Speeches and Floor Statements
“Let’s Save Syria” – Rep. Kinzinger Floor Speech
Yesterday, Congressman Adam Kinzinger (IL-16) spoke on the House Floor urging the Administration to come up with a strategy for the crisis in Syria.
Washington, DC – Yesterday, Congressman Adam Kinzinger (IL-16) spoke on the House Floor urging the Administration to come up with a strategy for the crisis in Syria. During his special order on the Syrian War, Congressman Kinzinger was joined by his colleague Congressman Ed Royce (R-CA), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Both Members called for greater sanctions and urged harsh punishments for Bashar al Assad, his brutal regime, and his Iranian and Russian backers for their countless war crimes and their genocide of the Syrian people.
“Mr. Speaker, the Syrian War is now in its eighth year and approaching a very serious crossroads. While the media’s focus fades away after some chemical attack or pictures that steal our hearts for a moment, the war crimes being committed and the atrocities taking place in Syria are happening in full force, right this very minute.
“For the last nine days, the southern border of Syria has been under constant bombardment from airstrikes and barrel bomb attacks. Despite a ceasefire-pact from Russia in July 2017, we know Syria’s main military ally has continued to carry out attacks on behalf of the Assad regime.
“This critical moment will affect the future of Syria, the security interests of the United States, and stability within the international community. So, what will we do about it?
“Since World War I, we have held that chemical weapons have no place on the battlefield. We have held strong to this principle, and it is core to our values as a country. We know the President of Syria, the brutal dictator Bashar al-Assad and his ruthless regime have committed countless war crimes and bear responsibility for murdering more than half a million Syrians.
“We know Assad has used chemical weapons countless times to attack and murder civilians. We know that the Russian and Iranian regimes have supported and helped Assad in this genocide on the Syrian people, including strikes and attacks that account for more than 50,000 dead Syrian children. We have seen the Assad regime, along with his Iranian and Russian backers, starve the people in cities like Madaya, Aleppo, and Eastern Ghouta by using food as a weapon. We know the Assad regime has often refused UN and other humanitarian organizations from delivering critical humanitarian assistance to the most ravaged cities in Syria.
“Because we know this, we cannot turn a blind eye. We cannot just sweep this under the rug and ignore the horrific reality in Syria right now. We cannot isolate ourselves from this crisis. What happens in Syria, and what happens in the Middle East, has a very real impact on our national security and the security of future generations.
“And if we fail to act in Syria and fail to inflict punishment over the use of chemical weapons, we will ultimately see the end of the nonproliferation treaty of chemical weapons, and open the world to ghastly horrors, perpetual insecurity, and extreme dangers. I support the President enforcing those red lines, but we must not be naïve enough to believe if we show weakness elsewhere it will not happen again.
“To be clear, I am not suggesting the U.S. invade Syria, post up hundreds of thousands of U.S. troops, and start World War III. Not in the slightest. What I am suggesting is that we take a stand for what is right, what is just, and what is in the best interest of the United States and the freedom-loving people around the world. We need a long-term strategy in Syria that leads to a solution of peace and an end to the ongoing, deadly, and horrific conflict. This strategy should also include the end of the Assad regime, and a place at the table of government for all people.”
"Most importantly, the United States needs to remind the people of Syria that we stand with them—we stand for freedom and we stand against the inhumane crimes committed against them by the barbaric Assad regime, and their Russian and Iranian backers. If you’re a 10-year-old kid in Syria, and your dad was killed by an airstrike, you might see ISIS as the only opponent to Bashar al-Assad, the Butcher of Damascus who brutalized your family and destroyed your home, who bombed your school and left you without an education or opportunity. If you are this 10-year-old kid in Syria right now, you’re likely to be recruited. Sadly, the next generation of terrorism will likely stem from these regions that have no hope or opportunity; that feel completely abandoned and ignored by the international community.”
"I spoke to a Syrian regime defector yesterday named Caesar – Caesar defected from the Assad regime and brought with him thousands of pictures and documents proving that the regime tortures, starves, and kills innocent people daily. And as if that isn’t enough, they document these atrocities with a cold precision reminiscent of the actions of Nazi Germany. It’s chilling. Caesar risks his life by sharing his experiences, and in our meetings, he selflessly focuses on others. He emphasized how gravely the people of Syria are suffering, every single day. And every single day, the people of Syria cling to the hope that America will speak up and stand with them.
"But, if we remember this God-given mission and the light on the hill continues to beam bright, we can create a generation within the camps of our enemies that reject their ideology and implement change from within. Behind the Iron Curtain, it wasn’t American military action that sliced it in half -- it was people behind it seeing our light peering over that wall, tearing it down so they could enjoy those freedoms, too. As John F. Kennedy said, 'Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty.'"
“Let’s speak out for the freedom-loving people who so desperately need our voice. Let’s shine our light on the oppressive darkness around the world. Mr. Speaker, let’s save Syria.”