The Roanoke Times has published a letter by Chris Gavaler of Lexington with the latest example of how Congressman Goodlatte’s position on an issue is almost always determined by partisan political considerations rather rather than on the merits of the issue itself.
Bob Goodlatte said of Obama in 2014: “I think if he’s going to take action in Syria, or a broader range of actions, he should seek Congress’ authorization to take those actions.” When President Obama did seek authorization, Goodlatte opposed military action, saying “the use of chemical weapons is despicable, and I do not condone this attack on Syrian civilians,” but “I cannot support the proposed resolution pending in the Senate. Anytime our country enters into military action, we must consider the men and women of our Armed Forces who stand in harm’s way to serve our nation… I do not believe it is in the best interest of our Armed Forces and the United States of America to authorize the President’s proposed use of military force in Syria.”
Last week, after Syria again used chemical weapons, Trump took action without Congress’ authorization. Given Goodlatte’s stance against Obama, I assumed he would oppose Trump’s military strike. But in his newsletter sent late Friday, Goodlatte wrote: “This week’s deadly chemical attacks are a stark reminder of the atrocities that the Syrian people face under the Assad regime. This evil cannot be ignored or tolerated. The strike launched last night was a measured response to these actions by the Assad regime…” When Syria uses chemical weapons during a Republican’s presidency, it is “evil” and intolerable.
When Syria uses chemical weapons during a Democrat’s presidency, it is “despicable” but tolerable.
The Assad regime’s murderous use of poison gas against Syrian civilians was as horrific and despicable in Ghouta in 2013 as it was in Idlib province last week. But I hope Goodlatte realizes that the 2013 attack for which he opposed retaliation killed many times more men, women and children than the attack for which he approved retaliation.
He should be asked to explain the difference in his reactions.