Obama makes the right choice and will present his case on Syria to the whole Congress for a vote

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 31-08-2013-05-2008


President Obama decided to give Congress
 a say about whether this will happen.

President Obama reiterated the administration’s views Saturday that the Syrian government of Bashir al-Assad has engaged in chemical warfare, must be held accountable for it and that the United States is prepared to strike militarily in that regard. But in an unexpected move, he said that Congress should debate the matter and vote on it, something both Republicans and 60 Democrats, including some of the most progressive in Congress, have been vigorously seeking this past week.

“Some things are more important than partisan differences or the politics of the moment,” the president said. “Today I’m asking Congress to send a message to the world that we are united as one nation.”

Obama’s remarks came as senior administration officials were making a fresh round of calls to congressional leaders on Saturday in an effort to bolster support for a potential military strike on Syria, officials said.

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, were among the administration officials expected to speak to key members of Congress on Saturday afternoon, amid signs that the White House is close to ordering an attack on Syria to admonish it for its alleged use of chemical weapons last week.

“We’re continuing to weigh our options,” a senior U.S. official said. “We’re confident in our analysis that the United States and our allies can handle any contingencies that come as a result of military action should it be chosen by the president.”

The president made clear, as Secretary of State John Kerry has twice done in the past week, that the administration believes action must be taken against Syria. But what seemed to be the run-up to an imminent is now put off for more than a week. Congress is not slated to return to Washington until Sept. 9.

Obama also carefully made a point of saying that he believes he has the authority to take action without a vote of Congress.

Meanwhile, the team of U.N. inspectors who were sent to Syria to investigate the impact of what almost everyone agrees was a massive and lethal chemical attack outside Damascus on Aug. 21 has returned to The Netherlands. The team’s job was not to determine who launched the attack.

“It needs time to be able to analyze the information and the samples,” U.N. spokesman Martin] Nesirky said. He noted that Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has said there is no alternative to a political solution to the crisis in Syria. “A military solution is not an option,” he said.

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