WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) said, as a superpower, the U.S. must exercise super restraint and diplomacy, not just super military strength.
That is why, he said, he will vote against a proposed military strike in Syria.
“I have come to a conclusion that there is not an imminent threat to America or Americans and we need to give diplomacy a chance to work,” said Manchin. “If money or military might would change that region of the world, we would have changed it by now after 12 years of war.”
Manchin has proposed an alternative to a proposed U.S. military attack on Syria in response to the Assad regime’s alleged use of chemical weapons against civilians on August 21 near Damascus.
He talked about the Chemical Weapons Control and Accountability Resolution, which he introduced on Capitol Hill with Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), on Monday’s MetroNews “Talkline.”
As proposed, it would give Syrian President Bashar Assad 45 days to sign on to the Chemical Weapons Convention, which already has the support of more than 90 other nations. The Chemical Weapons Convention was developed in the 1990s and prohibits the development, production, stockpiling and use of chemical weapons.
Manchin said that 45 day window would allow time for more diplomacy along with the development of a long term U.S. plan for Syria.
After that, “A lot will depend on what happens in the 45 days for me to say that ‘Yes, I would (support a military strike)’ or ‘No, I wouldn’t (support a military strike),’” said Manchin.
“I’m telling you, right now, I do not. I do not believe that we should strike (Syria). I believe that the risk that we take, the reaction is greater than an inaction at this point in time when we have not explored all diplomacy.”
U.S. Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) has said he would talk about his stance on possible U.S. military action against Syria early this week.
President Barack Obama was scheduled to make a case for a military strike in Syria in an address to the nation on Tuesday.