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Protesters In OKC Show Opposition To US, Syrian Involvement

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Cars honked for peace at the corner on Penn Ave. and Northwest Expressway. A group of protesters held colorful signs and posters, painting their message clear. Cars honked for peace at the corner on Penn Ave. and Northwest Expressway. A group of protesters held colorful signs and posters, painting their message clear.
OKLAHOMA CITY -

President Obama says he's ready to take action against Syria in the form of a military strike. But he's waiting for approval from Congress.

The President said, "My question for every member of congress and every member of the global community. What message will we send if a dictator can gas hundreds of children to death in plain sight and pay no price?"

The White House says evidence shows Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime launched a chemical attack that killed more than 1,400 people, including 426 children on August 21. Senior officials say President Obama was ready to order a military strike against Syria without Congressional support. But last night, he told advisers he'd changed his mind.

Many members of congress from both parties say they support the President's decision to seek congressional approval. Oklahoma lawmakers say they welcome the opportunity to decide how the US will respond to Syria, but dozens of protesters lined the streets of a busy Oklahoma City intersection Saturday to show their opposition to a military attack.

Cars honked for peace at the corner on Penn Ave. and Northwest Expressway. A group of protesters held colorful signs and posters, painting their message clear: They want the US to stay out of Syria.

"Show us the evidence, " shouted one protester, Lance Stolz. "It's just absolutely insane to think that we can go over there and be peace keepers, I think people are figuring it out now, that we're not going over there to keep any peace."

8/31/2013 Related Story: Obama Seeking Lawmakers' Approval For Syrian Strike

Before America jumps into anything, President Obama is calling on Congress to call the shots. It's a move Congressman Tom Cole says is necessary, saying he's pleased the president is putting the decision in Congress' hands.

"I think it is a restoration of Congress' war making authority," Cole said.

And while Congressman James Lankford says he wants to be involved in the process, he is against going to war against Syria.

"I don't see how this gets better if we get involved. It's an incredibly sad situation, it's a situation that's tragic in many ways, but we're very late to the game," Lankford said. "Are we going to make a difference? Is this worth putting our sons and daughters in harm's way?"

Lankford says he needs to see a strategic plan and goal beyond just "launching something." He says so far the constituents in his fifth district are split between mobilizing an attack and stepping aside.

"We do have a responsibility to the world," Lankford said. "But not to be the world's policeman, but a responsibility to stand up for freedom like no one else does in the world."

And many Oklahomans are hoping Congress will find other options besides attacking Syria.

"There are so many other ways that we can go about helping the Syrian people to find the change that they wish to see," said Juliana O'Reiley, one of the organizers of Oklahoma City's protest.

"As far as Syria goes, yes what's going on is absolutely atrocious, but stand down America. We don't have to just jump in to war. We don't have to be angry, but we need to get our elected officials to turn the tides."

The Senate is expected to hold hearings next week.  A vote on the resolution will take place the week of September 9.

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