The Norman Transcript

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September 7, 2013

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

(Continued)

NORMAN —

Nathaniel Batchelder of The Peace House said Oklahomans in particular fears that military involvement in Syria would lead to three problems: The U.S. would become involved in a whole quagmire; the U.S. would be placed in a proxy war with Russia and Iran; and the U.S. would inadvertently support groups like Al-Qaida who support Syrian rebel troops.

“Our group supports non-violent intervention possibilities. We would support sanctions, prosecution of Assad for war crimes or possibly an embargo or blockade,” Batchelder said.

The Peace House hosted a rally, “No U.S. Intervention in Syria,” on Friday at Penn Square Mall at which Oklahomans could voice their opinions on Syria.

Landis said his sources in Syria know refugees are praying a true coalition will come together and flip the current regime, and even on pro-regime radio station ShanFM, callers phoned in from Damascus to insist there be a strike back.

Yet, it is uncertain what the president will do if Congress does not approve a military strike. Landis said he does not believe the president will strike without Congressional approval, and that might not be a bad thing.

“It’ll let Syrians know they have to deal with this on their own. It would end false hope, an unrealistic picture the president has perpetuated to this point,” Landis said.

Katherine Parker

366-3541

kparker@normantranscript.com

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