President Obama's Decision on Syria

August 31, 2013

Just now, President Obama laid out the case for a targeted military action against Syrian regime targets as a result of their use of chemical weapons that killed over one thousand people -- including hundreds of children. The President also made clear that this would not be an open-ended intervention, and there will be no American troops on the ground.

While the President was clear on the need for action, he announced he would seek Congressional authorization for the use of force.

Watch the President's statement now in his own words or read a transcript of his remarks.

About the Author: Caitlin Hayden serves as National Security Council Spokesperson.

Editor's Note: This entry originally appeared on the White House Blog.

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Comments

Eric J.
|
New Mexico, USA
September 4, 2013

@ Caitlin Hayden

It has been suggested that the victor in debate is the one who can be the most real...

Especially I think when the debate essentially revolves around what kind of common reality do we wish to create on this planet?

For if the use of chemical weapons does not provoke such a question of the world at large, then humanity has become less human, and de-evolution must be acceptable to the detriment of civilization as being the new norm of the path we take as a species. 

 No, this isn't about "regime change"...even if Assad be given a ticket off the planet to assure no more chemical weapons attacks take place...to which I personally believe can't be done effectively while Assad's still breathing and able to give orders. And this includes any of his inner circle involved.

 Would this President recind a past President's executive order (Gerald Ford) in response to the precedent set in this exceptional case?

 Speaking as a citizen who is on the record of having suggested years ago that folks in this government might just want to go ahead and "drop a big rock on Assad's pointy little head", to put a halt to his open warfare upon the Syrian people.

 Be hard to envision a more effective way to "degrade" the regime's ability to use chemical weapons if there were no one left in charge to give that order, all the while the US gov. goes public and asks of the remaining regime's military, "Who wants to be next on the target list?"

 And if Assad's "departure from this reality" doesn't sent a clear message to anyone thinking of trying such an ugly stunt again on the world stage, I'm not sure you can send a message that will wise the "foolish" up.

 And that's how I think this President can be the most real, and demonstrate the seriousness of the consequences of their use.

  In other words, sometimes a proper response to a precedent is another precedent set....that hereafter if anyone wants to use Chemical or other WMD's on a civilian population, they better have their obituary already written, ready to be published.

  Just seems to me, as a student of the human condition that if you really want to solve multiple problems you gots to go to the common source of them, and deal directly with their source, rather than the minions employed, the hardware capabilities, or simply the symptoms of mental illness on the world stage, via a vast humanitarian effort.

  I've asked before if anyone might have a rubber room available for Assad & Co. but at this point it's too late , he's got a terminal case of political stupidity and this isn't even about the President saying "Assad's got to go" so long ago...It's about the world community saying to him "You don't get to do that, and this is why." right before the solid tipped ICBM puts a thirty foot crater right where he and his Palace were standing while talking on the phone talking to Ban Ki Moon who naturally would be the guy most well placed to deliver that message seconds before impact.

  Frankly given the President's narrowly defined parameters of his stated goals I don't know how the DoD intends to carry out a short , sharp, limited, no-boots on the ground , military venture to set a permanent and enduring example to any wanna-be genocidal maniac mass murderer anywhere ...otherwise.

  I also think it's maybe the only way to prevent Assad from trying to turn this into a larger war by targeting Syrian refugee camps in neighboring countries, and probably the only viable way folks can get on with a "political process" with Assad no longer factoring in the equasion for a diplomatic solution to ultimately take shape.

 The only way this action forthcoming as described could ever be compared to Iraq is if we left Assad in power like we did Saddam back in 91...only to have to go back later at great expense to correct our initial mistake that we thought he'd learn a lesson and act accordingly.

  Well, that policy didn't work out very well, and if your going to do a job, get it done right the first time because having to go back to get it done right is what basicly upset me about why some folks say "Iraq was a mistake"...yeah it was, but not because of a lack of intelligence, rather from a lack of foresight....and we're going to be repeating history if we leave Assad in power after the dust settles.

  Lately I've been hearing statements from our leaders that sometimes seems to parallel (word for word in cases), what I've written about the premis for intervention, or as I refer to this as a process of "regime replacement therapy" on a case by case basis. Like they'd taken a page out of "The Cure for Political Stupidity and/or How Not To Go To War With America"  in arriving at a logical moral rationale for taking action to prevent a dictator from commiting genocide on his people..or using chemical weapons on anyone else. 

 I can't say I'm suprised it has come to this, nor even that the President has asked for Congressional support and authorization, nor that it has taken time for diplomacy to utterly exhaust itself with no way forward in UN fora on the security council.

 Though today it has been suggested that Mr. Putin accepts the notion that it's possible Assad's regime did the deed, he wants to be a "show me" kind of guy ...well ok then...maybe the President should reschedual that one on one bi-lat with him and have a heart to heart chat over the evidence, and who knows, he's on his way to the G-20 now, so I suppose anything is possible....even a citizen getting it right once in awhile.

 Thing is I hate being right most of the time.

 Best,

  EJ

Helainous M.
|
New York, USA
September 8, 2013
So Mr. President, Is There A ‘Red Line’ Or Not? September 4, 2013 by Sam Rolley President Barack Obama said recently that the alleged use of chemical weapons in Syria makes it necessary for Congress, the United States and the world to decide if Bashar al-Assad has crossed the “red line” that merits an attack. “I didn’t set a red line,” Obama said during a news conference in Stockholm. “The world set a red line.” Making the case for Syrian war during a hearing before the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Kerry asked the panel to remind him, “What was the date when the president drew the red line publicly?”

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