Lawmakers, expert eye strike on Syria warily

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The last sarin-gas attack in a major city was Tokyo in 1995. Thirteen people died when the gas was released in the subway. The concern now is that once a group uses it, what will stop them from using it again?

Sarin gas is a weapon of mass destruction.

It left hundreds dead in Syria, but that doesn't have the United States convinced about a resolution.

Kansas Citian Chris Kuehl of Armada Corporate Intelligence said governments have traditionally reacted with extreme measures to send a message to prevent the use of such a deadly weapon again.

"If we stop doing that, it's sort of an invitation to someone else saying 'Well, I might as well do that, as well.' A weapon that size, had it hit Kansas City, it would have wiped out two-thirds of this city," said Kuehl.

But most local lawmakers - from both political parties - are not convinced U.S. action should be taken.

Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, a Democrat from Missouri's 5th District, joined 41 Action News Sunday morning. He said he would vote no if a vote on military action was taken today.

"We're ignorant in the Middle East; we make dumb decisions," Cleaver said. "We supported the Shah of Iran. We supported Saddam Hussein. We have a long list of making ignorant selections on who we support, so I think we need to let the Syrians solve this problem."

Kansas Republican Senator Pat Roberts, the former senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, announced Sunday from Washington that he would vote "no," as well, but for a different reason.

"I am especially troubled, based on today's briefing, that the president wants open-ended authority. That doesn't square with his highly publicized statement for limited action. That is yet another reason I cannot support the president's request," said Roberts in a written statement.

Congressman Cleaver said he has not made his final decision. He will meet with his constituents this week in town-hall meetings. He was expected to announce those dates Monday.

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