Sept. 1, 2013
WASHINGTON—Secretary of State John F. Kerry said on Sunday urged lawmakers to approve strikes on Syria to preserve the “core to American credibility in foreign policy,” underlining the gamble President Obama took in putting the question to a wary Congress.
Upping the stakes, Kerry pointed to what he characterized as new evidence that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad had used chemical weapons in an attack that allegedly killed 1,400 people last month: signatures of sarin gas on hair and blood samples taken from first responders in East Damascus.
As Kerry campaigned for the military action on five morning talk shows, he insisted that Obama’s sudden decision to seek legislative approval, and to allow for more than week to begin debate, would help the administration build the case and make the military response to Syria “much more powerful.” He predicted Congress would approve a resolution authorizing force against the Assad regime.
“This is a matter of national security. It’s a matter of the credibility of the United States of America,” Kerry said on CNN’s State of the Union. “It’s a matter of upholding the interests of our allies and friends in the region.”