WASHINGTON, DC -
Before, during, and after President Obama's announcement, today, that he will seek Congressional approval before intervening in Syria, people were demonstrating in front of the White House. More than a hundred people urged the President to avoid a military strike. That crowd was an interesting mix of anti-war liberals and some constitutional conservatives and libertarians. One woman carried a sign saying "anti-war Republican." A smaller crowd urged some kind of punishment from the U.S. for the Assad government's apparent use of poison gas. That group consisted mostly of Syrian expatriates. Linda Leaks, of NW Washington, opposes military intervention. "Violence does not stop violence," declared Leaks. "Violence on another county -- killing other people because they kill[ed] somebody doesn't make any sense." Carrie Biggs-Adams, of Colmar Manor, Md. was blunt about her views: "I'm here in front of the White House because I don't want to see bombing in Syria. We just can't have another war. We're not done paying for the last two!" Tony Spezio, another Maryland resident, wore a t-shift identifying him as a libertarian. Spezio strongly opposes a U.S. military intervention in Syria: "Get out of Iraq, Get out of Afghanistan. Bring United States troops home to defend the United States of America." A smaller group, consisting mostly of Syrian immigrants, also assembled in front of the White House to urge the president (and Congress) to intervene militarily. They believe Syrian leader Assad has used poisoned gas on civilians. "Chemical weapons that [Assad] is using [are] internationally outlawed," said Dr. Samer Nasher, a physician from West Virginia. "And America, as the leader of the free world, they have responsibility -- moral responsibility -- if the chemical weapons [are] used anywhere in the world. I mean, we're just asking for punishment. We're not asking for American troops to go die." At one point the pro- and anti-interventionist demonstrators were nose-to-nose, and some heated arguments broke out. Mounted U.S. Park Police rode in to separate the groups, and the two demonstrations on what the U.S. should do about Syria continued.