Well into the week after a long holiday weekend in which the major international topic involved whether the U.S. military would get involved in Syria, U.S. Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, still has not released a stance from his office on the nettlesome issue.
That's a surprising development, since King is usually ready to weigh in on a wide variety of national topics. He's a hawk on defense, and points to his many trips to Iraq and Afghanistan for having informed his positions in supporting those wars.
President Barack Obama is weighing a host of options against Syria, which reportedly used chemical weapons against rebel forces in late August, killing more than 1,400 people, including several hundred children. Obama is asking Congress to approve military action against Syria.
King's office said he had no time to share a position on Syria. He has not tweeted on the topic either.
It certainly could be a case where King wants to weigh options before giving a statement. In the one case in which King spoke about Syria, he told an Omaha newspaper last week that he didn't question the authority of the president to take action, but that Obama would be better off bringing his case to Congress first.
In the latest developments, the Associated Press reported Syria is said to be hiding weapons and moving troops. Nancy Pelosi, who heads the minority party Democrats in the U.S. House, has a letter out to California constituents with the summary that, "the evidence of these attacks is clear, convincing, and devastating."
But many people, both on the political left and right, are urging the president to show restraint. For instance, U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, said there should be no rush into what could become "an open-ended war without broad international backing."
And U.S. Rep. Tom Latham, R-Iowa, told a Des Moines radio show on Wednesday that Obama is using an emotional push, not facts.
In South Dakota, the two U.S. senators, Republican John Thune and Democrat Tim Johnson, have not yet decided whether to back Obama's proposed military strike, while U.S. Rep. Kristi Noem, a Republican, is leaning against approving such a move, the Associated Press reports.
Secretary of Defense John Kerry testified Tuesday about the need to take action on Syria, even if it isn't "boots on the ground." Los Angeles Times columnist Robin Abcarian said the fact that Obama and Kerry are the face of the military intervention in Syria is notable, since "anti-war stances made them."
Abcarian also tweeted this: "Face-saving Administration talking point of the day: 'It's not Obama's red line. It's the world's red line.' "
UPDATE: Jim Mowrer, the Democrat from Boone running for the Iowa 4th congressional district King represents, has released his stance concerning Syria. Mowrer calls the reported usage of chemical weapons an unacceptable "war crime."
From Mowrer's statement: "A united and limited international response is crucial but the United States must not go it alone or prematurely. Congressional advice and consent should be a precursor for any offensive military action and measures taken should be of a narrow scope, with a clear mission endstate, that limits long-term U.S. military involvement in a civil war."