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"As a Jew," Wasserman Schultz invokes Holocaust in making case for bombing Syria


U.S. Rep. and Democratic National Committee leader Debbie Wasserman Schultz today issued a statement that called on Congress to approve President Obama's call for war.

Tonight, she kicked it up a notch in an interview on CNN with Wolf Blitzer, where she invoked the Holocaust. Wasserman Schultz noted that her Weston-to-Miami Beach District has one of the largest Holocaust-survivor populations in the nation.

"As a Jew," she said, "the concept of 'never again' has to mean something." She also noted the "searing images" of children killed in what appears to have been a chemical-weapons strike

Indeed. But the concept of Bashar al-Assad as Hitler is something the Obama Administration and his supporters have to prove to a majority of the members of Congress.

And they haven't done it yet.

Instead, backers for war in Syria simply say that classified U.S. intelligence stringly indicates Assad used chemical weapons. So what's the evidence?

Well, we don't have the right to see it. We have to trust the politicians and the bureaucrats. The White House's unclassified case for war is here. But as our McClatchy DC bureau reports, the case is rife with inconsistencies and circumstantial evidence.

And Wasserman Schultz's fellow Florida Democrat, Alan Grayson, indicated last week that this could be a mistake and that it's "flatly false" for the Obama's Administration to claim that Assad's use of chemical weapons is "undeniable."

Those concerns were echoed by Hillary Mann Leverett, a former official in President Bush's and Clinton's White House,  on MSNBC: "It is strikingly similar to the lead-up to the war in Iraq." She makes the case for how actors other than Assad might have initiated the chemical attack and seems to wonder why Assad would use the weapons when he appeared to be winning on the battlefield.

"The rest of the world does not believe what we're saying for good reason: We made it up last time," she said.

Her comments start at 3:40 in the clip below Wasserman Schultz's statement (sans the Holocaust reference):

WASHINGTON - Following a classified briefing on Sunday for Members of Congress on the actions of the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad, U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-23) released the following statement:

"After receiving this classified briefing and being briefed by the White House National Security staff late last week, there is no doubt that the Assad regime is using chemical weapons against its own people, including innocent children. As a leader in the world community, the United States cannot be silent and turn our back on such atrocities. I agree with Secretary Kerry’s statement that the campaign launched by the Assad regime against its own people is a moral obscenity that cannot go unanswered.

“If the Assad regime is willing to use these weapons on innocent civilians and children in his own country, we must consider that no neighboring country is safe, including Israel, Jordan and Turkey, all of which are strong and important allies of the United States in the region.

“It is my firm opinion that the use of limited military force is not only warranted, but necessary to send a resolute message to Bashar al-Assad that these types of atrocities cannot, and will not be tolerated by the United States.

“I know that many in this country are weary of war, but each military conflict is unique. Iraq was not Bosnia, and Libya was not Afghanistan. The evidence is clear to me that Syria violated a 100-year-old international norm against use of chemical weapons as a legitimate weapon of war. Accountability for this horrific violation should be certain and severe.

“The use of military force must be weighed carefully, and be held as a last resort. President Obama was right to seek Congressional approval of his proposal to hold Assad accountable. We will benefit from hearing one another’s insights as representatives of the American people. As Congress prepares to debate and vote on whether the Syrian regime’s heinous actions should be met with a limited use of American military force, I will voice my support and cast my “aye” vote reflecting my conscience and my belief as a mother, that at the very least, we must stand up to a tyrant murdering his nation’s children.”