The American military strike against Syria Thursday continues to make headlines around the world.
Hawaii’s members of Congress are speaking out and, while their remarks share common concerns, they also vary notably.
Here are their official statements from their respective offices:
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard
“It angers and saddens me that President Trump has taken the advice of war hawks and escalated our illegal regime change war to overthrow the Syrian government. This escalation is short-sighted and will lead to more dead civilians, more refugees, the strengthening of al-Qaeda and other terrorists, and a possible nuclear war between the United States and Russia.
“This Administration has acted recklessly without care or consideration of the dire consequences of the United States attack on Syria without waiting for the collection of evidence from the scene of the chemical poisoning. If President Assad is indeed guilty of this horrible chemical attack on innocent civilians, I will be the first to call for his prosecution and execution by the International Criminal Court. However, because of our attack on Syria, this investigation may now not even be possible. And without such evidence, a successful prosecution will be much harder.”
Rep. Colleen Hanabusa
“The U.S. strikes on Syrian military assets Thursday night were a targeted and measured response to what is widely believed to be Bashar al-Assad’s uncivilized and atrocious use of chemical weapons against his own people, especially the children. While the U.S. cannot ignore the internationally banned use of chemical weapons, the President’s failure to seek Congressional approval is unlawful and I expect that in the days and weeks ahead, President Trump will work in close coordination with Congress to clarify his administration’s plan to address the civil war in Syria, restore stability in the region and protect the innocent lives of those living in the war torn state. Further, Congress and the American people deserve a clearer understanding of President Trump’s short term and long term strategies in Syria and the region.”
Sen. Brian Schatz
“The Assad regime’s use of chemical weapons is abhorrent, but a military response is not the answer. The president has failed to articulate a strategy to end the Syrian civil war. A one-off strike may satisfy our desire to hold Assad accountable, but it risks deeper escalation without any sense of direction or objective. And unless this conflict ends, we will never defeat ISIL and prevent its return. Regardless, Congress must debate and authorize any escalation of U.S. military involvement against the Syria regime, as it is well beyond the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force. The United States must focus on leading a diplomatic effort among our partners and allies in the region to achieve a political solution that results in a post-Assad Syrian government that brings stability to the region.”
Sen. Mazie Hirono
“The repeated use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime against his own people is an atrocity and breach of international law, and the international community must hold him accountable.
“The Civil War in Syria adds layers of complexity in a country and region where there are no easy answers and opportunities for missteps are great.
“In light of this, President Trump must present a coherent strategy for addressing the ongoing situation in Syria, including our own responsibility in confronting the humanitarian catastrophe and refugee crisis.”
All four delegates are Democrats.
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