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Schrader says U.S. shouldn't go into Syria

Although President Obama heeded a nationwide call to delay voting on a resolution authorizing use U.S. military action in Syria’s ongoing civil war, Oregon’s representatives in Congress have largely spoken out against any involvement for local troops in a possible quagmire.

Congressman Kurt Schrader (D-Canby) is no exception. He represents all of Marion, Polk, Lincoln and Tillamook counties as well as the bulk of Clackamas and small portions of Multnomah and Benton counties.

In a letter to constituents last week, he said he appreciates the president’s “thoughtfulness and willingness to work with the international community to find a diplomatic resolution” to the Syrian conflict.

“The use of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime is reprehensible, but without attainable objectives tied to a clear strategy, direct military intervention by the U.S. is a mistake that will lead to numerous unforeseen consequences,” Schrader wrote. “I remain opposed to authorizing the unilateral use of U.S. forces — limited or not — without strong international support and clear, attainable objectives.”

Schrader noted “there are no good choices” when it comes to getting involved in the civil war because we can’t chose among Assad, Iran and Hezbollah or a large faction of al-Qaida fighters. Schrader came to his conclusions after spending much of August in Oregon and hearing that “a large majority” were against U.S. involvement.

“Opening the door to getting involved in Syria in any form without international support is a slippery slope to the ill-fated policies of the last administration,” he wrote.

Schrader argued that American diplomats should continue to work peacefully to end the violence in Syria. In the type of response that Obama promised when he was elected in 2008, U.S. diplomacy could encourage the world community to address Syrian disregard for international protocol and drive an international response.

“Otherwise, we run a serious risk of turning moral outrage against Assad into outrage against America for once again deciding by ourselves what is right for the rest of the world,” he wrote.



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