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

Multimedia Obama, Modi Break Nuclear Deal Deadlock

Impasse over liability issues had been stalling bilateral civilian nuclear cooperation; deal reached at start of US president's three-day visit to India More

WHO's Late Efforts in Tackling Ebola Highlight Need for Reform

Health experts debate measures to reform agency’s response to global public health emergencies in special one-day session on deadly outbreak More

One Tumultuous Year in Power for CAR's President

As sectarian violence raged across Central African Republic, interim President Catherine Samba-Panza has Herculean task: to end civil war and put country back on right track 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.
Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youthi
X
Julie Taboh
January 23, 2015 11:08 PM
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 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 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.
Video

Video S. Korean Businesses Want to End Trade Restrictions With North

Business leaders in South Korea are calling for President Park Geun-hye to ease trade restrictions with North Korea that were put in place in 2010 after the sinking of a South Korean warship.Pro-business groups argue that expanding trade and investment is not only good for business, it is also good for long-term regional peace and security. VOA’s Brian Padden reports.
Video

Video US Marching Bands Grow Into a Show of Their Own

The 2014 Super Bowl halftime show was the most-watched in history - attracting an estimated 115 million viewers. That event featured pop star Bruno Mars. But the halftime show tradition started with marching bands, which still dominate the entertainment at U.S. high school and college American football games. But as Enming Liu reports in this story narrated by Adrianna Zhang, marching bands have grown into a show of their own.
Video

Video Secular, Religious Kurds Face Off in Southeast Turkey

Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast has been rocked by violence between religious and secular Kurds. Dorian Jones reports on the reasons behind the stand-off from the region's main city of Diyarbakir, which suffered the bloodiest fighting.
Video

Video Kenya: Misuse of Antibiotics Leading to Resistance by Immune System

In Kenya, the rise of drug resistant bacteria could reverse the gains made by medical science over diseases that were once treatable. Kenyans could be at risk of fatalities as a result if the power in antibiotics is not preserved. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story from Nairobi.
Video

Video Solar-Powered Plane Getting Ready to Circumnavigate Globe

Pilots of the solar plane that already set records flying without a drop of fuel are close to making their first attempt to fly the craft around the globe. They plan to do it in 25 flying days over a five month period. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video How Experts Decide Ethiopia Has the Best Coffee

Ethiopia’s coffee has been ranked as the best in the world by an international group of coffee connoisseurs. Not surprisingly, coffee is a top export for the country. But at home it is a source of pride. Marthe van der Wolf in Addis Ababa decided to find out what makes the bean and brew so special and how experts make their determinations.
Video

Video Yazidi Refugees at Center of Political Fight Between Turkey, Kurds

The treatment of thousands of Yazidis refugees who fled to Turkey to escape attacks by Islamic State militants has become the center of a dispute between the Turkish government and the country's pro-Kurdish movement. VOA's Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video World’s Richest 1% Forecast to Own More Than Half of Global Wealth

The combined wealth of the world's richest 1 percent will overtake that of the remaining 99 percent at some point in 2016, according to the anti-poverty charity Oxfam. Campaigners are demanding that policymakers take action to address the widening gap between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have nots’, as Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

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