It's looking likely that we can trust Congressman Bruce Braley (D. IA-01), who is running for Senator Tom Harkin's (D. IA) seat, will vote the right way in regards to Syria:


On Tuesday, Braley reviewed the Senate’s resolution authorizing military force.

One of the most “illuminating and important” document he came across, he said, was a July 19 letter from Dempsey to U.S. Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich. and the chairman of the Armed Services Committee.

In that letter, Dempsey provides an “unclassified assessment of options for the potential use of U.S. military force in the Syrian conflict” and outlines options ranging from training and assistance to the opposition up controlling the country’s supply of chemical weapons.

Braley noted that effectively controlling Syria’s chemical weapon supply would require the establishment of a no-fly zone, air and missile strikes involving hundreds of U.S. aircraft and ships as well as ground forces at a cost of perhaps $1 billion a month.

Dempsey also included this warning, which Braley highlighted specifically:

“We have learned from the past 10 years; however, that it is not enough to simply alter the balance of military power without careful consideration of what is necessary in order to preserve a functioning state. We must anticipate and be prepared for the unintended consequences of our action. Should the regime’s institutions collapse in the absence of a viable opposition, we could inadvertently empower extremists or unleash the very chemical weapons we seek to control.”

Given his concerns about the risks of military engagement, Braley said he was “pleased” to hear that the Obama administration would pursue diplomatic efforts in which Syria would turn over its chemical weapons to avoid an American attack.

“Gen. Dempsey has accurately summarized why, after all of the information that I have evaluated, I continue to believe that the use of military force in Syria is not the appropriate response and is not necessary to protect the national security interests of United States,” Braley said. - Des Moines Register, 9/11/13

Braley also stated that according to a report, military action against Syria would cost $1 billion a month.  Braley has been voicing his concerns about military action against Syria for a while now and also had this to say about Russia's involvement with diplomatic efforts:


Rep. Bruce Braley, D-Waterloo speaks during a debate on the Wartburg College Campus Oct. 10, 2010 in Waverly, Iowa. (AP Photo/Waterloo Courier, Matthew Putney)
President Obama had been pushing for a military strike against Syria in retaliation for the government there using chemical weapons against its own people. The president last night asked for a delay on a vote for military action while diplomatic alternatives are pursued. Russia has offered a proposal to get Syria to turn over its chemical weapons to international monitors, and Braley was asked if that action would be a compromise or a cop out.

“Well I don’t think that if we achieve the objective that everyone should desire — which is the identification and elimination of all chemical weapons in Syria — that anyone in the world could not conclude that that is a positive outcome and certainly not a cop out,” Braley responded. The Congressman says there is still a long way to go to reach the agreement to have Syria turn over its chemical weapons — but he believes the momentum is heading that way.

“And we’re going to find out in the near future whether that is indeed possible,” Braley says. “But it is clearly the burden of the international community to see that this happens, just as it is the responsibility of the international community to make sure that anyone who commits war crimes is held accountable. And I continue to believe that that is an option that is on the table.” - Radio Iowa, 9/11/13

Plus Braley doesn't believe America should go it alone with Syria:


“I’m still unconvinced that a limited U.S. military strike is the appropriate response to the atrocities committed in Syria,” he said in a statement tonight after President Barack Obama’s nationally televised address.

“I believe the international community needs to be more directly involved in holding Syria’s dictator responsible for breaking international law and violating the Geneva Conventions,” said Braley, who represents northeast Iowa in Congress and is running for a U.S. Senate seat.

Braley said he’s pleased the president said he’ll explore options that further involve the international community. - Des Moines Register, 9/10/13

Braley has also been great about listening to his constituents' thoughts on military action against Syria:

I commend Braley for his stance and he deserves our support next year.  Please do donate to Bruce's campaign:


Originally posted to pdc on Wed Sep 11, 2013 at 03:03 PM PDT.

Also republished by The Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party.

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