SALT LAKE CITY —Utah Senator Mitt Romney took to the floor of the U.S. Senate Thursday to condemn President Donald Trump’s decision to pull American troops from Northern Syria.
“The administration speaks cavalierly, even flippantly. Even as our allies have suffered death and casualty. Their homes have been burned and their families have been torn apart,” Romney said.
The speech came minutes after Vice President Mike Pence announced a 120-hour ceasefire in the region so that Kurds could retreat from the so-called “safe-zone” Turkey intends to establish.
Romney said he welcomed the move as a way to save lives after what he considered a disastrous decision.
“The announcement today is being portrayed as a victory. It is far from a victory,” Romney said, “The decision to abandon the Kurds violates one of our most sacred duties. It strikes at American honor. What we have done to the Kurds will stand as a bloodstain in the annals of American history.”
Romney said the President needed to explain why he didn’t consult with Congress or inform the Kurds prior to announcing his decision.
“I ask whether it is the position of the administration that the United States Senate, a body of 100 people representing both political parties, is to be entirely absent from decisions of the magnitude just taken in Syria,” Romney said.
Utah’s junior senator also addressed the argument of his colleague, Senator Mike Lee of Utah, who is one of two senators voicing support for the President’s decision.
“Some argue we ought not to have been in Syria in the first place because there was not a vote taken to engage in war there,” Romney said, characterizing Lee’s position.
“Once you jump in the ocean to save a drowning soul, you don’t turn around with the excuse you didn’t have to jump in in the first place. It is a matter of commitment,” Romney said.