Rep. Grimm withdraws support from Syria air strikes

Congressional Armenian Caucus Co-Chairman, Rep. Michael Grimm (R-NY) posted on his Web site Thursday that he is withdrawing his support for the proposed US air strikes against Syria.

“I have heard from many constituents who strongly oppose unilateral action at a time when we have so many needs here at home. Thus, after much thought, deliberation and prayer, I am no longer convinced that a U.S. strike on Syria will yield a benefit to the United States that will not be greatly outweighed by the extreme cost of war,” said Grimm on his site.

“When President Obama announced his plans to strike Syria in response to the discovery that the Assad regime used chemical weapons to kill thousands of men, women and children; my initial reaction, as a Marine combat veteran, was to stand by the Commander in Chief and support immediate, targeted strikes,” explained Grimm. “I believed that the reputation and credibility of the United States was on the line and that we had to send a strong message that the use of chemical weapons is reprehensible and will not be tolerated. Unfortunately, the time to act was then and the moment to show our strength has passed.”

The Armenian National Committee of America, citing the Armenian American community’s profound concern for the fate of Syria’s Armenian population and the welfare of all of Syria’s citizens, circulated letters Wednesday across Capitol Hill calling on Members of the U.S. House and Senate to oppose legislation authorizing U.S. strikes against Syria.

“As our nation’s elected representatives gather this week to consider potential U.S. actions against Syrian targets, we wish to add our voice, as Americans of Armenian heritage, to those of our fellow citizens who oppose American military strikes and are against any escalation of violence.  Such an escalation would very likely create further challenges and lead to serious additional harm to Christian communities, including Syria’s Armenian minority,” said ANCA Chairman Ken Hachikian in letters to U.S. legislators.

“We take this stand mindful of the horrific human suffering that armed conflict has already visited across Syria, including the death and destruction being endured, to this day, by Armenians and other Christian communities.  There has already been too much bloodshed, too much brutality, and too much suffering.  An escalation in aggression can neither save lives nor help bring about peace.”

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