Syria

Special Programs
12:03 pm
Mon September 9, 2013

WKU PBS Airing Charlie Rose Interview with Bashar al-Assad Monday Evening

Credit pbs.org

WKU PBS is airing Charlie Rose’s interview with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad about the chemical weapons attacks inside Syria, and the possibility of U.S. military intervention.

You can see that interview tonight, starting at 10 pm central time, on WKU PBS.

You can also read WKU Public Radio's recent coverage from our region regarding the conflict in Syria, including:

Lisa Autry's interview with WKU's Huda Melky, a Syrian native who has family still living there.

An interview by Kevin Willis with Kentucky U.S. Senator Rand Paul, who talked about his opposition to American military involvement in Syria.

Senator Mitch McConnell's recent comments to the Bowling Green Noon Rotary Club about not having made a decision on whether or not he'll support a U.S. military strike.

WKU Political Science Prof. Scott Lasley's comments to WKU Public Radio about how the Syria issue has different implications for Kentucky's two U.S. Senators.

A look at where each member of Kentucky's Congressional delegation stands, as of this past weekend, about a possible U.S. strike in Syria.

On Monday, Tennessee Republican Senator Lamar Alexander announced he would vote against the U.S striking Syria.

Politics
8:20 am
Mon September 9, 2013

Sen. Paul Not Convinced U.S. Missile Strikes Would Alter Outcome Of Syria Battle

Senator Rand Paul says a surgical military strike by the U.S. against Syria wouldn’t impact the outcome of the civil war being fought in that country.

Speaking to Fox News Sunday, the Bowling Green Republican said he’s horrified by the images of chemical weapons attacks in Syria. Senator Paul said those responsible for the attack “deserve death.”

Still, Paul says he’s worried that the kinds of missile strikes being proposed wouldn’t directly impact Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and could even further destabilize the country and increase the chances that chemical weapons end up in the hands of opposition fighters.

Politics
5:00 am
Sun September 8, 2013

Minds Made Up on Syria Among Some of Kentucky's D.C. Delegation

In a speech to the nation Tuesday, President Obama will make his case for a U.S. military strike on Syria.  Regardless of what the president says, some members of Kentucky’s federal delegation already have their minds made up. 

Republican Congressman Thomas Massie says he will vote against any resolution authorizing military force against Syria for its government’s alleged use of chemical weapons.  For one thing, Massie says he’s uncomfortable with the language in the president’s proposal.

"It's not limited geographically, it's not limited by type of engagement, and it's not limited by who we can engage, not just the Syrians," contends Massie.

Massie contends the civil war in Syria is not a matter of U.S. national security.  Massie is joined by Congressman Ed Whitfield as solid “no” votes.  U.S. Representatives Brett Guthrie, Hal Rogers, and Andy Barr, all GOP members, are still contemplating.

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NPR News
6:15 am
Thu September 5, 2013

Presidential Hopefuls Stake Out Syria Positions

Books by would-be 2016 presidential candidates, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., share a table display at the Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Md., on March 15. Both Rubio and Paul on Wednesday voted against military action in Syria.
Jonathan Ernst Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Thu September 5, 2013 7:35 pm

Voting in favor of war or military strikes has proved to have long-lasting political consequences for politicians angling for the highest office in the land.

Just ask former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, whose 2002 vote for the Iraq War resolution as a U.S. senator contributed to her failure to secure the Democratic presidential nomination six years later.

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Regional
4:19 pm
Wed September 4, 2013

Native Syrian Living in Kentucky Talks about Possible U.S. Military Strike

Huda Melky left her native Syria in 1976, but visited family every year before the country's civil war started in March 2011. She hasn't returned since.
Credit Lisa Autry

For one Warren County woman, the conflict in Syrian hits close to home. 

Huda Melky grew up in Syria and several members of her family are still there. She spoke to WKU Public Radio in her office where she serves as WKU's Equal Opportunity Director. 

In this interview, she talks about the long-running civil war, the Washington debate over military action, and fears for her family's safety.

Politics
2:52 pm
Wed September 4, 2013

McConnell to Make Syria Decision in "Coming Days", Feels Certain about No Boots on the Ground

U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell spoke to the Bowling Green Noon Rotary Club Wednesday.
Credit Kevin Willis

Sen. Mitch McConnell's response to a question about his position on a possible military strike on Syria.

Kentucky’s senior U.S. Senator says while he hasn’t made up his mind on a possible U.S. strike in Syria, he’s certain American military forces won’t be placed inside that country.

Republican Mitch McConnell spoke to the Bowling Green Noon Rotary Club Wednesday, and said even those in Washington who are advocating for U.S. involvement in Syria are stopping short of calling for boots on the ground.

“I’m not just instinctively opposed to military action,” the Louisville Republican said. “I supported the Afghan war, and I supported the Iraq war. Certainly we need to be careful about doing it. I don’t think anybody supports putting any American military personnel there at all.”

McConnell said he would announce his position on Syria “in the coming days.”

The Senate Minority Leader said there’s no way to be certain which political or religious group would take over Syria if the current regime was toppled.

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Politics
11:23 am
Wed September 4, 2013

For Kentucky's Senators, the Issue of Syria has Different Implications

A WKU political analyst says the ongoing debate over possible U.S. military action in Syria comes at an opportune time for Kentucky Senator Rand Paul.

Political Science Professor and Warren County Republican Party Chairman Scott Lasley says Paul has long talked about the U.S. needing to adopt a less aggressive foreign policy. Sen. Paul--who is considering a presidential run--has been a vocal opponent of U.S. military involvement in Syria, saying it’s not in America’s interest to get involved in another nation’s civil war.

Professor Lasley says Paul’s position is something that could attract voters who wouldn’t normally side with the Bowling Green Republican.

“Particularly with younger voters, where Republicans have struggled the last couple of election cycles. A lot of time there’s not a huge difference between younger voters and older voters, but one of the areas that you do see a difference is the aggressiveness of foreign policy.”

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NPR News
12:33 pm
Fri August 30, 2013

READ: U.S. Intelligence Assessment On Syria

The areas where the U.S. says Syria used chemical weapons.
White House

The United States on Friday released a declassified version of an intelligence assessment that found with "high confidence that the Syrian government carried out a chemical weapons attack in the Damascus suburbs on August 21, 2013."

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Politics
10:45 am
Fri August 30, 2013

Transcript of Sen. Paul's Conversation on Syria, War Powers, and Blurring of Normal Partisan Divide

Sen. Paul's interview with WKU Public Radio about possible military action in Syria

U.S. Senator Rand Paul spoke to WKU Public Radio Friday about the possibility of U.S. military action against Syria following the regime's alleged use of chemical weapons.

The Bowling Green Republican talked about what the Constitution says about war powers, how the Syria issue is uniting those on the left and right, and he took a not-too-subtle jab at Hillary Clinton, in what could be a preview of a possible 2016 Presidential contest.

Here is the transcript of Sen. Paul's interview with WKU Public Radio's Kevin Willis:

Is a U.S. military strike against Syria inevitable?

"Maybe, maybe not. I'm trying very hard to prevent that from happening. The Constitution is very explicit. The Constitution says Congress gives the authority to declare war, not the President. The President, when he was a Senator, acknowledged this. He said no President should unilaterally go to war without Congressional authority."

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Politics
9:32 am
Fri August 30, 2013

Paul: No U.S. Strike on Syria Without Congressional Authorization

U.S. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY)

Kentucky Senator Rand Paul says the Obama administration has so far not articulated a "clear-cut objective" related to possible military action against Syria.

Speaking to WKU Public Radio Friday morning, Sen. Paul said no U.S. strike should occur unless it's approved by a Congressional vote.

You can read the transcript of the Senator's conversation with WKU Public Radio here.

The Bowling Green Republican said that until he sees the evidence gathered by the U.S. on the chemical weapons attack that allegedly occurred in Syria, he can't be sure who was behind the assault.

"One commentator recently asked the question--it's a Latin phrase--'cui bono?' Whose benefit is this? To whom does the benefit accrue if you have this attack? Well, it doesn't seem to be helping Assad any, it seems to be united the world against him," said Sen. Paul.

"So there is a possibility that maybe the rebels instigated this chemical attack. I would at least want to see the evidence before launching a war."

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