Syria: White House protest planned
WASHINGTON (WJLA) - As signs are being prepared for a White House protest just hours away, opponents of a strike again Syria speak out at a senate hearing.
The protester, wearing pink, shouted out “no war in Syria” moments before Secretary of State John Kerry and Defense secretary Chuck Hagel made the case for military action against the Syrian government.
One side of a contentious issue over whether the U.S. should take action:
“We know President Obama is on a major campaign to sell this war to members of Congress as well as to the American public, but we know that the majority of people are still against this war,” says protester Sarah Sloan.
More than 500 opponents demonstrated outside the White House Saturday, where inside Tuesday the president met with congressional leaders. “This is not Iraq, this is not Afghanistan. This is a limited proportional step,” Obama said.
Afterwards, Obama received support from House Speaker John Boehner, a key leader on Capitol Hill.
“We have enemies around the world that need to understand that we're not going to tolerate this type of behavior,” Boehner says.
The first showdown may come between the white house and congress which must approve the president’s decision to take action.
“It's just fundamentally not fair to put servicemen and women in harm’s way if they don't have a political consensus behind them,” says Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine, who sits on the Foreign Relations Committee.
Senator Bob Corker, the committee's top ranking republican, worries if no plan is made now to do more in Syria than just curb the use of chemical weapons the us could be drawn into a civil war there.
“I am just dismayed at the slow progress we're making in arming and training the vetted opposition,” Corker says.
While Kaine believes addressing the chemical weapons issue is the message the U.S. needs to send now, he says, “I hope it's the will of Congress that we will unify behind a tough consequence for that clear violation of international law.”
Hours ahead of the protest, there was an increased police presence outside the White House as Americans started to formulate their opinions about a possible strike.
“I think that we should but the only problem or thing that I'm afraid of is that it’s going to escalate,” says Thomas Butler, who supports military action.