If congressional skeptics of going to war with Syria are even half as wary as House Democratic Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s 5-year-old grandson, President Barack Obama’s push for lawmakers to approve military strikes will be an uphill fight.
Pelosi, speaking in the White House driveway after talks with Obama and other top lawmakers on Tuesday, described the child’s skepticism to reporters.
“My 5-year-old grandson, as I was leaving San Francisco yesterday, he said to me ‘Mimi’ — that’s my name — ‘Mimi, war with Syria? Are you yes war with Syria? No war with Syria?’” she said.
“You know he’s 5 years old, and war, he’s saying ‘war,’ I mean we’re not talking about war, we’re talking about an action,” she said.
“’Yes war with Syria, no war with Syria?’ I said, ‘Well what do you think?’ He said, ‘I think no war,’” she related.
“I said, ‘Well, I generally agree with that. But you know they’ve killed hundreds of children there. They’ve killed hundreds of children,’” she said.
“And he said — 5 years old — ‘Were these children in the United States?’”
“And I said, ‘No, but they’re children wherever they are.’”
Pelosi underlined how “even a 5-year-old child” has the “wisdom” to ask “how does it affect our interests?”
“It affects our interest because it was, again, outside the circle of civilized behavior. Humanity drew a line decades ago,” she said.
Pelosi did not say whether she had successfully convinced the child, whose skepticism reflects that of many Obama supporters in Congress. Even lawmakers inclined to back the president have been asking for a detailed explanation of how his military plan would serve U.S. national interests.