Senate votes to strike Syria, FilAm have mixed feelings

by Don Tagala, ABS-CBN North America Bureau

September 3, 2013

WASHINGTON DC–A Senate panel has voted to give President Barack Obama the authority to use military force against Syria in response to a deadly chemical weapons attack.

The vote Wednesday was 10-7, with one senator voting present. The full Senate is expected to vote on the measure next week.

The resolution would permit Obama to order a limited military mission against Syria, as long as it doesn’t exceed 90 days and involves no American troops on the ground for combat operations.

The Democratic chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, Sen. Bob Menendez, and the panel’s top Republican, Sen. Bob Corker, crafted the resolution.

The vote marked the first time lawmakers have voted to authorize military action since the October 2002 votes giving President George W. Bush the authority to invade Iraq.

A majority of Americans are not in favor of such military strike.

A new ABC News / Washington Post poll released Tuesday shows that only 36% of Americans support the strike while 59% oppose it.

Kababayans in the east coast have mixed reactions. “The public is not gonna support that, we’ve been at war for a long time, it doesn’t look like it out there but we’ve been at war for a long time, so why send troops? People are not gonna stand for that, ” said Piscataway, New Jersey resident Nelson Caparas.

“I-simplify natin yung problem, Assad must go,” Queens, NY resident Lav Diaz said, “We have to draw the line between good and evil evil eh, this regime is very evil.”

New York political analyst Ramon Mappala says, it may be costly but it’s a necessary military action to keep the US and the world safe from another chemical attack.

The thing is we’re stopping the slaughter of innocent ones,” Mappala said, “in order to stop it, there has to be some type of action against the party who is involved, not because America is superpower but because there is a moral isyu

Mappala says, while the president says that the planned attack in Syria will be a quick military action with no boots on the ground — a limited strike could go both ways — it could deter Syria from launching another chemical attack or it could also possibly escalate to another war, but Mappala says when Syria’s allies strike back, that’s when the problem comes in.

“When Iran strikes, they’re not going to strike only on the American forces but their allies, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Maybe Turkey, so this is going to blow up.”

Mappala says he is glad the President took some steps backward to reassess the whole Syrian crisis situation, learn from the past mistakes of previous administrations and let the US Congress decide what happens next. -with reports by the Associated Press

You may contact Don Tagala at don_tagala@abs-cbn.com

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