Tom Rooney "Apprehensive" About Possible Syria Military Action by U.S.
Tom Rooney, your 17th Congressional District rep, isn't too fired up about the U.S. possibly taking military action in Syria.
Or, as the Palm Beach Post puts it, he's "apprehensive" and "wary" of any action.
"I'm pretty against getting involved in a Sunni-Shia civil war," Rooney says.
According to an NBC News report on Tuesday, a U.S.-led military strike in Syria could come as early as Thursday.
Rooney is specifically opposed to committing any ground troops to the region.
He's also skeptical that any attack with bombs or missiles alone would get anything done.
According to the Washington Post, President Obama is considering a limited military strike on Syria that would involve sea-launched cruise missiles or long-range bombers hitting military targets.
To be sure, Rooney calls Syrian President Bashar al-Assad -- who used chemical weapons to kill civilians -- a "despot." But Rooney fears that the rebels who oppose Assad have been infiltrated by al Qaeda.
On Monday, Secretary of State John Kerry said it was "undeniable" that Assad used chemical weapons in an attack on civilians of a Damascus suburb last week.
But Rooney, who served four years on active duty in the United States Army JAG Corps, wants Obama to show proof that any attack that targets Syria's chemical weapons plants won't include troops on the ground:
"What are we bombing?... What is the target? Using Tomahawk Cruise missiles from battleships to target known chemical weapons sites... certainly that's something to talk about, but I don't know that you could have any kind of surety," Rooney said. "You're increasing the risk that there's going to be mission-creep."
The best hope for Syria might be some type of cease-fire brokered by the U.S. and Russia, Rooney said. But, he added,"our relationship with them is as bad as it's been since the Cold War... I don't see a pathway to any kind of United States involvement that brings any kind of resolution to the matter."
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss New Times Broward-Palm Beach's biggest stories.