The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Local News

September 4, 2013

Manchin, Rahall undecided on U.S. intervention in Syria

— On many occasions, Sen. Joe Manchin has called for the return of American fighting forces from both Iraq and Afghanistan, criticizing the nation’s prolonged presence on both war fronts, but on the matter of Syria, the West Virginia Democrat is still undecided.

Likewise, Rep. Nick Rahall, D-W.Va., is viewing the developments in Syria and the administration’s call for military action with deliberation.

“I do not want to see our nation drawn into yet another costly, open-ended military conflict,” Rahall told The Register-Herald.

“However, the Syrian government’s use of chemical weapons demands response. It should be a justified, proportional strike against sites of high value from which the chemical warfare was launched.”

What’s more, Rahall is adamant that the administration refrain from putting boots on the ground.

“Any congressional authorization must adhere to the Constitution and ensure we are not giving the president a blank check,” the 3rd District congressman added.

Manchin is undergoing a series of briefings on Capitol Hill, including one tailored for the Foreign Relations Committee on Monday, and today he plans to sit on one by the Senate Armed Forces Committee, of which he is a member.

“He is attending briefings and gathering all the intelligence and information,” an aide said.

“Right now, his position hasn’t changed from the statement he put out the other day.”

And in that terse statement, Manchin said the matter of sending in troops and weapons of war is “one of the most difficult that a country can make, and is not one that should be made without all the available facts or without the consultation of Congress.”

President Obama wants Congress to authorize military action against Syria, and Democratic and Republican leaders said Monday they are certain that President Bashar Assad deployed sarin gas to kill some of his people, although the death count is in conflict.

The administration put the death toll at 1,429, but the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, based in Britain, said the number of casualties it could confirm was closer to 500.

Manchin interrupted his planned West Virginia itinerary to return to Washington for various intelligence briefings, still not certain if he would go along the leadership. Many on both sides of the spectrum — liberal Democrats and conservative Republicans — vowed to buck their respective leaders and oppose intervention.

A vote isn’t likely to occur before next week, and Manchin said he wants to “ensure I have all the facts and intelligence available to me” before the debate opens.

Various polls have shown more than half of Americans oppose any military intervention in the troubled country.

— E-mail:

Text Only
Local News
  • pittsburgh rally 5,000 rally in Pittsburgh against EPA Clean Power Plan

    The echo of people chanting, “Hey, hey, EPA, don’t take our jobs away” could be heard in downtown Pittsburgh Thursday. The voices came from about 5,000 United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) members and their families, along with other unions such as the Boilermakers and the Brotherhood of Electrical Workers International (IBEW), marching through the streets.


    August 1, 2014 1 Photo 3 Stories

  • Alpha plans to idle coal workers

    Approximately 1,100 employees at 11 Alpha Resources-affiliated surface mines, preparation plants and other support operations in southern West Virginia got notice late Thursday afternoon that their jobs could be in jeopardy.


    August 1, 2014

  • New rules to fight black lung disease kick in today

    Joe Massie has spent the last 22 years of his life fighting a disease that takes his breath away, a disease he contracted deep underground in the coal mines over a period of 30 years.  Black lung may take away his breath; it has not stilled his voice.

    August 1, 2014

  • target red Zero tolerance Target Red campaign hopes to lessen intersection crashes

    It happens every day. A driver hurries on his or her way to work, school or maybe nowhere in particular. Just ahead, a green light turns yellow. With a little more gas, the vehicle just might be able to clear the intersection before that light turns red. Or maybe not. 

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • derby dames Beckley area Derby Dames to host WFTDA team Aug. 9

    The Beckley Area Derby Dames will face off against a WFTDA-certified team, the Harrisonburg, Va., Rocktown Rollers, Aug. 9 at the Beckley-Raleigh County Convention Center. 

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • phil roop Artisans show off skills at String Band Festival

    The Appalachian String Band Festival celebrates the music of the mountains each year.

    August 1, 2014 2 Photos

  • Calendar — Friday, Aug. 1, 2014

    August 1, 2014

  • VA clinic to remain closed

    The Department of Veterans Affairs Greenbrier County Community Based Outpatient Clinic will remain closed due to ongoing correction of environmental concerns. 

    August 1, 2014

  • Beckley festival seeking vendors

    Taste of Appalachia is seeking restaurants, vendors, organizations and churches to participate in the Aug. 23 event. 

    August 1, 2014

  • 080114 FRI TWV multitalented teen.jpg Only 13, Shady Spring and TWV teen has big resume

    Well-rounded is an understatement for 13-year-old Rachel McNeel. 

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo