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Kansas Citians Tell Cleaver To Reject Striking Syria

Dan Verbeck

At a town hall meeting, most Kansas Citians urged Congressman Emanuel Cleaver to vote 'no' on a military intervention in Syria. Cleaver and much of the local Missouri Congressional delegation has not taken a position on Syria, but in Kansas most will be voting against authorizing military strikes.

Most tell Cleaver to vote 'no'

More than 200 people crowded into a room at Metropolitan Community College and nearly all stayed on topic about Syria.

Steven Platt was worried the United States cannot afford more military action.

“My short answer to this is not no, but hell no,” said Platt. “Is this a way for the defense department to get around sequester? And I say that in semi-seriousness. How can we afford another military action?”

“What I want to make clear to everyone in this room is the Syrian people are anti-war too and being a Syrian and wanting the US to bomb my country, that's a big deal,” said Alma Habib, a Syrian-American in favor of intervention. “That shows you how serious the situation has become and how bad it is.”

Lauren Anderson told Cleaver her mind was still split on the issue.

“Because if we stand back and do nothing then what stops the rebels or Assad from doing the attack again?” asked Anderson.

Congressman Cleaver has opposed military action in Syria and says what he heard will figure into his vote next week on U.S. intervention.

In Kansas, most of the Congressional delegation is opposed

Only one member of the all Republican Kansas congressional delegation supports a military strike in Syria.

In a Washington Post op-ed this week, U.S. Rep. Mike Pompeo, from Wichita, said he supports a decisive, well-crafted strike in Syria. He says it’s appropriate to preserve a taboo on the use of chemical weapons, to help allies in the region and to protect America’s credibility.

Sen. Pat Roberts is not convinced.

“It is clear we have no meaningful coalition of allies, not the UN, not the Arab League, not even the British,” said Roberts. “Nor do we have a detailed plan of action, or a clear picture of our objective.”

Sen. Jerry Moran and U.S. Reps. Lynn Jenkins, Tim Huelskamp and Kevin Yoder also say they currently oppose a strike in Syria. 

In Missouri, most haven’t taken a position

In Missouri, U.S. Republican Sen. Roy Blunt and Democrat Claire McCaskill are backing the President’s choice to seek Congressional approval but neither has said how they will vote. 

Republican Reps. Sam Graves and Vicky Hartzler also have not taken positions on Syria.

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