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2000 night I asked both of you had ever seen anything like the debate today.
Where you have the Republican side you have conservative Republicans against this.
Other Republicans for -- and on the Democrat side you've got an alliance.
A very Liberal Democrats seeming to be against this strike and the conservative Democrats or it's just like everything is topsy turvy everybody's sort of not in the place you expect them.
Get congressman Walsh think about the Republicans where they and that's.
Well you know this is a very difficult decision for any member of congress Republican or Democrat because.
Regardless of of whatever other votes you may take going to war or at least giving the president the authorization to use force deadly force.
Is something you don't take lightly you're committing young men and women to potentially to going to war putting them in harm's way.
-- also risking potentially thousands of innocent people.
At the same time so regardless of party this is a very difficult decision and once you make it sometimes you don't sleep well at night.
-- -- suspects let me ask you you would have fit in congress.
For the -- votes when President Clinton -- in two of the Balkans.
What kinds of issues did you grapple with at the time.
Well actually much more -- compelling experience for me was the vote on the first gulf war four of the first President Bush show.
I think Jim as well stated the fact that these are unique.
Conscience wrestling occasions -- -- congress.
They hear from constituents.
You know volumes that you don't -- any other issue.
There are consequences that are much more grave than just about any other issue you deal -- And I think uniquely.
Typically leadership on both sides.
Tends to respect -- this so exercisable.
Respect for constituency views so it's not whipped in the way of you know a normal partisan bill would be.
But the the mix of positions on this is highly unusual.
As -- -- lead in suggests.
Let me also say hi to my friend Jim Walsh who -- haven't seen for -- -- I did it's great to hear your voice.
Well let me -- -- -- than them congressman -- the house is responsible for these decisions.
What happens next to me as the president out there are we always seeing -- lobbying the Democrats is also lobbying Republicans what kind of behind the scenes.
-- fact is happening from the White House to congress to Republicans especially.
Well you know it's it's votes like this where a member of congress gets probably the first -- may -- only direct telephone call.
From the president -- it's a very.
When the president calls you up and wants to talk to you just you on the phone.
And so members I'm sure are receiving those calls and they have to think about what they want to say and and what they want they asked what the president really.
Really has to make this case to the American public -- if the American public comes along I think the congress comes along I don't think it's the reverse of that.
I have the entire suspect's.
From your perspective do you think that Democrat congressman are going to ultimately lineup behind the president when the vote is taken.
But I think there's going to be anything automatic about it or mechanical about it at all.
They had the stakes are too high.
And the positions that a lot of line.
Once democratic colleagues have taken on these issues.
Really boxes them -- much as the president's statement about our policy toward the use of chemical weapons.
Has boxed in you know look.
I think the most Cogent appeal is going to be.
21 national credibility and the implication that not doing something now has four.
Facing down Iran or North Korea in the future.
Okay well let me -- toss it to you as congressman -- if that's what.
Congressman Skaggs is looking to hear from the president about -- but the precedent setting the ability to see this as a part of a piece of a bigger puzzle.
What does the president have to say to somebody like you if you -- in congress today what.
What are you wanna get from that phone call or what do you wanna hear from the president's speech tomorrow night or the briefing this afternoon what's -- us make the sale for you.
Well you know David mentioned that you mention the vote and Bosnia David mentioned the vote on Iraq the first one.
The one that I remember is that is -- is the use of force resolution in desert storm when we went to war with Iraq -- invaded Iraq and that we may get based on some bad information.
And while that wasn't the most important aspect of the decision it was key.
Factor in the decision making and we -- bad information and I think.
That if our member of congress have wanted to I would want to be absolutely certain that the information that the president the administration have is accurate.
And you know there's a UN inspection team that's been in Syria for the past number of weeks there are analyzing the results and I think to be interesting to see what they came up with before they actually voted.
Congress -- -- let's let's -- line what was your line be what do you -- would you need to hear from President Obama or his team about.
About Syria in order to get your vote.
I think not so much about Syria but what else we're hearing in the regional.
For example -- want justice to.
-- react to Jim's point.
Light -- is that the intelligence this time around his party's.
Compared to what we were relying on back in 20022003.
What hasn't been publicized and shouldn't be is what we're hearing.
Offline from people with good sources -- -- In so Far East or around North Korea.
-- in fact do we risk what appears to be the possibility of a more constructive relationship.
With the new president of Iran willing to to talk more seriously it appears.
About their nuclear program do we risk of that if we take action here.
And what's the bigger.
The bigger stake here.
Punishment for the use of chemical weapons which I think there is a valid reason for or.
Having some prospect for progress on the Iran nuclear issue.
Not -- -- very thoughtful man I thank you so much freer.
Your brain and -- what's going to be probably one of the most seminal votes anybody in congress is going to -- in their entire career.
David Skaggs -- Colorado Democrat congressman and Jim Walsh former new York Republican congressman thank you both for your time and wisdom.
-- you thank you.
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