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USA: Inaction on Syria emboldens North Korea and Iran - Senator Menendez01:25

USA: Inaction on Syria emboldens North Korea and Iran - Senator Menendez

United States, Washington D.C
September 3, 2013 at 17:40 GMT +00:00 · Published

USA: Inaction on Syria emboldens North Korea and Iran - Senator Menendez

Inaction on the alleged use of chemical weapons would only embolden governments in nations including North Korea and Iran, US Senator Robert Menendez, said Tuesday in Washington at the start of a United States Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on a potential US attack on Syria. The hearing kicked off Congressional debate authorising military force.

"Our friends and allies await our decision, as does the despot in Pyongyang, the Ayatollahs of terror in Tehran, and terrorist groups wherever they may be," said Menendez. "What we do in the face of the chemical attack by the Assad regime against innocent civilians will send a signal to the world that such weapons in violation of international law cannot be used with impunity."

He went on to describe the gravity of the decision facing lawmakers.

"Yes, there are risks to action," he said. "But the consequences of inaction are greater and graver still. Further humanitarian disaster in Syria, regional instability, the loss of American credibility around the world, an emboldened Iran and North Korea, and the disintegration of international law. This decision will be one of the most difficult any of us will be asked to make, but it is our role as representatives of the American people to make it. To put aside political differences and personal ideologies. To forget partisanship and preconceptions. To forget the polls, the politics and even personal consequences. It is a moment for a profile in courage and to do what one knows is right."

US officials claim an August 21 sarin gas attack allegedly perpetrated by the Syrian government killed 1,429 people. US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel has said US forces are ready to attack Syria as soon as President Barack Obama gives the order, though the Commander-in-Chief has said he wishes to have Congressional approval first.

USA: Inaction on Syria emboldens North Korea and Iran - Senator Menendez01:25
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USA: Inaction on Syria emboldens North Korea and Iran - Senator Menendez

Inaction on the alleged use of chemical weapons would only embolden governments in nations including North Korea and Iran, US Senator Robert Menendez, said Tuesday in Washington at the start of a United States Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on a potential US attack on Syria. The hearing kicked off Congressional debate authorising military force.

"Our friends and allies await our decision, as does the despot in Pyongyang, the Ayatollahs of terror in Tehran, and terrorist groups wherever they may be," said Menendez. "What we do in the face of the chemical attack by the Assad regime against innocent civilians will send a signal to the world that such weapons in violation of international law cannot be used with impunity."

He went on to describe the gravity of the decision facing lawmakers.

"Yes, there are risks to action," he said. "But the consequences of inaction are greater and graver still. Further humanitarian disaster in Syria, regional instability, the loss of American credibility around the world, an emboldened Iran and North Korea, and the disintegration of international law. This decision will be one of the most difficult any of us will be asked to make, but it is our role as representatives of the American people to make it. To put aside political differences and personal ideologies. To forget partisanship and preconceptions. To forget the polls, the politics and even personal consequences. It is a moment for a profile in courage and to do what one knows is right."

US officials claim an August 21 sarin gas attack allegedly perpetrated by the Syrian government killed 1,429 people. US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel has said US forces are ready to attack Syria as soon as President Barack Obama gives the order, though the Commander-in-Chief has said he wishes to have Congressional approval first.

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