WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senator Joe Manchin released a statement Thursday afternoon saying a military strike against Syria would be the wrong course of action.

Manchin said he reached his decision after a week full of listening to many people on the issue including state residents, Obama administration officials and military experts.

The senator released the following statement:

“The decision to use U.S. military force is one of the most serious decisions I have ever made. Over the past few weeks I have heard the concerns from thousands of West Virginians on the situation in Syria. This past week, I have attended hearings before the Senate Armed Services Committee, which I am a member, and the Senate Foreign Relations Committees, of which I am not a member, to hear Secretaries Hagel and Kerry, and General Dempsey testify. I have attended classified briefings by the Administration, and have met with national security and foreign policy experts from the leading think tanks and universities around the country. I have spoken with current and former military and administration officials. I sought out as much information as possible, so I could be sure that I had a complete understanding of the situation in Syria, and our strategic plan.

“Given the case that has been presented to me, I believe that a military strike against Syria at this time is the wrong course of action. In good conscience, I cannot support the Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s resolution and will be working with my colleagues and the administration to develop other options. I believe that we must exhaust all diplomatic options and have a comprehensive plan for international involvement before we act.”

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Comments

  • Bim

    Doesn't matter what President Obama says or does, a true WV redneck will find him at fault!

    • WVIRGINIAN FOR LIFE

      Again, when his daughters don a uniform along with some of our Congress and then put them in harms way, every decision concerning military action will change.

      • Bim

        Just like Bush did with his daughters and his great escape of going to Vietnam! Very very poor comeback..I do not think we need to get involved in Syria as Bush's wars are enough. We should just let them kill each other and save our tax money.

        • clearanceman

          Still blaming Bush five years later. Obama could have ended both those wars his first week.

        • clearanceman

          Although I do agree with you about staying out of Syria. We need to avoid wars unless they actually NEED to be fought. I was all rah rah team when we went into Afghanistan. But all those people killed and Seal team finds OBL in a different country. He wasn't even there and hadn't been for years. And the war still didn't end, it won't end until late next year. And within five years you won't even be able to tell we were there other than the Taliban having nice new stuff we bought for them.

        • Luke

          George Bush was an air force reserve jet pilot during Vietnam. President Johnson decided not to mobilize reserve units to fight in Vietnam and instead fought the war with draftees. Read We Were Soldiers Once And Young to get some perspective about how active duty officers felt about the use of barely trained draftees to fight the war.

          Your comment about President Bush's daughters not enlisting in the service tells me that you have never served BIM.

          • Bim

            Luke, the comment about Bush's daughters was in response to the anti-abortion guy's comment about Obama daughters. Bush's military career is very interesting and his gross lack of experience showed with Bush wars.

          • DonaldH

            Or, could have pulled a Billy Clinton and literally draft dodged

  • Roy Riggleman

    Or Joe could've just said, "Any issue that brings together Obama, McCain, Nancy Pelosi and John Boehner must be bad for country, and I will not support it."

  • mike

    Ironic, how President Obama, standing up for what is right against a dictator using chemical weapons against children, has more balls than all the right-wing, gun toting, red-neck hillbillies in West Virginia.

  • Tom

    Thank you for your decision. It is a good one. There are no white hats in that civil war in Syria; they are all our enemies. Please encourage your fellow senators to make the same, sane decision.

  • Ray

    I'm so glad to hear that we do not have a robot for the dems. I am so sick of the left crying for the children of people that choose to be at war with their own government. If the same where happening here those people would be dancing in the streets. I say let them kill each other and watch their boarders. If the French want to take the lead let them. We are not the world police. If we did bomb them we wouldn't fix anything we would make things worse by creating a vacuume of power and a terrorist state uha lybia Benghazi hello! Then the terriosts would use the chemical weapons on the Saudis and cut the oil off and then there goes the world economy and welcome to the califate. So no we do not want to help a bunch of terrorists take out a country. We don't want WWIII. And don't think for one second that our own government would not do the same to you and me if the same was happening here. Just ask the south in the 1880s. The federal government burnt it to the ground and killed millions. So just let it all take its course and keep an eye on those weapons.

  • D.P.

    MoJoe - GREAT DECISION! I have very high praise for your decision to vote your conscience and not blindly follow the party line!!!

    I've stated numerous times before that I hold you in very high regard for having the gonads to vote your conscience. I'm a very strong supporter of the 2nd Amend., but I 100% support you on background checks. Unlike the rest of our state's Democratic delegation, you've had the fortitude to stand up to the EPA and Obama! Nicky Joe and Rocky have been disgustingly partisian throughout their political careers.

    You are what Washington badly needs: Someone who votes for what YOU believe is best for both the State and the Country, regardless of what your party dictates. Sadly, most Repubs and Dems fail to do this.

    I truly think you have the potential to one day become our President! BEST OF LUCK SENATOR!!!!!

  • Luke

    There is no option. The failure to act may have already allowed some chemical weapons to get in the hands of terrorists. Continued inaction risks substantial stockpiles of chemical weapons coming into the hands of terrorists.

    A limited strike is unlikely to accomplish the President's goal of a negotiated transfer of power in Syria or to deter Assad and others from using the weapons in the future.

    Use of American forces or soldiers from other countries to secure " a finite number of chemical weapons sites is a very heavy lift" according to Gen. Dempsey, but we have plans to do just that and the Senate resolution authorizes such action. The fact is we don't know where all of the weapons are located.

    No matter what we do, Americans somewhere will lose their lives because of this mess.

    For those who voted for our "historic" President, the wise course is to keep that bit of information to yourself.

  • Grant

    I don't always agree with his methods, decisions, or politics; however, I do give him credit for not simply following the party line on all issues.

  • james

    From Senator Joe Manchin:
    I stood by my bro Obama on gun control and took a skinning in the poles. I can't take another hit like that. My bro Obama told me to do some damage control so it would be okay to go with the public opinion of my constituents and cover my a$$.

    So here goes, "military strike against Syria would be the wrong course of action".

    Vote for me in the next election!!!!!

    • must go

      I was thinking the same thing........

    • DonaldH

      Sorry Joe, you're still on the to do list of taking out the Liberal Trash

  • WVIRGINIAN FOR LIFE

    Joe Manchin, as a retired USAF officer, I support you on this issue100%!!!! Good call.

  • wvwisdom

    We're proud of you, Joe. That statement took principles and guts, two things in short supply in WashDC. I guess McKinney agrees with you, Capito will waffle, and Rahall is just a lost cause Democrat.

    • Retired Charlie

      Joe can read the polls. Nick Joe has been there so long that he doesn't think he needs to read the polls.

  • Tim C

    Stay strong Joe.....don't let Reid and Pelosi change your mind.

    • clearanceman

      It's funny thinking of Pelosi being pro war. She sure is a team player.

  • AX MAN

    There is only one option, just stay out.

  • E.O. miller

    I'm curious, have you seen all the classified documents on this? I'm torn on this decision, as well. But I trust President Obama to not take us into another war based on lies. I don't envy you this decision. I trust Obama, my heart goes out to the children, but I don't know if we should trust the opposition. I ask you remain open minded in case things change. Thank you.

    • Magic Mike

      You trust Obama on that? BAHAHAHAHAHA. The liar and Chief.

      I agree stay out no good can happen both groups are evil and it is a now win. Assad is bad but the rebels are far worse.

    • WVIRGINIAN FOR LIFE

      Right, lets trust Obama. After all, he is so experienced in these matters. Lets put his daughters in uniform and some other congressional reps sons and daughters and deploy them to the next war. Then we'll see what decision is made to go to war. No more American blood for foreign countries conflicts. End of story.

    • C. F. T.

      I'm curious, E.O.miller, you state "I trust President Obama" and "I trust Obama", upon what evidence do you trust Obama?

    • joey

      wow

    • clearanceman

      How many times we got to trust? Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan. We was accomplished in these wars and how did we benefit? The only war I can think of that made any sense since WWII was Desert Storm.

      • clearanceman

        I meant "What" not "We" What was accomplished. How about an edit feature?

  • RogerD

    Thank you Senator Manchin for taking the sane position on this issue.

    • clearanceman

      Yeah, I was afraid he'd be a team player but he made the correct choice.

    • Pete

      Go get em Joe...