News / USA

Obama Appeals for Military Strike On Syria

U.S. President Barack Obama speaks during his news conference at the G-20 Summit in St. Petersburg, Russia, Sept. 6, 2013.
U.S. President Barack Obama speaks during his news conference at the G-20 Summit in St. Petersburg, Russia, Sept. 6, 2013.
Kent Klein
President Barack Obama has called on the American people to support his proposal to launch military strikes on Syria. The president’s plan faces widespread opposition among lawmakers and the American public.

In his weekly Internet and radio address Saturday, President Obama made the case that Syria’s alleged chemical weapons attack on its own citizens last month cannot be ignored.

The president said the United States must act.

“Failing to respond to this outrageous attack would increase the risk that chemical weapons could be used again; that they would fall into the hands of terrorists who might use them against us, and it would send a horrible signal to other nations that there would be no consequences for their use of these weapons.  All of which would pose a serious threat to our national security,” he said.

Obama faces an uphill battle.  Most recent public opinion polls show that more than half of the American people oppose U.S. military action in Syria.  The president said he understands their concern.

“I know that the American people are weary after a decade of war, even as the war in Iraq has ended, and the war in Afghanistan is winding down.  That is why we are not putting our troops in the middle of somebody else’s war.  But we are the United States of America.  We cannot turn a blind eye to images like the ones we have seen out of Syria,” he said.

Watch President Obama's weekly address:


Obama also sought to calm fears that missile strikes on Syria would lead to a prolonged U.S. military commitment there.

“This would not be another Iraq or Afghanistan.  There would be no American boots on the ground.  Any action we take would be limited, both in time and scope - designed to deter the Syrian government from gassing its own people again and degrade its ability to do so,” said the president.

One week ago, the president announced that he would seek congressional authorization for the strikes when lawmakers return to Washington from their summer recess in the coming week.  Support for the president's request appears stronger in the Senate than in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives - where the measure might be defeated. 

Obama will make a rare nationally-televised evening address to the nation on Tuesday, again setting out his goals and reasons for proposed military action.

The president returned late Friday from a trip to Stockholm and the G20 Summit in St. Petersburg, Russia.  While there, Obama lobbied for support among other world leaders and he made numerous telephone calls to U.S. lawmakers back home.

You May Like

Kurdish Party Pushes Political Gamble to Run in Turkey Poll

HDP announces it will run as political party instead of fielding independent candidates in June election, but faces tough 10 percent threshold More

Twitter Targets Islamic State

New research shows suspending Twitter accounts of Islamic State, its supporters has been effective; group, its backers are facing 'significant pressure,' says terrorism expert More

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

Majur Juac made the leap from being a refugee in Africa to a master chess champion in US, where he shares his expertise with students More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Mark from: California
September 08, 2013 6:04 AM
Obama has a kind heart well intentioned all the time. What he might not comprehend is that dynamics in the middle east are not so simple. There is a very real chance that the gasings might have been perpetrated by rebels, ex military just to elicit a response from Obama and America.

In dire circumstances, this is not beyond the perpetrators, and their circumstances are beyond dire.

Long ago did we intervene in Iraq's chemical attacks upon Iran? No. Should we have then? No. Due to complications far beyond our influence ( obvious ). Same as present where the complicated mess of the Syrian revolution is indeed beyond our ability to influence a good outcome, far beyond.

Were the good intentions of helping the Arab Spring returning good results of any use to America or Egyptians? I have serious doubts, the situation in Egypt is a comparable mess far from democracy, since despite the obvious distaste for the (evil) Muslim Brotherhood, they were duly elected, and there was a coup. And even if the Muslim Brotherhood is rendered illegal in Egypt you can bet there is the foundation for more foment, more instability even if there is another ?free election in Egypt in the near term. As much as I dislike the Muslim Brotherhood ( and I do ) the remain a force to be reckoned with.

Assad is hardly a good guy, but fomenting further instability in Arabia and Syria specifically is not going to have good results. Egypt is a real lesson to learn from, and it remains a mess on precipice of further "revolution" is all one might call it.

Once Assad is deposed ( or if ) we have no clue what comes next. Does Hamas take over Syria? If that were to transpire you might have a hellish situation. Can you prevent a take over of Syria by either Hamas or Al Queda? Fat chance. We'd have little to no control over the outcome, even if we wish we might. And if either came to power in Syria - either Hamas or Al Queda or allies under other names, we'd have caused a terrible mess to grow to incomprehensible magnitude of hellishness.

Those who died in the tragic gasings, suffered a terrible hellish tortured death. If indeed Syrian Rebels perpetrated this, and we make a boo boo, thinking it was Assad, we have no idea what might transpire from our actions, we have no idea as to whether we might elicit a better hope for Syrians and better government by bombing Assad to oblivion.

Personally I think Assad is a thuggish evil despot, but had, till his own version of the Arab Spring occurred, had some modest control over Syrian society. Now should he be deposed, do we have any real idea of what might transpire after Assad? Despite implicit claims to the contrary, despite the DVD of terrible victims, I contend we have no real idea what might happen after Assad. And no justification to foment further froth in this nightmarish mess.

I realize the idealism behind the good intentions here ( truly Obama is a great President ) but the realization of the nightmarish complexity of Arabia should give pause to further ratcheting up the intensity of what one hopes to do good, but really really might end up making a nightmarish mess, into unthinkable contagion, an out of control chaos beyond the unspeakable tragedy we observe presently ( including the 100k Syrians killed in conventional warfare ).

and this AP wire article does summarize some salient points, obvious to anyone who has deeper comprehension of the centuries long strife between Shia and Sunnies which will not be solved by 2 days of sorties, of planes and missiles... ( if it ends at that )

http://apnews.myway.com/article/20130908/DA8M3KN80.html

The good heart of Obama, remains of kind intentions. I hope he might realize the incomprehensible nuances here are just that, and intractable to boot.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Spacei
X
Rosanne Skirble
January 27, 2015 5:05 PM
The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.
Video

Video Saved By a Mistake - an Auschwitz Survivor's Story

Dagmar Lieblova was 14 when she arrived at Auschwitz in December 1943, along with her entire Czech Jewish family. All of them were to die there, but she was able to leave after several months due to a bureaucratic mix-up which saved her life. Now 85, with three children and six grandchildren, she says she has a feeling of victory. This report by Ahmad Wadiei and Farin Assemi, of RFE/RL's Radio Farda is narrated by RFE’s Raymond Furlong.
Video

Video Weekly Protests in Korea Keep Japanese WWII Atrocities Alive

Every week in Seoul protesters gather in front of the Japanese Embassy to demand an apology and reparations from Tokyo for the thousands of South Korean women who were forced into prostitution during World War II. Although this year marks the 70th anniversary of the end of the war, these protestors have helped keep the issue of comfort women alive and made it difficult for Japan to move beyond its past wartime atrocities. VOA's Brian Padden reports from Seoul.
Video

Video Exercise: New Prescription for Parkinsons Disease

Exercise could be the new prescription for Parkinson's Disease, a progressive disorder of the nervous system that affects movement. More than six million people worldwide suffer from Parkinsons and they're traditionally treated with medication and surgery. Shelley Schlender has more.
Video

Video Brussels Shaken as New Greek Leader Challenges Europe’s Austerity Drive

Greece’s youngest-ever prime minister, 40-year-old Alexis Tsipras, was sworn in Monday after his victorious far-left Syriza party entered a coalition with far right rivals. Tsipras says he will restore dignity to Greece by ending spending cuts. So begins a new chapter for the country at the epicenter of Europe’s economic crisis - a change that has sent tremors across the continent, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Obama Urges Closer Economic Ties During Historic India Visit

U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and India must do better to capitalize on untapped potential in their economic relationship - by removing some of the roadblocks to greater trade and investment. As VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports from New Delhi, Obama spoke after participating in India’s Republic Day celebration.
Video

Video White House Grapples With Yemen Counterterrorism Strategy

Reports say the U.S. has carried out a drone strike on suspected militants in Yemen, the first after President Barack Obama offered reassurances the U.S. is continuing its counterterrorism operations in the country. The future of those operations has been in question following the collapse last week of Yemen’s government. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Oil Price Drop Troubles Texas Producers

As oil prices have fallen over the past several months, drilling operations have slowed in some parts of the United States - including Texas, the state that surpasses all others in energy production. The Lone Star State’s energy output has been boosted in recent years by development of resources trapped deep below ground in the Eagle Ford shale deposit, which stretches across south central Texas. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Karnes City, Texas, the drop in oil prices has created concerns,
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid