Congressman Reed's listening tour gauges opinion on military intervention in Syria

September 3, 2013

Congressman Tom Reed is touring his district today and tomorrow to gather public opinion on whether the United States should get involved in the conflict in Syria. Congress returns from its summer break next week and is expected to take up the issue then.

At the end of an hour-long discussion at Owego’s Town Hall, one of Reed’s aides asked those who supported military strikes in Syria to raise their hands. Two hands went up, 24 stayed down.

Audience member George Williams summed up the prevailing feeling about involvement in another conflict in the Middle East.

“I don’t trust what the White House is telling us, I don’t believe we’re getting the right information from them and I believe whatever we do is just going to make a mess.”

President Obama proposed military action against Syria after an alleged chemical weapons attack by the Assad government last month killed more than a thousand people.

Congressman Reed says that as terrible as chemical weapons are, that’s not his main concern as he weighs how to vote.

“What are our national security priorities? And how are we going to protect them, first and foremost? And that’s the policy we should be focusing on.”

Reed says the government should be working on other ways to secure the chemical weapons stockpiles in Syria and on finding a political solution to the conflict.