November 23, 2014

Sen. Fischer undecided on Syria, calls on president to address nation (AUDIO)

Sen. Deb Fischer says briefings by the Obama Administration convince her that Syria used chemical weapons against its own people, but she’s not yet convinced Congress should authorize a military strike against Syria.

Fischer heard briefings on the atrocities in Syria during two conference calls while still in Nebraska; one with fellow members of the Senate Armed Services Committee and one with fellow Senate Republicans.

Fischer and others on the Armed Services Committee received a briefing in Washington today.

She says the briefings have convinced her the intelligence reports are accurate, that the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad used sarin gas during an attack in a suburb of Damascus August 21st. The attack killed 1,400 people, including children.

Still, Fischer tells Nebraska Radio Network she wants questions answered before voting for a military strike.

“What is our short-term strategy? What is our long-term strategy? What is the goal? What do we want to achieve here?”

The case being made by the administration to Congress has primarily been made by Secretary of State John Kerry and Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, the former Nebraska U.S. Senator.

Both have suggested that the United States has a moral imperative to act and that by not acting, the United States will embolden its enemies, including North Korea and Iran.

Kerry has stated, “The risk of not acting is greater than the risk of acting.”

Fischer says it is time for President Barack Obama to make the case directly through an address to the American public.

“Not through the Secretary of Defense or the Secretary of State or the chairman of the Joint Chiefs (of Staff),” Fischer says. “We need the President of the United States to go before the American people and convince the American people that this is worth it.”

AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:45]

AUDIO: Brent Martin interviews Sen. Deb Fischer on the Obama Administration call for a military strike against Syria. [13 min.]