UPDATE (September 9, 2013)
Representative Marino continues to oppose any military action in Syria, saying that the Administration has failed to make its case for such action. In a press release, Marino said that "Secretary Hagel and Secretary Kerry could not offer an explanation that made U.S. military intervention an acceptable option, nor could they define a clear and present danger to the U.S."
In the hearings held last week, Secretary of State John Kerry said that the attack would be for a principle and that it is not to halt the killing of innocent Syrians, nor end the evil and tyrannical rule of Assad, nor to protect the US or our allies from an imminent attack. All of which would fly in the face of the UN charter, making at, according to Article 51, an unlawful act.
In another development, Russia has been in talks with Syrian leaders and have offered up a plan where Assad turns over its chemical weapon stockpile into international control where they will be destroyed. Secretary Kerry made the suggestion in response to a reporter in London and it was clarified later that he was speaking rhetorically - a move which has many questioning the true motives behind the Administrations call for an attack, and whether the comment by Kerry was a slip or an attempt to find a way out of the predicament the President has found himself in..
Marino also brought to light the fact that America really doesn't know who to trust in the Syrian Civil War.
"We do not know if targeted strikes will do anything to spare innocent lives and we do not know who we can trust amongst the Syrian opposition," stated the Congressman. "An unknown number of factions are amongst the opposition forces - factions who want to kill Assad and assume power, factions who want to kill Americans and factions who want to kill each other."
Secretary of Defense Hagel responded "that’s not my business to trust."
Congress could begin voting as early as this Wednesday on a resolution to allow the President to order a military attack on Syria, according to NBC news..
Marino and others of the House foreign Affairs Committee will be meeting on Wednesday to discuss the President's request for Congress to approve military action in response to Syria's alleged chemical attack on its own people. According to news reports 1400 men, women and children were killed in a reported sarin gas attack by the current regime. Syria itself is in the throes of a civil war.
“The U.S. does not stand to gain from intervening in the Syrian Civil War,” Marino said on Tuesday. “I will not vote to authorize the President to use military force at this time.”
The Congressman says he feels that we should not be committing “our resources and potentially American lives in a ‘go-it-alone effort’ to play referee in a bloody civil war.” He says it “is foolish and hubristic. No one has an understanding of the implications of a blanket U.S. military intervention in this civil war so I am confident in standing with the overwhelming majority of my constituents and the American people who oppose military action and urge us to focus on our priorities at home.
“Syria’s neighbors in the region, her allies like Iran, Russia and China, and the entire international community should join the U.S. in condemning the use of chemical weapons, the use of which flies in the face of international norms,” states Marino. “However, it cannot be our responsibility to unilaterally intervene.”
After hearing testimony, Marino continued his opposition. Defense Secretary Hagel failed to give answers Marino felt were important during his phase of testimony.
“Secretary Hagel could not clarify who our allies are in Syria’s civil war, whether or not they are trustworthy, and failed to give a clear assessment as to the cost of this mission.”
As to Secretary of State Kerry's response, the congressman was even less impressed. Kerry told Congress that “the U.S. would be acting alone in a hostile nation simply to assert a principle.”
From Russia, at the G20 meeting, President Obama not only pushed Congress to approve the strike, he upped the ante by reminding lawmakers that as commander-in-chief, he could order a military strike any time he wanted.
The international community response varied from Israel saying they would support a “limited strike” to Iran saying the US would be in for serious reprisals if they go ahead with the proposed military action.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has said the UN Security Council must be in agreement in their response decision, that further chemical weapons use may be actually triggered by a US military response and that any response be in keeping with UN Charter mandates.
According to UN charter, the use of force is lawful only when in exercise of self-defense in accordance with Article 51 of the United Nations Charter and/or when the Security Council approves such action.
The President finds himself in a very precarious position. If Congress approves the strike, the response from Syrian allies could prove disastrous. If Congress denies the authorization, Obama's international political clout could be seriously diminished. If he goes ahead and orders military action without Congressional approval, his party could be in serious danger during mid-term elections – as a vast majority of Americans are against interfering in Syria militarily – and he would still face international reprisals from Iran, Russia and China.