The Norman Transcript


September 7, 2013

OU assistant director cautions against U.S. involvement in Syria



Members of the Oklahoma delegation have weighed in against military intervention in Syria.

Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Tulsa, has taken a stand against any military action to punish Assad.

“I still oppose the current plan for military intervention in Syria,” Inhofe said in a statement released earlier this week. “Let us not forget the failed efforts of former President Clinton in 1998. He sought to punish Saddam Hussein through a limited bombing campaign for violating UN sanctions over the development of weapons of mass destruction. After surviving four days of attacks, Saddam Hussein emerged unscathed and, in fact, stronger to continue his reign of brutality.

“Like Saddam Hussein, Assad is already portraying himself to the UN as a victim and to his people as a hero for standing up to the United States. We’ve tried cruise missile diplomacy before and it didn’t work. Instead, it increased the stature of a dictator in his defiance of the United States and the civilized world.”

Rep. Tom Cole, R-Moore, also released a statement expressing opposition to American meddling in another nation’s civil war.

“Military intervention in Syria is not in America’s best interest and is ill-advised,” Cole said. “The United States has not been attacked and neither have our allies. As it stands, this conflict is a civil war, a proxy war between Iran and Saudi Arabia and a religious war. America should avoid being drawn into this conflict. The president’s recent proposal is a gesture, not a clear policy or military strategy.

Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Muskogee, is undecided on the issue, spokesman John Hart said.

With the Iraq war fresh on Americans’ minds, the public questions the president’s ability to make a strike against Syria “limited and proportional” as he has said a strike would be to hold to international norms.

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