Rep. Justin Amash meets residents in Battle Creek - photo from The Enquirer
(BATTLE CREEK ENQUIRER) - At his crammed downtown Battle Creek office, U.S. Rep. Justin Amash asked residents who supported a possible U.S. military strike against Syria.
None of the some 30 people in attendance raised their hand.
"Unlike wars of past," the Republican congressman from Cascade Township said, "modern wars seem to go on forever. You get in and you don't actually have a clear objective and you stay there for a really long time. And I'm afraid that if we go into Syria, what could start as limited strikes ends up becoming a very prolonged war - and may not just be in Syria. It may spread to other countries, too."
Amash, one of the most outspoken lawmakers against possible U.S. action in Syria, was in Battle Creek Wednesday as part of an 11-stop tour around his district to hear from his constituents. The congressman visited with close to 30 residents in Marshall earlier in the day and was expected to speak with more during a visit to Hastings.
It was Amash's fourth visit to Battle Creek in the last three months. Last week, he hosted a coffee hour and a town hall, during which he argued President Barack Obama needed congressional authorization before any action was taken in Syria. This weekend, Obama announced he would take the issue to Capitol Hill for a vote.
Battle Creek residents who spoke with Amash Wednesday said they opposed strikes against Syria. Some said the action wouldn't end the country's conflict, while others argued the U.S. did not have adequate military forces and no clear objective. Some who spoke wore decorated military veteran hats and said they served in the Middle East.
Stephanie Orr, whose husband is currently serving in the military, said she knows what her husband's job entails. But she couldn't support any strike against Syria, she said.
"To me, that would be a slap in the face of the veterans who have fought for 10 years to go and have them support possibly an enemy they've been fighting for 10 years," she told Amash. "That, to me, is horribly wrong."
Amash said he has received "very little communication" from House leadership and that many members Congress are opposed. He said he would be surprised if the proposed strike would pass in the House.
"As for the president," said Amash, "if he wants to convince Congress and convince the American people, he should be here doing that. He should be making the case."
Battle Creek Enquirer