lugar and kerry

Photo: had J. McNeeley/Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (flickr)

Sen. Richard Lugar and Sen. John Kerry chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee respond to testimony in Washington, D.C., Dec. 3, 2009.

Former Indiana Senator and Senate Foreign Relations Committee head Richard Lugar and former Indiana Congressman Lee Hamilton are weighing in on whether the U.S. should take military action against Syria.

Last week, Secretary of State John Kerry calls strong evidence that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad used chemical weapons on his own people, and President Obama asked Congress for approval of a military strike.

Lugar says Syria‘s use of chemical weapons not only crossed President Obama‘s “red line,” but also violated international law.

“I believe they [chemical weapons] are the most dangerous threat to our country rather than a nation – state because they can be used by a terrorist or small group and can bring about at least the loss of life for tens of thousands of people very readily,” said Lugar. “So  for that reason it appears to me that the United States ought to make a statement at this point.”

Hamilton says the U.S. must send a message to Assad and make clear that chemical weapons cannot be used with impunity.

“We have to show that when the U.S. makes a statement of importance like the “red line” cannot be crossed – we want the U.S. to be taken seriously,” he says.

Hamilton cautions that Syria is worse than both Afghanistan and Iraq. He says the U.S. needs to make sure that Assad doesn‘t have the ability to use chemical weapons again.

He says a limited strike is the best of all options.

Network Indiana

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