Congressman Larson Holds Another Forum On Syria

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There were strong opinions and heated discussions in East Hartford Sunday.

U.S. Rep. John Larson held his second public forum to address the latest developments between the United States and Syria.

Saturday, the U.S. and Russia came to an agreement that called for Syria’s chemical weapons to be removed or destroyed by the middle of 2014.

Following that announcement Congressman Larson wanted to update his constituents and hear from them.

The line for questions stretched and grew by the minute. One by one, they stood and faced their representative.

Now that a military strike in Syria has been stalled, many constituents were happy to hear the news.

“War does not mean peace. Dialogue creates peace. Diplomacy creates peace,” said Eric Stamm of Hartford.

It was dialogue that brought Stamm to the forum.

“It was an opportunity to interact directly with our elected officials to ask them to NOT use

military intervention,”  he said.

“They want to see a diplomatic solution. They want to see a political solution, barring that they are still skeptical, but in any event they want to see that solution conducted by the world community, not by the United States,” said Rep. Larson in reference to his constituents.

Larson applauded President Barack Obama for working with Russia to possibly eliminate the arsenal of chemical weapons inside Syria, without violence and military intervention.

“If you ultimately lead to the destruction of chemical weapons, which couldn’t be guaranteed by any kind of strike that might have even further embroiled the situation, isn’t that a better solution than where we were?” said Larson.

Still, none of the arguments swayed Caron Shanahan, a school nurse who came to spotlight a need for help in our own backyard, not Syria.

“We’ve got to put more money in our inner cities, and help our youth in the inner cities,” she said.

The back and forth debate continued for nearly 2 1/2 hours, raising concerns, questions and, at times, agreement.

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