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

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said To Be Improving

Experimental drugs have been tried on six people: three Westerners and now, three African pyhysicians More

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities residents rebuild their lives, but many say everyone is being treated with suspicion More

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

Girls learn to object; FGM practitioners face penalties from jail sentences to stiff fines 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.
Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improvingi
X
Carol Pearson
August 19, 2014 11:43 PM
The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.
Video

Video For Obama, Racial Violence is Personal Issue

The racial violence in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson is presenting U.S. President Barack Obama with an issue to which he has a deep personal connection. To many Americans, Obama's election as America's first black president marked a turning point in race relations in the United States, and Obama has made ending the violence a policy priority. On Monday he issued a new call for calm and understanding. Luis Ramirez reports from the White House.
Video

Video Clinton-Obama Relationship Could Impact 2016 Election

President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have a long and complicated relationship. That relationship took another turn recently when Clinton criticized the president’s foreign policy. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports there is renewed attention on the Clinton-Obama relationship as Hillary Clinton considers running for
Video

Video Iran Looks to Maintain Influence in Baghdad With New Shia PM

Washington and Tehran share the goal of stopping Syrian-based militants in Iraq. But experts say it's Iran, not the United States, that will most influence how the new government in Baghdad approaches internal reforms and the war in Syria. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns has the story.

AppleAndroid