Rep. Steve Israel on Syria

Monday, September 09, 2013

President Barack Obama meets with President Vladimir Putin at his dacha outside Moscow, Russia, July 7, 2009. (The White House/Wikipedia Commons)

This week, Congress returns from recess and is faced with a vote on Syrian intervention. Rep. Steve Israel (D-NY-3) explains why he's urging a yes vote on a Syria strike, and how President Obama is planning to do the same.


Steve Israel

Comments [14]

Laurie from Jersey

Remember Abu Ghraib? The point of mentioning it is that there is a reason for international conventions governing war and the treatment of participants: we should not torture if we don't want to be tortured when the tables are turned. In Syria, we should not perform illegal unprovoked bombings so that we and our friends will not be subject to illegal unprovoked bombings when the tables are turned.

Imagine that Russia is threatening to bomb an ally of ours, say Britain, because Russia has objections to some appalling actions in an internal conflict in the UK - Northern Ireland, maybe. Would we approve? Or would we say that Russia is breaking international law? Would Russia be able to say "But the US did it in Syria so it's justified by precedent"?

There are "norms" and international laws of war, and they govern more than just chemical warfare. It seems to me that if we believe in the United Nations at all, if we believe in international norms and agreements, we have to accept that we won't always get our way. That is when we need to talk even more, not throw bombs. If we believe that war is ultimately evil and useless and wasteful, we have to exhaust every possibility before starting a war of choice. What if, instead of bombs, we spent the same amount of money for humanitarian aid for Syrian refugees and civilians? What an awesome action that would be. And it would be an investment in peace, not destruction.

As a child of the fifties who remembers the aftermath of WWII, and who remembers Vietnam only too well, I have been horrified by my country's actions in Iraq and Afghanistan. We need to be taught every generation, tragically, the reasons to do everything possible to prevent war.

Sep. 10 2013 01:16 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

To Taher

Regarding chemical gas attack on Israel by either Assad regime or the rebels, (a) Israel is the most prepared country in the world for such an attack. I myself and my son wore gas masks back in 1991 during Saddam's Scud attack. (b) Israel has the Iron Dome and other antimissile systems that make it highly unlikely that such a missile attack would do much damage, if at all, in Israel. Israel would not counterattack using tactical nukes, unless it was a successful massive attack that caused massive numbers of deaths, say in the thousands. But that is highly improbable. (c) Russia won't attack Israel because it's not worth losing a Russian city or two to Israeli nukes to the Russians. They are not fanatical Islamist terrorists who believe in Paradise for martyrs.

Sep. 09 2013 11:11 AM
taher from Croton on Hudson

ella from Brooklyn, yes to a point. But if Russian arms get into it it’s another story. Then America’s treaty commitments come into play. That means total global war. Do something now or wait for hell later and say why nothing was done.

Sep. 09 2013 10:58 AM
Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious Hudson Heights

A few weeks back the story was that Assad finally was winning against "the rebels".

I wouldn't put it past "the rebels" for using chemical weapons on Syrian civilians - as a means of discrediting the socialist Assad family dictatorship.

The rebels who have crazies who have cut out the heart of a Syrian soldier and eaten it are capable of using WMDs on anybody.

Search Youtube with "syrian eat heart".

I blame the UN, stonewalled by KGB Putin, and the fake "anti-war" movement who block action on this latest Red/Green crime against humanity.

Sep. 09 2013 10:56 AM
Taher from Croton on Hudson

JoeCorrao , and if that US dose nothing, since the UN is an incompetent, corrupt organization, we are all done for at the end. No this isn’t just for Israel but it’s for us.

Sep. 09 2013 10:54 AM
ella from Brooklyn

Israel is capable of fighting its own battles. Thank you.

Sep. 09 2013 10:51 AM
Taher from Croton on Hudson

jgarbuz from Queens, without any action on Syria, the door is open to a chemical attack on Israel from Syria or by it’s ally Hezbollah. Israel in turn will use all weapons at its disposal, including tactical nuclear weapons. That will bring possible Russian military involvement and that will bring the US and that could lead to the end of us all.

Sep. 09 2013 10:49 AM
PJ from NJ

The congressman just stated the reason for the war. The possibility of Hezzbollah getting chemical weapons and using them against Israel. This war has nothing to do with protecting Syrians

Sep. 09 2013 10:44 AM
lance from Manhattan

Wow, what a great speaker. Lets destabilize the situation further and let those canisters of weapons loose. That will make things better. We are on a roll now. Another bum needs to be thrown out of office.

Sep. 09 2013 10:42 AM

this guy is a jackass

Sep. 09 2013 10:42 AM
Amy from Manhattan

I've been wondering if it would be possible to destroy the routes from the weapons depots (chemical & conventional) & the sites the weapons would be launched from. Do we have enough info on their locations? Could this be done accurately enough from offshore? Could it be done in a way & at a time that would minimize the risk of killing people?

Sep. 09 2013 10:42 AM
bernie from bklyn

can mr.israel tell us how the use of chemical weapons is a threat to the security of the U.S.?
what facts does he have to convince him that the assad gov't are the ones who used these chemical weapons? if we found out that both sides used them, then what?

Sep. 09 2013 10:39 AM

If we bomb, we will eventually have boots on the ground...that ain't hypothetical

Sep. 09 2013 10:38 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

I was inclined to support Obama on his principled desire to punish Assad for the vicious crime of using chemical weapons on civilians. Assad is definitely a war criminal. But I've changed my mind. The rebels are equally vicious and would use chemical weapons too if they had them.
Let them kill each other, and let's pray for the innocents who, as usual, are caught in between.

Sep. 09 2013 10:34 AM

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