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Rep. Tom Cole: I Will Not Vote in Favor of Military Intervention in Syria

by Chris Casteel Published: September 5, 2013

Rep. Tom Cole, R-Moore, has been voicing skepticism and opposition since Saturday to U.S. military intervention in Syria. On Thursday, he said he would not vote for it.
Cole is a respected voice in the U.S. House, and he sits on the subcommittee that oversees defense spending. Moreover, the state’s two largest military bases _ Tinker Air Force Base and Fort Sill _ are in his district.
Here is the statement he released on Thursday:
“Military intervention in Syria is not in America’s best interest and is ill-advised.
“The United States has not been attacked and neither have our allies. As it stands, this conflict is a civil war, a proxy war between Iran and Saudi Arabia and a religious war. America should avoid being drawn into this conflict. The president’s recent proposal is a gesture, not a clear policy or military strategy.
“Using our military to make a diplomatic point is unfair to the brave men and women who volunteered to defend the United States, and it is an inappropriate use of American military power.
“This is not just my opinion. It is the considered opinion of the people that I represent, expressed not at just one or two town halls, but literally at every public or private meeting and casual encounter I have had since the president decided to put this issue before Congress last Saturday. I represent 750,000 people, and when those people think this strongly about such an important issue, I certainly have an obligation to make sure their views are reflected in my vote. I have heard their opposition loud and clear and will not vote in favor of military intervention in Syria.
“American involvement in Syria could lead to something much worse, much more dangerous, and is certainly not going to advance or improve the situation in the Middle East.”

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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