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Stop Sending Weapons to Jihadists


Location: Washington, DC

Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) today made the following statement regarding U.S. involvement in Syria.

"International relations can be complicated. It requires an understanding of history, personal relations, economics and regional tensions. It also requires common sense.

"There is a truism which should guide a commonsense approach to U.S. international relations. When you are in a hole -- stop digging. When you are involved in a civil war on the verge of becoming a regional conflict characterized by sectarian violence and a rise in al-Qaeda extremists -- stop handing out guns.

"Consider this quote from an article in today's edition of The New York Times on the conflict in Syria: "Most of the arms shipped at the behest of Saudi Arabia and Qatar to supply Syrian rebel groups fighting the government of Bashar al-Assad are going to hard-line Islamic jihadists, and not the more secular opposition groups that the West wants to bolster, according to American officials and Middle Eastern Diplomats."

"It has been clear that al-Qaeda and Jihadist groups benefit from the violent instability that has engulfed Syria. Last week, in a Congressional hearing on security in Libya we heard testimony which confirmed that al-Qaeda is more established as a result of our intervention in Libya. It has been clear for months that al-Qaeda-affiliated groups are now also operating in Syria.

"Again from the New York Times: "That conclusion... casts into doubt whether the White House's strategy is accomplishing its intended purpose… or is instead sowing the seeds of future insurgencies hostile to the United States." I warned about this in an August article entitled, "Tilling the Grounds for the Seeds of Terrorism." It should come as no surprise that extremist groups have hijacked desire for change in Syria.

"The New York Times said: "American officials worry that, should Mr. Assad be ousted, Syria could erupt afterward into a new conflict over control of the country, in which the more hard-line Islamic groups would be the best armed."

"Until we know who we are supporting, until we know what comes after, until we know how to prevent the war from expanding -- let's stop sending weapons into that country. Let's stop creating wars we can't win, wars we can't afford and wars which visit more anti-American violence in the future."

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