While the old hawkish GOP members are pounding the drums louder to start military strikes in Syria, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul is trying to get his colleagues to pump the brakes.
John Hudson of Foreign Policy writes about Paul’s comments:
“The Senate’s leading critic of President Obama’s war plans in Syria is now calling for a ‘permanent hold’ on the vote to authorize military force in Congress following a surprise proposal from Russia to avert a military confrontation.
On Tuesday, as the Obama administration ramped up its lobbying on Capitol Hill, Sen. Rand Paul convened a group of some 30 lawmakers skeptical of a military intervention in Syria. The group…discussed different strategies for staving off a military intervention and the desire to call off a vote to authorize military force.
‘I think everybody is hopeful that putting the vote on a permanent hold would be the best route forward,’ Paul said in an interview with The Cable.”
This development from Paul and other came after somewhat of a surprise announcement from Russia – long considered a player in the Syria debate, but more of a passive factor until now. The Russian plan would avert any military strike on the condition that Syria give up its stockpile of chemical weapons to “the international community.”
GOP Sens. John McCain of Arizona, and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, released a joint statement, saying Congress should definitely vote ‘Yes’ since they now have leverage – if Syria doesn’t discard its chemical weapons, they could face am military strike.
Paul wasn’t quite on board with that message, and expressed hope that President Obama would give Russia’s non-violent proposal a thorough and fair look. But at least there is a discussion now writes Hudson:
“[Paul] also tweaked Obama’s claim that his threats of military intervention led to this diplomatic opportunity. ‘If he needs to claim credit for avoiding war, I’m fine with that. I think avoiding war is more important than claiming credit,’ he said. ‘Those of us who have delayed this bombing are just happy to get to a point where we’re negotiating instead of fighting.’”
So the story continues: Paul and other progressive, anti-war Congressmen continue to make their stance clear, even as the established GOP and White House heavyweights bombard the people with pro-strike rhetoric.
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