WICHITA, Kansas — As the president makes a prime time plea for intervention in Syria, Kansas’ congressional delegation remain staunchly against the idea with the notable exception of Wichita-area Rep. Mike Pompeo.
Both U.S. Senators representing Kansas are opposed. Sen. Pat Roberts met with President Obama Tuesday before Obama’s nationally televised address to the nation.
“This past month at home, not a single Kansan told me they supported military action in Syria,” said Roberts in a press release. “Not only that, they are discouraged, concerned and disgusted with the lack of leadership within the Administration. I share all of these sentiments.”
Rep. Tim Huelskamp said 99% of the emails and phone calls he’s received from constituents are against military action.
“We’re not for certain who is the good side and the bad side,” said Huelskamp. “There are multiple sides. Again, it is a massive civil war and I do not believe there is a national security interest for Americans in Syria.”
Nazir Jesri believes if more people knew about the details of the civil war tearing apart his homeland, they would support an air strike. Jesri and his brother own Absolute Natural Stone on East Kellogg. He’s lived in the U.S. for nearly 25 years after immigrating from Syria.
Jesri points out Syria’s president Bashar al-Assad is accused of killing more than 100,000 Syrians in the last 2.5 years.
“There’s a difference between civil war and genocide,” said Jesri. “And what it is today, it’s genocide.”
Meantime, Syrian government officials say they will give up their stockpile of chemical weapons to avoid an air strike as the regime works with Russian diplomats to avoid military intervention.
Rep. Pompeo released a statement Tuesday night that he doubts the sincerity of the Syrian government.
“I hope this works, but I am always skeptical when Vladimir Putin is making an offer to help,” said Pompeo. “Regardless, I remain convinced that the only way to assure Americans’ safety is by implementing a strategic and integrated plan that does more than simply ‘shoot across the bow.’”
Congress could act on a resolution regarding military action in Syria this week.