Friday, May 24, 2013

Senator Pat Toomey on Syrian Involvement

Recently, I sent a letter to Senator Pat Toomey expressing my concerns about the U.S. becoming involved in Syria.  In essence, I stated that a) I don't believe the U.S. has much of a strategic interest there, and b) that we are broke and can not afford another adventure.  Here is his reply:

May 10, 2013


Dear Mr. Morphis,
Thank you for contacting me about U.S. assistance to the opposition against the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. I appreciate hearing from you.
With regard to foreign assistance, one of my concerns is the national security implications of our policies, as well as ensuring that such expenditures meet a rigorous test for fiscal responsibility. Especially during these challenging fiscal times, we should not be wasting taxpayer money and providing foreign assistance dollars to corrupt entities that abuse such aid. However, carefully focused funding supports the security interests of the United States.
As you know, the Syrian government, led by President Bashar al-Assad, has committed large scale human rights violations against the Syrian people since he assumed power in 2000. His oppression increased dramatically in 2011 as his forces conducted a brutal crackdown against widespread dissent. Tens of thousands of Syrian citizens have died since the uprising began. Additionally, a number are reported to have been casualties of chemical weapons. The Obama administration and many members of Congress have denounced these acts. Additionally, President Obama has called for President al-Assad to step down. Since the civil war began, the U.S. has provided hundreds of millions of dollars in nonlethal assistance and humanitarian aid.
I understand your concerns regarding U.S. financial assistance to the Syrian opposition and value your input. I remain concerned about providing lethal aid to the Free Syrian Army because of the danger it could fall into the hands of radical Islamic organizations. Please be assured that I will keep your concerns in mind as I continue to evaluate the relationship between the U.S. and the Syrian opposition.
Thank you again for your correspondence. Please do not hesitate to contact me in the future if I can be of assistance.
Sincerely,

Signature
Pat Toomey
U.S. Senator, Pennsylvania

While Senator Toomey and I don't see eye-to-eye on this issue, I appreciate the prompt reply, and I've become increasingly impressed by the PA Senator.