Congressman Rick Nolan Speaks Out Against a Syria Strike

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

In response to Syria’s suspected use of chemical weapons against its own people, President Obama is seeking approval from Congress to launch a military strike against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.

But not everyone in Congress is on board, and at least one member has proven to be incredibly vocal in his opposition to the president's plan. That Congressman is Democrat Rick Nolan of Minnesota’s 8th District.

According to Politico and other sources, Nolan got into a heated exchange with Secretary of State John Kerry Monday during a conference call with 130 other House Democrats.

Are those reports true? And why is his opposition so strong to a strike?

Congressman Nolan explains his opposition to a strike, and responds to listener questions.


Rick Nolan

Produced by:

Kristen Meinzer


T.J. Raphael

Comments [3]

Paul Milloy

Thank you for your courageous intent to vote NO on military intervention in Syria.
You my full support.
Paul Milloy MD

Sep. 09 2013 12:10 PM

The all-volunteer nature of the armed forces for the last forty years has divorced most Americans from the perils of the battlefield; borrowing money from foreign entities has released Americans even from any real financial burden of waging war. Something like $10,000 per tax return has been spent in mesopotamia and central Asia in the last ten years, but I've never see a bill for it.

We rely on a largely separate, faithful fraternity of soldiers to execute our armed actions.

If the president hesitates, we may see the beginning of the end of our mutual irresponsibility.

If nerve agent or biological or radiological weapons begin to be mysteriously deployed in theaters anywhere where the executive would contemplate the deployment of infantry, Army recruitment will wane and fail.

Potential recruits can be persuaded that they can shoot back at enemy combatants, but far fewer can be convinced that they can shoot back at clouds of gas, even while wearing a Google gas mask.

Sep. 04 2013 03:54 PM

If we know that Assad has used chemical weapons doesn't that mean that he is a war criminal? What are the rules for arresting such characters and bringing them before the international court. I assume it isn't possible until he's out of power or the international community would be it. Surely that would be the more effective approach - put out a warrant for him and build a consensus coalition to build an elite team and go and get him - than causing major escalation. Maybe I'm being naive.

Sep. 04 2013 12:27 PM

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