Realizing the seriousness of a vote to commit American military resources to attack Syria, Rep. Brad Schneider (D-Deerfield) was one of approximately 100 senators and representatives to return to Washington Sunday for a closed door briefing on whether to approve an assault.
Schneider, who has already talked to Israeli and Palestinian leaders about the conflict and witnessed a battle of that war, interrupted the current Congressional recess and a holiday weekend Sunday to return to Washington for the meeting.
After President Barack Obama said Saturday military action against the regime of Syrian President Basher al-Assad was appropriate in the wake of a chemical weapon attack against Syrian civilians, Schneider chose to attend the briefing to become as knowledgeable as possible.
“This is a big decision and I want all the information available to make the best decision for the country and the 10th District,” Schneider. “Based on the unclassified information and the classified material, I believe the Assad regime has perpetrated a chemical attack on (its own) people.”
Schneider made it clear he is opposed to American “boots on the ground” but considers the use of weapons of mass destruction like chemical arms a different matter. He feels the United States must send a message to the world.
Not yet deciding how he will vote, Schneider wants to see the final resolution first. “I want to study this very carefully. The whole world will be watching, Schneider said. “By the whole world, I mean Iran, North Korea, Al Qaeda, Hezbollah as well as governments who will do us harm.”
As a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Schneider has been paying close attention to the Middle East and the Syrian conflict in particular. “Imagine your worst nightmare and that is the best outcome,” he said of the conflict after returning from a trip with 38 other members of Congress in August.
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