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Obama Answers Call to Speak Directly on Syria with Kerry as Proxy

Boehner: "The president has an obligation to the American people to explain the rationale for the course of action he chooses."

by
Bridget Johnson

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August 26, 2013 - 6:26 pm
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WASHINGTON — Backed up against a wall after nudging the Syrian red line as far as he could reasonably push it, President Obama responded to calls to make a case for action against the Assad regime by today sending out Secretary of State John Kerry.

That Kerry’s message was the main administration narrative was underscored by a weak press conference at the White House after the State Department statement, where Kerry took no questions from the media.

White House press secretary Jay Carney bumped the time of his Q&A with reporters, which was added to the schedule this morning, to allow time for Kerry to be well finished with his address.

“What we saw in Syria last week should shock the conscience of the world. It defies any code of morality. Let me be clear: The indiscriminate slaughter of civilians, the killing of women and children and innocent bystanders by chemical weapons is a moral obscenity. By any standard, it is inexcusable and — despite the excuses and equivocations that some have manufactured — it is undeniable,” Kerry said.

“There is a reason why President Obama has made clear to the Assad regime that this international norm cannot be violated without consequences,” he continued. “And there is a reason why, no matter what you believe about Syria, all peoples and all nations who believe in the cause of our common humanity must stand up to assure that there is accountability for the use of chemical weapons so that it never happens again.”

Kerry added that “while investigators are gathering additional evidence on the ground, our understanding of what has already happened in Syria is grounded in facts, informed by conscience, and guided by common sense.”

“We have additional information about this attack, and that information is being compiled and reviewed together with our partners, and we will provide that information in the days ahead,” he said. “Our sense of basic humanity is offended not only by this cowardly crime, but also by the cynical attempt to cover it up.”

Speaking more like a politician than a secretary of State, and reading from script rather than rambling on the usual off-the-cuff Kerry-esqe tangents, he promised Obama “will be making an informed decision about how to respond to this indiscriminate use of chemical weapons.”

“But make no mistake: President Obama believes there must be accountability for those who would use the world’s most heinous weapons against the world’s most vulnerable people. Nothing today is more serious, and nothing is receiving more serious scrutiny,” Kerry said.

In halting responses at the daily briefing, Carney repeatedly referred to Wednesday’s chemical weapons attack as a “clear violation of an international norm.”

“And it is profoundly in the interest of the United States and of the international community that that violation of an international norm be responded to,” he said.

“This violation has to be taken very seriously. And the president is consulting with his national security team. The international community — rather the intelligence community — is further assessing and evaluating what happened and we’ll be able to share with you an assessment of the IC in the coming days about the use of chemical weapons on August 21,” Carney added. “And the president will continue to consult and review his options in terms of responding to it.”

Congressional leaders closely watching the administration’s sudden resolve unfold after more than two years of bloodshed under Bashar al-Assad appeared irritated that Obama had picked a proxy to deliver a message believed to be the precursor to surgical strikes on the Syrian regime.

“The eyes of the world are on the United States this week. The Syrian regime has blatantly crossed President Obama’s red line, the White House has acknowledged, by using chemical weapons on its people. The president’s response stands to have significant impact on the outcome of the lengthy Syrian civil war. The options facing the president are complicated, have far-reaching ramifications, and may require significant resources,” said House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio). “That’s why, if he chooses to act, the president must explain his decision publicly, clearly, and resolutely.”

“The president is commander-in-chief. With that power comes obligations. One, of course, is to consult with Congress on the options he sees as a viable response. This consultation has not yet taken place, but it is an essential part of the process. And meaningful consultation should happen before any military action is taken,” Boehner continued.

Kerry said today “the administration is actively consulting with members of Congress, and we will continue to have these conversations in the days ahead.”

“More than just to Congress, the president has an obligation to the American people to explain the rationale for the course of action he chooses; why it’s critical to our national security; and what the broader strategy is to achieve stability,” said Boehner.

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Top Rated Comments   
"The Syrian regime has blatantly crossed President Obama’s red line"? Since when do we draw the lines Syria has to toe? Blatantly disobeying Obama -- that's now an international crime?

What the Syrian government does internally -- even gassing protestors -- is not our business. We can't enforce morality and civility world-wide.

And we don't want Obama going to war, on his own say-so, whenever he feels like it, as if he were Hitler or Mussolini or some other autocrat.


47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (13)
All Comments   (13)
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US aircrews have a history of putting pointed messages on the bombs that were to be dropped on various enemies. Perhaps tomorrow's messages for Assad could read: This is for Trayvon; Assad - Reform This!; Don't Call My Bluff; ObamaCare doesn't cover this; We'll drop Hillary the next time; Red lines are more than Obama's promises; From one Bro to another; Sunni or later I'll get you; Sharianara; and Obombs away.

Appears that the WMD that Obama, Gore and Dems accused Bush of lying about are now the excuse for acts of war against Syria.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
IF ASSAD IS BEING WRONGFULLY BLAMED FOR GASSING HIS PEOPLE AFTER KILLING THEM EN MASSE SO MUCH THE BETTER.

His fall will be a mighty blow to Iran and Hezbollah-the two worst actors in the region followed by their Sunni counterparts. I pray that Obama (following Bush and Blair) does a Saddam on Assad and brings down his regime even if it means the Brotherhood replacing him-the lesser of two evils (but not for Syrian Christians, Alowites and women). And if the venture goes awry Obama will be blamed, with the left tearing him apart like vicious wolves branding him George Bush and Cheney II. What a spectacle that would be. And what a boon for Conservatives and the GOP.

http://apollospaeks.blogtownhall.com/
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
Kerry is not a golfer and has a more flexible schedule than Obama, so it only natural that he is the official talking head; and his gravely basso delivery is more impressive than Obama's whiney speech pattern.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
Not forcefully acting by doing everything necessary to neutralize the use of chemical weapons against a defenseless population is to legitimize the their use. Their use by the Syrians has become frequent and more intensive leading to the current massacre. If we do nothing it would be a moral travesty. Selective bombing to prevent massive attacks on civilians could have changed the course of history. What if we had bombed the railroad tracks to Auschwitz. Bill Clinton's biggest regret was not intervening in Rwanda and not preventing the massacres that occurred there. Taking out these chemical weapons will send a clear message to the world."never again."
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
"The Syrian regime has blatantly crossed President Obama’s red line"? Since when do we draw the lines Syria has to toe? Blatantly disobeying Obama -- that's now an international crime?

What the Syrian government does internally -- even gassing protestors -- is not our business. We can't enforce morality and civility world-wide.

And we don't want Obama going to war, on his own say-so, whenever he feels like it, as if he were Hitler or Mussolini or some other autocrat.


47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
Now, America is officially the bad guy in the situation. If this continues to spiral out of control, this is WWIII, and we started it...because someone else held a civil war and we weren't invited.

The only way to stop it is to grab our guns, march on D.C. and perform citizen's arrests on politicians and bureaucrats who support this war, which will kick off our own civil war while the world war begins. Just...great. We're all out of options, here. ...and we're almost outta time.

47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
It's not Syria we should do anything about, and it is not Afghanistan we should nation build. It's Mexico.

I'm sorry, I am thinking like a Nationalist. If I was a UN puke blue wearing fool supporting the Muslim Brotherhood, and their hold on region 4 of the WTO, I would attack Syria.

47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
So its ok to kill civilians with guns bombs or machetes - any way you chose to - just don't gas them?

I've always thought of this as a conundrum.

Dead is dead...
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
Kerry: We have just watched a shocking, inmoral slaughter of civilians in Syria. Now we have to respond with some moral slaughter of civilians.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
This demented clown, Clown Kerry, is from the same demented clown show that told us, and repeatedly, and in no uncertain terms, Benghazi was caused by an obscure video. Who can any longer believe anything they say?
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
Firstly, for anyone to expect the POTUS to notify Congress (as he is mandated to) of any war plans, well, keep smoking your dope. He entered Libya under the illegal cover of R2P, and without entering Libya Syria would not be blowing up - literally.

So, once one recognizes that a rogue regime is leading in Washington, the next question is: is there an American interest to enter Syria? Well, if one understands that Syria is a 100% puppet of Iran, and if one recognizes that showing Iran that 'red lines' are not just color codes, surely it is intrinsic to demonstrate that the world's worst weapons can NEVER be in the hands of terror leaders without them having to pay a terrible price!

Make NO mistake. Syria's use of chemical weapons - whether by the so called 'rebels', mostly, Al Qaeda and Brotherhood terrorists, or by Assad's goons - the Iranian mullahs are watching if America is really a paper tiger. Inaction will assure that Iran not only use their chemical arsenals, but nukes too!

In any case, what's in a 'red line'? - http://adinakutnicki.com/2012/12/28/where-has-netanyahus-red-line-gone-barack-hussein-obamas-promises-too-commentary-by-adina-kutnicki/

Adina Kutnicki, Israel http://adinakutnicki.com/about/
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
And if we jump into Syria on the side of the "rebels" that will confirm to the whole world that we are morons.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
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