Rothfus on Syria: Military isn't for sending messages
By Tom Fontaine
Published: Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2013, 12:16 a.m.
U.S. Rep. Keith Rothfus said Monday he supports using diplomatic efforts, not missile strikes, to end chemical attacks in Syria, and prosecuting those responsible with a war-crimes tribunal.
“You don't use your military to send a message. You use it to win conflicts,” Rothfus, a Republican from Sewickley, said in a meeting with Tribune-Review editors and reporters.
U.N. inspectors announced there was “clear and convincing evidence” that chemical weapons were used in an Aug. 21 attack that killed hundreds in Damascus. Inspectors didn't say who was responsible.
A deal with Russian officials appears to have averted military strikes. It gives Syria a week to inventory its chemical weapons program and remove components from the country or destroy them by mid-2014.
“We need to be deliberate, methodic, forceful, and lay out to the world what the situation is and what the ramifications might be” if Syria violates the agreement, Rothfus said. He said the United States should pressure Syrian allies.
“I think (Russian President Vladimir) Putin and Russia need to be pushed to make sure that whatever agreements are reached are going to be carried out. We still need to look to make sure that those who perpetrated the crime are held responsible,” said Rothfus, a freshman who represents Beaver County and parts of Allegheny, Cambria, Lawrence, Somerset and Westmoreland counties.
A spokesman for the campaign of retired Marine Col. John Hugya of Somerset County, a Democratic candidate for the district seat, said Congress dragged its feet and failed to show leadership.
“Col. Hugya was disappointed in this Congress for not taking decisive action, whether it be military or diplomatic engagement, and that the president wasn't supported in this endeavor,” said Michael Duga.
Another Democratic challenger, New Kensington's Erin McClelland, who directs a drug-and-alcohol treatment center, did not return a message. Neither did Marine Corps veteran Larry Stiles of Johnstown, who will face Rothfus in next year's GOP primary.
Tom Fontaine is a Trib Total Media staff writer. Reach him at 412-320-7847 or firstname.lastname@example.org. The Associated Press contributed.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Western Psychiatric clinic rampage victim’s parents seek answers, lawyer says
- Trib’s Hiel honored for reporting on Coptic Christians
- Donor name to be stripped from Penn Hills library
- Newsmaker: Jack Goodrich
- Web of surveillance videos helps ensnare suspect in East Liberty slayings
- Animal Rescue League expansion to anchor section of Homewood
- Suspect in East Liberty slayings may be part of murder-for-hire case
- Newsmaker: Joseph Bonadio
- Mon River project to get boost, according to Army Corps of Engineers
- FirstEnergy last to get smart meter OK
- PennDOT cash eases road repair pain in Lawrence County