Obama lacks support for military strike against Syria with Bay area legislators

6:41 PM, Sep 4, 2013   |    comments
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U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor
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St. Petersburg, FL - When it comes to a military strike against Syria, U.S. Senator Bill Nelson says America should strike today, saying the use of chemical weapons is inhumane and those responsible should face consequences.

"The question is are we going to -- as a part of the family of civilized nations -- going to allow a dictator to be able to use a weapon of mass destruction?" Nelson said this week in Jacksonville.

See Also: Senate panel votes to authorize force in Syria

But Nelson is the only legislator elected by Tampa Bay area residents who currently supports the President's call for a military strike against Syria.

U.S. Senator Marco Rubio has made it clear in recent days that he doesn't support a military strike, saying the President has left the U.S. with no good options.

"So this is a reminder of what happens when we ignore the world, when we look inward sometimes and we ignore these problems they only get worse and more difficult to solve," Rubio said. "And that's the mess that we have here right now, we are left with options all of which are less than ideal."

U.S. Representative Kathy Castor, a Democrat from Tampa, also doesn't support the President's resolution.  Castor even sent a letter to Obama saying a military strike is likely to "exacerbate violence in the Middle East and put needed stability further out of reach."

"I'm very wary of additional military entanglements by America in the Middle East. I'm very concerned with the aftermath. It's very easy to get into hostilities, into war and it's very difficult to extract yourself," Castor went on to tell 10 News on Wednesday.

Republican U.S. Representative Gus Bilirakis is also wary, while U.S. Representative Dennis Ross asks: what's the compelling national interest at stake that requires our military involvement?

In a statement released this week Ross said, "I believe that the most prudent option to resolve the conflict in Syria is to continue to work in a more concerted diplomatic manner with other countries in the region."

Calls to U.S. Representatives Bill Young and Vern Buchanan seeking comment on Syria were not returned.

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