WESTWOOD (CBSLA.com) — Locals protested potential U.S. military action against Syria as President Obama mulls over the decision following a chemical weapons attack in the country last week.
Protestors gathered in Westwood Thursday afternoon chanting, “We want peace,” and “No more war,” some defending Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and questioning the assertion the Syrian government is responsible for the large-scale attack on its people August 21.
“This is a person that has been helping orphanages, and kids in need. We have seen his work,” one woman told KCAL9’s Cristy Fajardo.
“I do believe [there was an attack]. I believe also that so-called rebels are the ones that attacked their own people,” another protestor said.
President Obama insists he is still weighing his options, but military action may be a tough sell.
In England Thursday, the United States’ most reliable ally said this time the U.S. may have to go it alone.
In a stunning preliminary vote, Parliament defied Prime Minister David Cameron, voting against British military action in Syria.
At home, leaders, including many of President Obama’s supporters, are calling for a debate and congressional authorization before military action is taken.
Orange County republican Congressman Dana Rohrabacher spoke out Thursday night against the use of U.S. military force, insisting the Obama administration has not learned the lessons of the Iraq War.
“I don’t think that there is a significant difference between the tens of thousands of people who have been killed and mowed down by machine guns or bombs and those thousands of people who have been killed by some sort of chemical weapon attack. The fact is, both sides are trying to do their best to murder each other,” he said.
That kind of opinion could be why top administration officials held a conference call with 50 or so senators and representatives, sharing classified details of what they learned.
Santa Clarita Representative Buck McKeon was among them.
He blasted the president’s handling of Syria but indicated the U.S. may be past the point of no return.
“The problem that he finds himself in and placed us in – if he does not take action now after making the statements, then we became a paper tiger,” McKeon said.
Weapons inspectors are still in Damascus and will be there until Saturday.
Congressional leaders say the Obama administration is working on declassifying intelligence to show what it knows about Syria.