ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, “We are critical of Secretary Kerry’s ill-conceived statement. The U.S. should do all that is necessary to eliminate Assad’s biological and chemical weapons to the fullest extent possible.
“What if knocking out, for example, a WMD site or command center requires an extra strike, another missile, a small incursion by special forces on the ground, or a further strike a day after some arbitrary cut-off date? Secretary Kerry’s statement undermines any sense of Obama Administration resolve and will reduce the support it seeks from Congress.
“As the ZOA has already stated this week, despite our detestation of the Assad regime and its murderous conduct, we oppose full-scale U.S. military operations against Syria that would help topple the Assad regime, because the Sunni Islamist jihadist rebels (including al-Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood) that would replace it are equally barbarous and murderous — and probably more dangerous than Assad if they came to possess Syria’s biological and chemical weapons.
“We also oppose symbolic, essentially purposeless strikes that get the U.S. involved militarily but which achieve no objective.
“The only U.S. military operations against Syria we do support are those aimed at rendering inoperative Syria’s biological and chemical stocks and weapons. These weapons, already used by the Assad regime to murder over a thousand people, will fall into the hands of the Sunni Islamist rebelsshould the Assad regime fall.
“As we have argued in recent weeks, Iran, with its quest to obtain nuclear weapons, is a far greater and direct threat to the U.S. and its allies than Syria possessing biological and chemical weapons. It is essential that what we do with regard to Syria enhances, rather than undermines, our credibility on the larger Iranian issue.
“As we argued yesterday, if America does little or nothing after its repeated threats to take action, its credibility will be greatly harmed, so much so that Iran will no longer fear U.S. threats to take action if Tehran refuses to relinquish its nuclear ambitions. This failure would give additional incentives for Iran to continue forward with is quest for nuclear weapons, with even less fear of U.S. military action.
“If an attack on Syria is going to be a unbelievably small, credibility-reducing, humiliating effort, then we oppose it.”