Cumberland Times-News

Latest news

September 9, 2013

Sen. Manchin opposes military strike on Syria

CUMBERLAND — U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin is opposed to a military strike against Syria and instead has introduced a joint resolution with U.S. Sen. Heidi Hetikamp of North Dakota.

“I don’t believe there is an imminent threat to America and I don’t believe that military strike is the right form of action at this time,” said Manchin during a conference call Monday.

The Chemical Weapons Control and Accountability resolution of 2013 requires Syria to sign and comply with the 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention within 45 days. Syria did sign the 1925 Geneva protocol, which prohibits the use of chemical weapons. Manchin stressed that the Chemical Weapons Convention goes much further than the Geneva convention.

The chemical convention aims to “eliminate an entire category of weapons of mass destruction by prohibiting the development, production, acquisition, stockpiling, retention, transfer, or use of chemical weapons by States Parties ...”  Not everyone has signed that 1993 treaty, however; Syria, North Korea, Egypt and Angola are notable omissions, according to The Washington Post.

“The failure by the government of Bashar al-Assad to sign and comply with the Convention clearly demonstrates a willful disregard of international norms on the use of chemical weapons and if the Government of Syria does not sign and comply with the Convention within 45 after the date of the enactment of this resolution, all elements of national power will be considered by the United States government,” states the draft resolution.

Manchin explained that if al-Assad doesn’t comply with the resolution he could face “whatever action is deemed necessary and appropriate.”

After attending various hearings regarding Syria and speaking with both current and former military diplomats, Manchin thinks the resolution is the best option.

“I think this is most reasonable approach. I hope the White House looks at this as a viable option,” said Manchin. “This is the biggest decision in my public political role that I have ever had to make and I didn’t take it lightly. Cooler and calmer heads have got to prevail and see the large picture of how to bring some type of peace to the world. Spending money is not the answer.”

Manchin attended hearings before the Senate Armed Services Committee, of which he is a member, and the Senate Foreign Relations Committees to hear state secretaries Chuck Hagel and John Kerry, and Gen. Martin Dempsey testify. Manchin also had classified briefings by the administration and met with national security and foreign policy experts from the leading think tanks and universities around the country.

“I believe that we must exhaust all diplomatic options and have a comprehensive plan for international involvement before we act,” said Manchin in a statement he released Thursday.

The resolution calls for President Barack Obama to submit to Congress a long-term strategy for Syria no later than 45 days after the enactment of the resolution. In the interim it calls for him to use all appropriate diplomatic tools to develop and secure commitments from the international community with the shared strategic interest of preventing the proliferation and use of Syria’s chemical weapons.

“I think the president will listen to the representatives of the people,” said Manchin during the conference call. “I want to see the civil war come to an end and I want to secure all of the chemical weapons that guided us to the brink of putting our finger on the trigger.”

Manchin noted that he has received 4,000 messages from people in West Virginia and that less than 50 percent are concerned about a military strike or are in support of it.

On Monday, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov of Russia, one of the strongest supporters of the al- Assad regime, urged Syria to comply with Secretary of State John Kerry’s suggestion to hand the chemical weapons over to international community, according to the Wall Street Journal. Kerry is giving them seven days to see if the weapons are destroyed, according to Manchin.

“That’s at least a step in the right direction,” said Manchin.

Bashar al-Assad has denied responsibility for the chemical weapons incident that occurred Aug. 21 outside Damascus that left more than 1,400 people dead. The Syrian president warned Monday in an interview with CBS that his country would lash out in potentially unpredictable ways if struck over a chemical weapon attack, saying the West does not have "a single shred of evidence" to prove the claim his government was responsible, according to CNN.

“There is no doubt that an attack occurred and there is no doubt it was produced under the Assad regime,” said Manchin. “It’s not clear cut if Assad gave the order himself. It has not been proven.”

Contact Elaine Blaisdell at eblaisdell@times-news.com.

1
Text Only
Latest news
  • Truck catches fire on city bridge

    CUMBERLAND — Cumberland firefighters doused a pickup truck fire on the Baltimore Street bridge spanning Wills Creek about 11 a.m. Tuesday, but not before it destroyed the engine compartment and damaged the passenger area of the Chevrolet.

    April 22, 2014

  • Carbon monoxide causes evacuation at Ramada

    CUMBERLAND — High carbon monoxide readings at the Ramada Inn on George Street resulted in the evacuation of the first floor at midday Tuesday and caused a senior citizen prom to be moved elsewhere.

    April 22, 2014

  • picketing 2-1.jpg Workers begin picketing outside WV Schools for Deaf and Blind

    ROMNEY, W.Va. – Child care workers and union reps began picketing outside the West Virginia Schools for the Deaf and the Blind Tuesday morning.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Romney firefighters get federal grant

    ROMNEY, W.Va. — The Romney Fire Company will receive $67,925 in funding through the Department of Homeland Security’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program.

    April 22, 2014

  • Sgt. Walter May.jpg Sgt. Walt May earns Award of Merit

    CUMBERLAND — The Maryland Natural Resources Police honored Sgt. Walt May of Westernport during its annual awards ceremony held last week at Chesapeake College.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Police charge woman with false statements

    CUMBERLAND — A Cumberland woman was charged with giving two false statements to police after they investigated an alleged assault and robbery.

    April 22, 2014

  • City business reports burglary

    CUMBERLAND — City police are investigating a breaking and entering to a business in the 300 block of Valley Street that was reported Monday.

    April 22, 2014

  • Spring turkey seasons to open in West Virginia next week

    CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources says spring gobbler season will open Monday and run through May 24.

     

    April 22, 2014

  • Local residents in U.S. District Court

    CUMBERLAND — A Flintstone woman was sentenced and a Mineral County, W.,Va., woman is awaiting sentencing after appearing recently in U. S. District Court in Martinsburg, W.Va.

    April 21, 2014

  • Drugs found in car during traffic stop

    CUMBERLAND — A city man was arrested Sunday on drug possession and distribution charges following a traffic stop by an officer on patrol in the Pershing Street area.

    April 21, 2014

Bon Jovi Helps Open Low-income Housing in Philly Pipeline Opponents Protest on National Mall Hagel Gets Preview of New High-tech Projects S.C. Man Apologizes for Naked Walk in Wal-Mart New Country Music Hall of Fame Inductees Named 'Piles' of Bodies in South Sudan Slaughter New Yorkers Celebrate Cherry Blossom Blooms SCOTUS Hears Tv-over-Internet Case Justice Dept. Broadening Criteria for Clemency Chief Mate: Crew Told to Escape After Passengers 'Miss Meadows' Takes Holmes Back to Her Roots Biden: Russia Must Stop Talking, Start Acting David Moyes Out As Manchester United Manager Raw: Leopard Bites Man in India Iowa College Finds Beauty in Bulldogs High Court to Hear Dispute of TV Over Internet Stowaway Teen Forces Review of Airport Security
Facebook
Must Read
House Ads
NDN Video
Viral: It's Not Pitbull - It's Amy Poehler! Raw: Leopard Bites Man in India Jenna Dewan-Tatum Strips Down Rise of the Milkbots TRENDING: Brian Williams Raps 'Gin and Juice' on ‘Tonight Show’ Middle School heroes rescue students from burning bus WHOPPER OF FISHING STORY: Florida man catches massive Mako shark Maks Chmerkovskiy's "DWTS" Meltdown The many faces of Mike Woodson Ape Builds A Fire And Toasts Marshmallows In Amazing BBC Video Manchester Utd sack manager David Moyes "RHOA's" Dramatic Brawl High school, College Drug Ring Busted In Montgomery County High Court to Hear Dispute of TV Over Internet Raw: Keflezighi, Jeptoo Win Boston Marathon Teen hitchhikes in wheel well of flight from California to Hawaii Lindsay Lohan's Jaw-Dropping Secret President Sends Message To Boston And Marathon Runners LA Pastor Attracts Churchgoers with Pot Lauren Stoner Shows Off Her Incredible Bikini Body
NDN Video
Viral: It's Not Pitbull - It's Amy Poehler! Raw: Leopard Bites Man in India Jenna Dewan-Tatum Strips Down Rise of the Milkbots TRENDING: Brian Williams Raps 'Gin and Juice' on ‘Tonight Show’ Middle School heroes rescue students from burning bus WHOPPER OF FISHING STORY: Florida man catches massive Mako shark Maks Chmerkovskiy's "DWTS" Meltdown The many faces of Mike Woodson Ape Builds A Fire And Toasts Marshmallows In Amazing BBC Video Manchester Utd sack manager David Moyes "RHOA's" Dramatic Brawl High school, College Drug Ring Busted In Montgomery County High Court to Hear Dispute of TV Over Internet Raw: Keflezighi, Jeptoo Win Boston Marathon Teen hitchhikes in wheel well of flight from California to Hawaii Lindsay Lohan's Jaw-Dropping Secret President Sends Message To Boston And Marathon Runners LA Pastor Attracts Churchgoers with Pot Lauren Stoner Shows Off Her Incredible Bikini Body