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Rooney on Syria: ‘I’m pretty against getting involved in a Sunni-Shia civil war’

by George Bennett | August 27th, 2013

U.S. Rep. Tom Rooney, R-Okeechobee, says he’s “apprehensive” and “wary” of any U.S. military action in Syria, where President Bashar al-Assad‘s use of chemical weapons to kill civilians has heightened speculation that President Barack Obama will approve military action against the Assad regime.

Rooney called Assad a “despot,” but said the rebels opposing him have been infiltrated by Al Qaeda. Rooney last month proposed legislation to bar the U.S. from helping arm groups fighting in Syria.

“I’m pretty against getting involved in a Sunni-Shia civil war,” Rooney said in an interview today. He said he’s adamantly opposed to committing ground troops to the region and skeptical that bombs or missiles alone would be effective.

“If he (Obama) can show evidence that the way he wants to get rid of the chemical weapons doesn’t include us getting involved with personnel, certainly I’m not shutting off his game plan. But I don’t think he has one yet,” said Rooney, a former Army officer and a member of the House Intelligence Committee.

“What are we bombing?…What is the target? Using Tomahawk Cruise missiles from battleships to target known chemical weapons sites…certainly that’s something to talk about, but I don’t know that you could have any kind of surety,” Rooney said. “You’re increasing the risk that there’s going to be mission-creep.”

The best hope for Syria might be some type of cease-fire brokered by the U.S. and Russia, Rooney said. But, he added,”our relationship with them is as bad as it’s been since the Cold War…I don’t see a pathway to any kind of United States involvement that brings any kind of resolution to the matter.”

14 Responses to “Rooney on Syria: ‘I’m pretty against getting involved in a Sunni-Shia civil war’”

  1. Fred Says:

    Don’t forget, the Defense Authorization bill contains an explicit prohibition against using $$ in Syria without Congressional approval.
    This was via an amendment offered by Trey Radel and passed by the House.

  2. Mattrue Says:

    My opinion of this trouble in the middle east is the same as world war II. The Japanese were the terrorists in war world II. We all know how the war and terrorist attacks ended. The terrorist will never stop, until they are subject to a mass devastation of their own people. New and advanced weaponry can keep devastation limited to an isolated area. Its time to release modern warfare on the middle east and stop this in its tracks. End the war and save the world. Give the middle east an ultimatum, if they don’t stop fighting, our united nations will us the utmost power and technology to end this war. I would prefer political sanctions for all the middle east countries, but you must also include Israel. The only other alternative is close range nuclear warfare and end terrorism.

  3. Mattrue Says:

    Fred does not know what he is talking about and the only way to end the fighting is to declare war on terrorist and end this now. Use short range tactical warfare and devastate any life in the area concerned. If we don’t give this ultimatum, it will never end with the middle east. They have hated each other for over 3 thousands years and it is time to end the hatred. Life never started in a desert and that is the truth. The only thing that the middle east, can claim that they have and always will be attributed to start is hatred and war.

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  6. Ted the Nimble Says:

    You know we’re in trouble when you have a Lib in an international crisis that involves the possibility of war. With Hussein in charge, we are in TROUBLE!

  7. Ted the Nimble Says:

    I’m sure Syria is absolutely terrified that Obama is in charge. They are shaking in their boots at the thought of having crossed the “red line” for the umpteenth time.

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  11. Tanya Denny Says:

    To compel a man to subsidize with his taxes the propagation of ideas which he abhors is sinful and tyrannical.
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    Americans say no to involvement in Syria for many reasons. There is no time limit on response to the use of chemical warfare. Patience and profound decisions are needed now.

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