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Obama buys time, makes his Syria pitch

Posted September 11, 2013

— As President Barack Obama made his case for military action in Syria on Tuesday night, he could take comfort that diplomacy may still offer the United States a face-saving out.

Last week, when he scheduled Tuesday's national address, few aides believed it would be the pivotal moment they needed to change public opinion and prompt Congress to grant him authority to use military force against Syria. Americans were weary of war and suspicious of any reason to take up arms once again in a faraway land.

"It was clear that the president didn't have the support of Congress or the support of the American people," said NC Rep. George Holding (R-13th).

NC delegation remains skeptical of Syria solution NC delegation remains skeptical of Syria solution

On Tuesday, Obama still made a case for striking at the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad, invoking the image of hundreds gassed by chemical weapons on Aug. 21 in the outskirts of Damascus and the anguish of a father "clutching his dead children, imploring them to get up and walk." Obama still laid the blame on Assad, making the case he has been making for two weeks that the regime was responsible for launching sarin gas that killed more than 1,400, including more than 400 children.

Assad has blamed the attack on opposition forces and struck a confrontational pose against the United States.

But the tenuous diplomatic path that Russian President Vladimir Putin appears to have opened to secure Syria's chemical weapons bought time and eased the pressure on both Congress and Obama to act.

Democrat David Price (NC-4th) said that doesn't mean the crisis is over. "There's no reason for Congress to act right now, but there well may be," he said. 

Among the members of the North Carolina delegation, the line is blurred. Representatives are united in their concern over chemical weapons and share a reserved hope for a diplomatic solution.

Price said, "My reading of my colleagues on both sides of the aisle around here is there's a fervent hope that diplomatic efforts will succeed, and the main point of course is to lift this threat of chemical weapons."

For Republican Holding, a delay could hurt Obama's credibility. "I think it's unfortunate that the president has had the vacillating foreign policy," he said.

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  • Bill Brasky Sep 11, 2013

    "Personally, I side with a majority of Americans and believe we should do nothing without more international support. Bush had lots of it."

    See MEP we agree. So far the US just this week, and this was before the compromise, has 33 countries that are willing to support military strikes against Syria through the UN.

    "Obama did NOTHING to start negotiations with Syria"

    You have to admit that Kerry's comment did trigger Russia to convince Syria to give up their weapons program. Why do you think Russia cares so much about Syria? Could it be the 100s of millions they have invested in that country or the fact the Russian Navy uses Syrian ports in order to have a Mediteranean Port? Russia can't afford to lose Syria, and thats why they are trying so hard to broker peace.

    MEP, you are a great commentor, and sometimes I agree with you, such as the waiting for UN approval. I just don't agree with the constant Obama bashing. Same way I didn't agree with the constant Bush bashing.

  • SARCASTICLES Sep 11, 2013

    "It must be terrible to be so stubborn that you still feel required to to defend the worst president in modern times. I would hate to have to be in your shoes."

    What? I didn't support George Bush, YOU did.

    There.....I fixed that for you.

  • yankee1 Sep 11, 2013

    Yeah, I actually agree with you on that one. Obama does need sane America's support......it'll counteract all the flag-waving seditious traitors in our midst who hate Obama more than they love America. There's a name for people like that, but this is a family website....SARCASTICLES

    It's called Presidential incompetence! is that subject to censorship?

  • Bill Brasky Sep 11, 2013

    "Talk about siding with the enemy, Barrack wants us to side with Al Qaeda, right, they are not his enemy, right? He wants us to get into the middle of a civil war where both sides hate us, how intelligent is that?"

    Thats not true, if he wanted to side with Al Qaeida he would of put troops on the ground and helped the Rebels with possible ties to Al Qaeida. What the president is doing is punishing the use of chemical weapons...say it with me "Punishing the use of chemical weapons" can I be any clearer?

  • yankee1 Sep 11, 2013

    I will say the president slipped when he denied it was his red line, he should of said it was his and an international red line.... Bill Brasky

    Slipped? He is simply a pathological liar and narcissist who tries to avoid responsibility for anything negative and take credit for anything he perceives to be positive. And apparently you have bought into all of it! ROFLMAO!

  • Gary_too Sep 11, 2013

    American Foreign Policy is in free-fall and Obama can't find the ripcord, what a disaster!

  • SARCASTICLES Sep 11, 2013

    Yeah, I actually agree with you on that one. Obama does need sane America's support......it'll counteract all the flag-waving seditious traitors in our midst who hate Obama more than they love America. There's a name for people like that, but this is a family website.

  • scvmcdoc Sep 11, 2013

    Obama is a usless man and continues to degrade our country and it's standing in the world. This latest one takes the cake. Thanks to all of the fools who elected and re-elected him.

  • Bill Brasky Sep 11, 2013

    "The fact is, the time to act was 2 years and 100,000 dead Syrians ago. Now we must look to the Russians for a solution to the latest Obama red line event. The man got himself into it, Putin got him a way out. My Obama: Worst President Ever bumper sticker may never go out of style. LOL"

    Come on MEP...The red line comment was in regards to the Geneva convention and the outlawing of chemical weapons. I will say the president slipped when he denied it was his red line, he should of said it was his and an international red line.

    I also don't believe you would of supported anything two years ago, if you don't support a military option now after Assad killed 100k citizens, and then gassed his citizens, why would you of support attacking him before he used chemical weapons. Does the use of chemical weapons make it ok not to attack him?

  • Gary_too Sep 11, 2013

    And now they don't like him because he helped negotiate a compromise....I still find it interesting that these same commentors never gave any ideas of their own, they just hate anything the president does....Is this the new America, side with the enemy?
    Bill Brasky

    Talk about siding with the enemy, Barrack wants us to side with Al Qaeda, right, they are not his enemy, right? He wants us to get into the middle of a civil war where both sides hate us, how intelligent is that?

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