Congressman Yarmuth talks Syria response, locals gather to protest


by Brittany Gonzalez with C.J. Daniels (web story editor)

Posted on August 31, 2013 at 9:24 PM

Updated Saturday, Aug 31 at 11:26 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) – President Barack Obama is changing his tune about a possible military strike against Syria.

It’s a surprising turn in the president’s strategy to punish the Assad regime which the White House blames for a chemical attack on its own people.

Americans across the country are concerned, especially here in Louisville because they say we’re simply not ready for another war.

In a peaceful protest on Bardstown Road, locals gathered with flags and signs in hand with messages of not supporting the United States involvement.

“Let all the evidence fall where it may. Let us stay rational. Let us think it over before we send the executioner in,” Matthew Linker said.

Congress takes up the debate ones it returns on September 9 but Congressman John Yarmuth says this debate will give leaders more time to figure out the best tactical move. His biggest concern is the United States launching a military attack alone without enough support from our global allies.

“I’m very concerned if we do go it alone or go it alone with France we would be perceived – they’ll be an expectation created that wherever there’s injustice in the world, whatever atrocities that it’s our pattern and our responsibility to move in and I don’t think we want to shoulder that,” Yarmuth said.

Another concern for many is if the United State strikes, how long will we be involved? That question is expected when Congress meets next week.

“I was pleased to hear that he is waiting and also he doesn’t think that something has to be done today or tomorrow,” protester Connie Back said.

Congressman Yarmuth says a decision could be made as early as September 10 or 11.

If the United States decides to take action, Yarmuth says he would anticipate that happening within hours of the decision.

WHAS11 also reached out to both Senators Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul to get their views on the president’s statements.

"The President's role as commander-in-chief is always strengthened when he enjoys the expressed support of the Congress," McConnell said.

"I am encouraged President Obama now says he will fulfill his constitutional obligation to seek authorization for any potential military action in Syria. This is the most important decision any President or any Senator must make, and it deserves vigorous debate," Paul said.