Two top Iowa Republicans came out against military strikes in Syria ahead of the 2016 presidential race.
Iowa GOP Chairman A.J. Spiker and co-chairman David Fischer penned an open letter to President Barack Obama on Syria, which was originally published in the Washington Times.
“We oppose the president beginning another war by bombing Syria,” Spiker and Fischer wrote. “As fathers we believe our children’s lives are worth far more than the price you’ll pay for admitting you’re wrong when it comes to dragging us into war in Syria.”
“We believe the prosperity of America’s next generation is worth more than profits for defense contractors and the bump in the polls you and your fellow politicians may receive from portraying yourselves as wartime leaders,” they continued.
Iowa is home of the caucuses that will kick off the next presidential contest. Spiker was vice chairman of Ron Paul’s 2012 campaign in Iowa. Paul finished a strong third and ended up winning a plurality of delegates from the Hawkeye Sate. Paul supporters won state party leadership positions.
“Spiker by no means represents a majority of Republicans nationwide — or even in Iowa — but for a party chairman in an early presidential primary state to come out so forcefully against foreign intervention is nothing short of remarkable,” observed the journalist David Catanese.
But skepticism of foreign military adventures has played well in the state before. Iowa Sen. Charles Grassley was one of the few Republicans to vote against the Persian Gulf War in 1991. Rep. James Leach was one of of six House Republicans to vote against the Iraq War in 2002.
Pat Buchanan, who opposed both wars, only narrowly lost the 1996 caucuses to then Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole. Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul has led the 2016 Republican field in some Iowa polls.
The younger Paul has joined Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum as possible GOP candidates who have spoken out against Obama on Syria.
“We’ve been at war for over ten years now, costing us trillions of dollars and resulting in the death of thousands of American soldiers and untold numbers of civilians,” Spiker and Fischer argued. The two Republicans contended “we continue to engage in wars that pose no threat to American security, fighting to control the borders of other countries while our own borders at home remain unsecured.”
Spiker and Fischer warned that intervening in Syria’s civil war “is likely to make things worse and create new enemies.” Without congressional authorization, the Republicans claimed Syria would be an “unwanted, undeclared, unconstitutional war.”
“It’s time to put an end to this nonsense and mind the store here at home,” they wrote.
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