Statement from Congressman Member Michael A. Blake on U.S. military strike against the Syrian government
Bashar Assad is a merciless dictator in Syria whose actions are barbaric and inhumane. His latest chemical warfare attacks have taken the lives of many of his own people, especially innocent women and children. This behavior in Syria has already lead to a strong response by the United States going back to 2014 under President Obama, where he sought Congressional approval.
While I do acknowledge that swift and decisive action is necessary, the need for Congressional authorization and oversight is equally critical. Let us remember that in 2013, 183 Republicans voted against President Obama plan to take action. In September 2014, as part of a Coalition campaign against ISIS, the U.S began launching attacks against ISIS in Syria under the leadership of President Obama.
The reports, that the Russian government appear to have had more information and at a much earlier time than our own Representatives in government, are of great concern. The U.S. Intelligence community has a duty to share its intelligence with the legislative branch so that they may make informed and impartial decisions on matters of national security.
Yes, Assad must be shown that his wanton disregard for human life will not continue without harsh response. But, let us ensure that we live up to our values set forth by the Constitution, and respect all branches of government and the representatives we elect to serve.
If we are truly the compassionate and welcoming nation that we proclaim to be, we must welcome Syrian refugees fleeing violence in their country. To strike their country, which plays such a critical role in the displacement of these refugees while previously and continuously saying that they are not welcome is utterly inhumane and flies in the face of our values as Americans.