Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Z_CNHI News Service

August 29, 2013

Cole warns against strike on Syria

DUNCAN, Okla. — President Barack Obama put himself into a tough spot when he threatened action against the Syrian government if it used chemical weapons on its people, said U.S. Rep. Tom Cole.

The Oklahoma Republican is among 140 members of Congress - including 21 Democrats - who signed a letter this week warning the president against delivering on that threat without their consent.

Cole, who is home during Congress' August recess, told a town hall meeting in Duncan on Wednesday that Obama "irresponsibly drew red lines in the sand."

The president, said Cole, seems set on a military response to reports that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad ordered a chemical weapons attack. Cole said that “would be using military means to give him credibility for probably saying something he shouldn’t have said.”

The Obama administration and British leaders say they have evidence of a gas attack last week that killed hundreds of Syrians, marking an especially heinous escalation of a nearly two-year civil war that's already killed more than 100,000 people.

The United Nations has sent inspectors to Damascus to investigate those reports.

The White House announced Thursday that it will brief Congressional leaders on Syria.

Cole, who represents Oklahoma's 4th District, touched on various other topics during his exchange with about 100 people.

He took an unpopular stance among some in the room when he said he's unwilling to vote to stop all government spending unless the Affordable Care Act is defunded - even though he's voted 40 times to repeal Obamacare.

While some urged a more aggresive position, Cole said he's unwilling to cut money to the military, veterans, National Weather Service and other vital government services to make a political point when Congress returns to session next month.

"I think it would be a political disaster (for Republicans) in 2014,” he said.



Mike Smith is a reporter for The Duncan Banner.

1
Text Only
Z_CNHI News Service
  • Screen shot 2014-04-18 at 4.44.15 PM.png Paint, doodle and sketch: 3 apps for art lovers

    In the absence of a palette of watercolors and a sketchpad, these three apps can fill in as your art supplies of choice.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Why do wolves howl?

    Of all the myths that dog the wolf, none is more widely accepted than the idea that wolves howl at the moon. Images of wolves with their heads upturned, singing at the night sky, are as unquestioned as a goldfish's three-second memory or a dog's color-blindness (both also myths).

    April 18, 2014

  • quake.jpg Pennsylvania won’t take action following Ohio ruling on quakes, fracking

    Pennsylvania officials plan no action despite new Ohio rules on drilling that affect a seismically active area near the state line.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • taylor.armerding.jpg Warren's populist pitch on student loans is off key

    Sen. Elizabeth Warren's populist rhetoric pumps up students about their loan burdens, but she conveniently neglects to mention the real problem - the exorbitant cost of college - much less how she's benefitted from those high prices.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • portraitoflotte.jpg VIDEO: From infant to teen in four minutes

    Dutch filmmaker Frans Hofmeester’s time lapse video of his daughter, Lotte — created by filming her every week from her birth until she turned 14 — has become a viral sensation.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Allergies are the real midlife crisis

    One of the biggest mysteries is why the disease comes and goes, and then comes and goes again. People tend to experience intense allergies between the ages of 5 and 16, then get a couple of decades off before the symptoms return in the 30s, only to diminish around retirement age.

    April 15, 2014

  • Google acquires drone maker Titan Aerospace to spread Internet

    Google is adding drones to its fleets of robots and driverless cars.
    The Internet search company said it acquired Titan Aerospace, the maker of high-altitude, solar-powered satellites that provides customer access to data services around the world. Terms of the deal weren't disclosed.

    April 14, 2014

  • Screen shot 2014-04-11 at 4.49.09 PM.png Train, entertain your pets with these 3 smartphone apps

    While they may not have thumbs to use the phone, pets can benefit from smartphone apps designed specifically for them.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Stepping forward: The real Colbert

    Letterman changed the late-night TV game between his run on NBC's "Late Night" and starting the "Late Show" franchise in 1993. And while it's tough to replace a pop-culture icon, Colbert, in terms of pedigree and sense of humor, makes the most sense.

    April 11, 2014

  • taylor.armerding.jpg Obama's equal pay exaggeration leads us all into danger

    The president's claims of national shame over gender-based pay inequity spring from distorted calculations, as well as some convenient political math.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo