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Issa questions Obama's 'arbitrary focus' on chemical weapons

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Paul Bedard,Washington Secrets,Darrell Issa,Syria,Chemical Weapons

House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa has injected a new controversy into the Obama administration’s wish to attack Syria in retaliation for launching chemical weapon attacks on citizens.

In his statement reacting to Obama’s plan to seek congressional approval of his war plan, Issa suggested that the administration is wrongly focused on chemical weapons. And in doing so, added the Republican, the White House is giving Syria the green light to use the much bigger death blow of conventional weapons.

"Tens of thousands have been killed by the Assad regime in this brutal conflict -- relatively few by chemical weapons,” said Issa. “A military response that places an arbitrary focus on such weapons will do little to protect civilians and sends a deeply misguided signal that totalitarian regimes should only use conventional weapons to carry out mass murder,” he said.

What’s more, Issa wants a clear plan of action in Syria before he sides with the administration in the upcoming House vote.

"To earn my vote of support for limited military intervention, President Obama must present a clear plan focused on effective humanitarian intervention or our national security interests,” he said.

Paul Bedard, The Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at pbedard@washingtonexaminer.com.