Obama gains support for military intervention in Syria

09/03/13 Associated Press
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U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is warning that what he calls punitive action taken against Syria for an alleged chemical weapons attack last week could unleash more turmoil and bloodshed in that nation's civil war. Ban also cautioned nations such as the United States and France that may be considering such strikes that they are legal only in self-defense under the U.N. Charter or if approved by the U.N. Security Council.

President Barack Obama says he's confident he'll be able to work with Congress to pass a resolution authorizing military intervention in Syria. He said he's open to changes to his request for congressional authorization for strikes, as long as the resolution sends a clear message to Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad and hampers his ability to use chemical weapons.

Today’s meeting in the White House Cabinet room was attended by congressional leaders from both major parties in the House and Senate. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said he will back President Barack Obama's call to use military force against Syria. Cantor joined House Speaker John Boehner in supporting Obama, providing the president with key support among House Republican leaders.

The leader of House Democrats, Nancy Pelosi, says the public needs to hear more of the intelligence that led the Obama administration to conclude that Syrian President Assad killed hundreds of his people using chemical weapons.

At the Senate Foreign Relations Committee meeting, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, and Joint Chiefs Chair General Martin Dempsey and Secretary of State John Kerry made the administration’s case for a strike on Syria.

French President Francois Hollande said today that he's waiting for a decision from the U.S. Congress on possible military action in Syria and insists France won't strike against Assad's regime alone. The French parliament will debate the Syria issue tomorrow, but no vote is scheduled.

Additionally, Israel says it carried out a joint missile test with the U.S. in the Mediterranean Sea amid heightened tensions.

In Iran, a senior commander of the powerful Revolutionary Guards warns the United States attacking Syria would be a dangerous mistake because it would spread the spirit of jihad among Muslims and encourage animosity toward the West.

U.N. officials said Syria’s civil war has forced over 2 million people out of the country and over 4 million others are displaced within its borders.

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Punish Asad? If the president has a notion to go punishing war criminals, there's a whole parcel of homegrown war criminals he can get started with. Does "W" ring a bell? Oh, but then, the prosecution might reach even to a certain president who summarily executed American citizens without the benefit of due process. There is no shortage of hypocrisy around here. Time to remove the log from one's own eye.