You choose, we deliver
If you are interested in this story, you might be interested in others from The Journal Gazette. Go to and pick the subjects you care most about. We'll deliver your customized daily news report at 3 a.m. Fort Wayne time, right to your email.


  • Media group names award after AP’s Niedringhaus
    A women’s media group has created a new award for courage honoring Associated Press photographer Anja Niedringhaus, who was killed on assignment in Afghanistan, the group announced Tuesday.
  • At Boston Marathon, a chance to finally finish
    Just one tiny misstep at mile 15 of the Boston Marathon last spring ruined any chance of amputee runner Jeff Glasbrenner breaking four hours.
  • Survivors honored as city's 'Boston Strong'
    Solemn but resolute, this city marked the first anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings Tuesday by remembering the dead and wounded, acclaiming the heroism of first responders and celebrating a sense of community that has grown in

Coats warns of bigger picture if U.S. attacks Syrian regime

Sen. Dan Coats, R-Ind., said Thursday in Fort Wayne he has not made up his mind on whether the U.S. should launch military strikes against the Syrian government for using chemical weapons against its citizens.

"Unless I get full clarification as to exactly what is it (President Barack Obama) is trying to do and what the full consequences of that are, pro and con, I'm not ready to make a decision for it," Coats told about 50 people gathered for a "Coffee with Coats" public meeting at the Aboite Township trustee's office and fire department.

He said a Senate resolution permitting U.S. airstrikes against the forces of Syrian President Bashar Assad does not take into account the larger picture regarding conflicts in the Mideast.

"The president makes it sound like 'a few shots across the bow' will send the signal that never again should you use chemical weapons and all will be fine," said Coats, a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee. "That doesn't speak to the potential consequences or retaliation by Hezbollah or by Iran, by any other entity, that could escalate this into a much larger situation.

"This is the debate we need to have," he said.

“Too much focus has been on the single issue of the use of chemical weapons and what should be our response to that particular use and what's the downside of not doing anything – what signal does that send to Iran, North Korea and others," he said. "Or the other side of that, and that is if we do do something, what are the potential implications for it escalating into something much more than was being suggested?

"I've got to get answers to these questions, and so far I don't have those answers," he said.

The chamber's Foreign Relations Committee voted 10-7 on Wednesday in favor of a resolution to authorize U.S. military intervention in the Syrian civil war. The full Senate is expected to begin debating the resolution Monday.

Coats' audience Thursday did not seem to favor U.S. retaliation over Assad's alleged use of saran gas in August, which reportedly killed 1,429 people.

"Syria's fight is with al-Qaida; it's a civil war," local accountant Joseph Walburn said. "It has nothing to do with us. It's not worth our blood or treasure."

Many in the audience applauded Walburn's remark.