Dawson County residents and elected officials believe the United States should not be involved in Syria.
An informal survey conducted last week of local veterans, three elected officials who represent Dawson County voters, and several others shows little support for attacking Syria.
We should not bomb Syria, said Michael Gee, who was having his hair cut at a salon in downtown Dawsonville. Neither of the factions there are friends of the United States. Im not willing to put my son or your sons life on the line for people who will kill us in a heartbeat.
Local veteran Jerry Wall said that our country needs more diplomacy.
Let the international mechanisms of sanctions and diplomacy get us away from force countering force, he said. Considering past military actions taken and their results, we should not use military force to respond to military action.
State Rep. Kevin Tanner believes our country needs to focus on other issues.
The bigger threat to our own national security is our out-of-control deficit and spending, said Tanner. I would encourage our leaders not attempt to shift focus away from our problems here at home and to work to resolve them. I agree with so many others that we can no longer afford to be the worlds police agency.
Tanner also said the current administration has not presented a credible, long-term plan on how to deal with Syria.
Veteran Larry Harris, 66, feels similarly.
The U.S. is not and should not be the worlds police, said Harris, who served in the U.S. Navy and Army.
Congressman Doug Collins, R-Gainesville, said our leaders need to present a plan.
We cannot simply react to what has happened in Syria with no policy or plan, said Collins. For this reason, I would not support a military response. The latest developments in Syria are not the first sign that something very serious and complex has been happening there, and for President Obama to feign shock at these recent reports is disingenuous and evidence of his unwillingness to show the leadership we need.
People in Dawson County deserve accountability in their government. That is why Ive joined more than 140 of my colleagues from both sides of the aisle in urging President Obama to come before Congress with his plan for Syria immediately. Only then can we ensure that all options are considered.
Edmond Rowan, 69, who was having breakfast at a local eatery, wonders if our country knows who we would target if military action is taken.
I have a lot of questions, said Rowan. Are the people we would bomb the enemy?
Warren Carlson, 52, who lived in Beirut and Tehran as an adolescent, said our country should not bomb Syria.
This is a civil war, and we have no business being there, he said.
Sen. Steve Gooch, R-Dahlonega, is concerned about cost and priorities.
Based on the news I hear on television and read in the papers, I cannot see how our president and Congress can be authorizing a military strike that could cost more than $300 million at the same time they are discussing shutting down the government, he said. The decision to use military force in Syria needs careful consideration and prayer from Congress based on thorough intelligence.
Hair stylist Rebecca Fisher, 28, feels the U.S. should stay out of Syria.
Theres no reason to start another war, she said. Theres no good reason for it.
The Senate was set to vote on military action as early as today; however, President Obama on Monday left open the possibility of a diplomatic solution in Syria, saying a proposal to allow Syria to give up its chemical weapons was a potentially positive development, according to a report posted Sept. 9 on NRP (National Public Radio).