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Rep. James Lankford Opposed to Syria Action; Sen. Tom Coburn Undecided

by Chris Casteel Published: September 4, 2013

Rep. James Lankford, R-Oklahoma City, told constituents Tuesday night that he remains opposed to U.S. military action in Syria.
“I remain opposed to U.S. military intervention in Syria’s civil war,” said Lankford, whose correspondence from constituents has been overwhelmingly against U.S. action.
“It is my belief that U.S. military involvement in Syria’s civil war is not in our national interest.
“I will review the classified materials in Washington, DC, but from what I have heard to date, the proposal on the table does not achieve our larger goal in the Middle East of stability or a reduction of chemical weapon threats. A limited missile strike will only weaken our hand in the Middle East when Assad claims a year from now that he beat the rebels and the Americans. We must continue to engage diplomatically and with our allies to ensure our strategic goals in the region remain achievable.
“I grieve for the hundreds of thousands of Syrian victims—especially the children and their devastated parents—murdered in the Syrian civil war. I look forward to the congressional debate on the issue of how to best respond. I appreciate my friends and neighbors in central Oklahoma who continue to make their concerns known to me.”
Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Muskogee, is undecided, according to spokesman John Hart.
None of the seven members of Oklahoma’s congressional delegation have offered any support for President Barack Obama’s request for authorization to strike Syria. Most have expressed deep skepticism or outright opposition.
At a town hall meeting in Midwest City on Tuesday, Rep. Tom Cole, R-Moore, drew applause for his opposition.

by Chris Casteel
Washington Bureau
Chris Casteel began working for The Oklahoman's Norman bureau in 1982 while a student at the University of Oklahoma. After covering the police beat, federal courts and the state Legislature in Oklahoma City, he moved to Washington in 1990, where...
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