U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry warned House Armed Services Committee Tuesday that failure to grant President Obama the freedom to attack the Assad regime in Syria will strengthen the hand of Iran.
“Iran … [is] watching what you do and whether or not this means something,” he said. “If we choose not to act, we will be sending a message to Iran of American ambivalence, American weakness. It will raise the question…, “Do you really mean what you say? Are you really going to do something?…
“And with this authorization, the President is asking for the power to make sure that the United States of America means what we say.
Kerry added that the failure to act is much riskier than an attack, in which case “Assad will believe that he has license to gas his own people again. And that license will turn prohibited weapons into tactical weapons….
We cannot afford to have chemical weapons transformed into the new convenient weapon, the IED, the car bomb, the weapon of everyday use in this world. Neither our country nor our conscience can bear the costs of inaction, and that’s why we’ve come before you, at the instruction of the President, to ask you to join us in this effort.”