Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Udall Standing Firm Against Bombing Syria

Sen. Tom Udall isn't likely to change his mind about his stance against taking military action against Syria's Assad regime.

"The president will make his case to the American people in a speech tonight. I will listen carefully," Udall told New Mexico reporters in a short telephone news conference Tuesday morning. "But unless he has new information, I do not believe I will change my mind."

The entire 17-minute press conference can be hear HERE

Udall  predicted that the Senate vote on a resolution authorizing military action will be close.

"I want to be clear: I am appalled and horrified by Assad’s attack against his own people," Udall said. "My heart broke when I saw the footage of women and children being gassed to death. But the administration hasn’t made a credible case that a limited military strike will prevent Assad from attacking again. A few Tomahawk missiles lobbed into Syria are more likely to destabilize the region. I believe President Obama is taking the riskiest option with the least likelihood of success."

Udall said the proposal by Russia, which would have Syria relinquish its chemical weapons in order to avoid a U.S. military strike, is "a positive step" that sprang from "holding Russia's feet to the fire diplomatically."

"I will wait to see the plan before I make a judgement and I will insist we take a strategy of trust but verify with any proposal they make," he said

Asked if he'd spoken with his New Mexico colleague Sen. Martin Heinrich about Syria before Heinrich's announcement yesterday that he would vote for the resolution authorizing military force, Udall said, "I think that I would prefer that any discussion we had back and forth remain private. But I talked to him yesterday after he'd already sent his email out.

"I think every senator must make up his or her own mind up on a vote," Udall said. "I think this really is a vote of conscience."