Rand Paul, a leading figure of the new isolationism who opposed a Senate committee resolution Wednesday authorizing the use of force, says the US has no vital security interests in Syria.
A lengthy and at times testy House committee hearing Tuesday on President Obama’s request for congressional authorization to use force in Syria revealed what pollsters have been noting in the country for several years: a rising isolationism that shuns a role for America as the world’s policeman.
As one member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee after the other related home-district opposition to any Syria involvement or brandished stacks of printed-out e-mails from constituents demanding a “no” vote on the use of force over Bashar al-Assad’s apparent use of chemical weapons, prospects for Mr. Obama’s authorization remained up in the air at best.
The four-hour hearing with Secretary of State John Kerry, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, and Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, demonstrated the depth of divisions on the Syria issue and over an authorization vote Obama had hoped to use as evidence of a united American will to act against any use of long-banned chemical weapons.
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