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

    Native Americans Ask: What About Our Water Supply?

    They say they have been facing a dangerous water contaminant for decades - uranium – but the problem has received far less attention than water contamination by lead in Flint, Michigan

    Pakistan's President Urges Nation Not to Celebrate Valentine's Day

    Mamnoon Hussain criticizes Valentine's Day, which falls on Sunday this year, as a Western import that threatens to undermine the Islamic values of Pakistan

    Mother of IS Supporter: Son Was Peaceful, 'Role Model'

    Somali-American Abdirizak Mohamed Warsame pleaded guilty Thursday to charges of conspiring to provide material support to Islamic State militants

    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.
    Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortagei
    X
    February 12, 2016 7:31 PM
    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortage

    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Gateway to Mecca: Historical Old Jeddah

    Local leader Sami Nawar's family has been in the Old City of Jeddah for hundreds of years and takes us on a tour of this ancient route to Mecca, also believed to be the final resting place of Adam's wife, Eve.
    Video

    Video New Technology Aims to Bring Election Transparency to Uganda

    A team of recent graduates from Uganda’s Makerere University has created a mobile application designed to help monitor elections and expose possible rigging. The developers say the app, called E-Poll, will make Uganda's democratic process fairer. From Kampala, VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video Russia Bristles at NATO Expansion in E. Europe

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is meeting Friday with the head of NATO after the Western military alliance and the United States announced plans for the biggest military build-up in Europe since the Cold War. Russia has called NATO's moves a threat to stability in Europe. But NATO says the troop rotations and equipment are aimed at reassuring allies concerned about Russia as VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.