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AL-01 Candidates Sound-Off on Syria

By Lee Hedgepeth
Alabama Political Reporter

MOBILE— As the resolution for limited military action proposed by President Obama slowly makes its way through Congress, candidates for the 1st Congressional District have been sounding off on what they think is the appropriate role for the US to play in Syria. Alabama Political Reporter contacted all of the candidates for comment, and below are their responses.

The only candidate not to respond was Democrat Lula Albert-Kaigler, who could not be reached.

Bradley Byrne (R): “The President has not convinced me there is a justifiable reason for the United States to get involved in Syria. Before we spend American tax dollars fighting in another country’s civil war across the globe, I’d like to see that money spent here at home on critical projects like additional spans of I-10 across Mobile Bay which solve a major national and local problem.”

Quin Hillyer (R): “The humanitarian crisis in Syria is heart-rending. Unfortunately, if we apply the Reagan/Weinberger Doctrine, we see no clear and obvious objectives or endgames. Unless such objectives become very well defined, I would stay out. Meanwhile, the safety of Israel should be a paramount consideration.”

Wells Griffith (R): “We cannot deny what is happening in Syria is a humanitarian tragedy on a massive scale. Unfortunately, like so many issues, this has turned in to a public affairs exercise for President Obama after showing zero leadership on a destabilizing Middle East.
President Obama owes the American people an explanation about what his intentions are in regards to Syria. The President has failed to lay out a coherent policy in regards to Syria and the Middle East as a whole, and as a result our standing in the region has been weakened. I am thankful that President Obama has respected the Constitution and sought the approval of Congress, but I believe that before any vote can occur we must have a clear assessment of the facts and proposed solutions in the best interests of America.”

“As your representative I will always look out for the safety of our men and women in uniform and base decisions on American interests at home and abroad. While much of the information being reviewed by elected leaders remains classified, I look forward to a transparent and robust debate in the congress before any vote.”

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Chad Fincher (R): “I have very serious reservations and concerns about the United States invading Syria. As a congressman, before I would ever vote to send our men and women into harm’s way there would have to be a clear objective and a concrete exit strategy in place which I believe our President has not yet provided to Congress regarding an invasion into Syria.”

Sharon Powe (R): “Based on the alleged information related to the chemical gas attack of
Syria, I believe that those details are not justification for the US to conduct any type of reprisal attack on the Syrian government at this time. Furthermore, if such reprisal attacks are deemed necessary, those attacks should be authorized by the US Congress and our allies to include
countries in the Arab league. We do not need our intelligence leading us into another ‘weapons of mass destruction’ episode.”

David “Thunder” Thornton (R): “A brief answer to the question of whether we should go into Syria at the present time is ‘No.’ Our nation’s leaders have numerous times, both recently and even farther in the past, formulated plans and carried out intervention due to their poor diplomatic strategy. We seem to be led into these situations by individuals who feel military force is a problem solver and do not know how to deal with long range problems.”

“There needs to be a diplomatic plan using our nation’s integrity as a strength in negotiations. By repeatedly using military force as a solution undermines our nation’s integrity and reduces the respect we have from the nations of the world. There are times to use military force as a means of last resort but it should not be used where it compounds and does not solve a particular conflict.”

Daniel Dyas (R): Candidate Dyas asked the Alabama Political Reporter that his comments be published only in whole; due to their length, and controversy over their substance, his full statement appears in this article.

Jessica James (R): “No. The U.S. should not intervene in Syria.”

Dean Young (R): “At this moment, from where I’m sitting and what I know, which is very limited, I do not think we should intervene in Syria. Our Constitution gives the power to declare war to the U.S. Congress not Barak Hussein Obama. The U.S. Congress should receive a full briefing on exactly what is happening and why the president thinks we should go to war.”

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James Hall (I): “I must preface my answer with a caveat: Currently, I have zero inside information on what could be a positive outcome of intervention in Syria. The only information that I am privy to is what I can glean from news outlets.”

“With that being said, I am not in favor of military action in Syria. The administration is trying to justify a strike by essentially saying that the United States is the world’s police force. I am totally opposed to that premise. I do not see any single positive outcome for us. Nothing that we do in Syria will lead to any advancement on the war on terror, economic benefits, or future political influence in the region. There are many possible negative outcomes which ultimately could result in another global conflict. With the information that I have now, I am opposed to any action in Syria.”

Burton Leflore: (D): “The United States should not intervene in Syria at this time. However, Congress should send a clear an unequivocal message to Syria and the world that the United States will get involved if there is further use of chemical warfare.”

Leflore responded in a more in depth fashion on Syria in an Alabama Political Reporter interview, which can be seen here:

Yesterday, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee passed a resolution for the use of limited force in Syria, 10-7. The Senate will soon have a vote on the floor. Debate continues in the House, with classified briefings for members scheduled throughout the next few days. Obama has not ruled out the possibility of a limited military strike even without authorization from Congress.

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