Rubio votes against military force in Syria but slams ‘those who seek to disengage us from global issues’by George Bennett | September 4th, 2013
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee today approved a resolution authorizing President Barack Obama to use military force in Syria, with Republican Florida Sen. Marco Rubio voting against the measure.
But Rubio sought to differentiate himself from other opponents of the Syria resolution — including Kentucky Sen. and potential 2016 GOP presidential rival Rand Paul — who have argued the U.S. does not have a national security interest in what happens in Syria.
“Those who argue that what happens in Syria is none of our business are wrong,” Rubio said immediately after the vote. He said Syria is an important ally of Iran and Hezbollah and President Bashar Assad is a “dangerous anti-American dictator.”
Despite this view, Rubio said, “I remain unconvinced that the use of force proposed here will work. The only thing that will prevent Assad from using chemical weapons in the future is for the Syrian people to remove him from power.”
Rubio has argued for non-military help to Syrian rebels seeking to topple Assad and said the failure to engage in those efforts over the past two years left the U.S. with no good options now.
While opposing military strikes in Syria, Rubio warned the U.S. will pay “a terrible price” if it retreats from global involvement.
“There is a movement afoot in both parties to disengage the United States from issues throughout the world. And it is true that we cannot solve every crisis on this planet. But if we follow the advice of those who seek to disengage us from global issues, in the long run we will pay a terrible price…When America doesn’t lead, chaos follows,” Rubio said.
He added: “Unfortunately, the president, with the support of some voices in my party, chose to let others lead instead and now we are dealing with the consequences of that inaction.”
Tags: Rand Paul