US Secretary of State John Kerry, opening the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on military action against Syria Tuesday, said that American silence in the face of Assad’s use of chemical weapons “would erode the standards that have protected our own troops in war.”
"If we look away," others, like Iran, Hizballah and North Korea, will believe they too can use weapons of mass destruction with impunity. Israel and Jordan are waiting for our assurance that they are safe from WMD attack. “It is definitely in our national security interests to send them all an unmistakable message “Never again!” means “Never!”
President Obama is not asking America to go to war – no boots in the ground or US responsibility for Syria’s civil war – only the power to make clear that the US means what it says, and seeks only authorization to degrade and deter Assad’s capacity to use chemical weapons. “If Assad is arrogant and foolish enough to retaliate, the US and its allies have ample resources to make him regret it.”
In presenting the president’s case for attacking Syria, Kerry was followed by Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel. Chairman of the US Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey was to take questions.