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by
Bridget Johnson

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September 3, 2013 - 8:11 am

President Obama said before a briefing with members of Congress this morning that he’s prepared to rewrite his draft authorization on the use of force in Syria depending on feedback from lawmakers.

“Congress as a whole is taking this issue with the soberness and seriousness that it deserves, is greatly appreciated and I think vindicates the decision for us to present this issue to Congress,” Obama said. “As I’ve said last week, as Secretary Kerry made clear in his presentation last week, we have high confidence that Syria used, in an indiscriminate fashion, chemical weapons that killed thousands of people, including over 400 children, and in direct violation of the international norm against using chemical weapons.  That poses a serious national security threat to the United States and to the region, and as a consequence, Assad and Syria needs to be held accountable.”

The president called this week’s flurry of briefings and hearings before Congress returns next week “an opportunity not only to present the evidence to all of the leading members of Congress and their various foreign policy committees as to why we have high confidence that chemical weapons were used and that Assad used them, but it also gives us an opportunity to discuss why it’s so important that he be held to account.”

Obama sent his draft resolution to congressional leaders Saturday night; some members quickly complained that it was too broad.

He reiterated today that he wants “a prompt vote.”

“This is a limited, proportional step that will send a clear message not only to the Assad regime, but also to other countries that may be interested in testing some of these international norms, that there are consequences.  It gives us the ability to degrade Assad’s capabilities when it comes to chemical weapons.  It also fits into a broader strategy that we have to make sure that we can bring about over time the kind of strengthening of the opposition and the diplomatic and economic and political pressure required so that ultimately we have a transition that can bring peace and stability not only to Syria but to the region,” Obama said.

“So I look forward to listening to the various concerns of the members who are here today.  I am confident that those concerns can be addressed.  I think it is appropriate that we act deliberately, but I also think everybody recognizes the urgency here and that we’re going to have to move relatively quickly.”

When asked whether he was prepared to rewrite his resolution, the president said he “would not be going to Congress if I wasn’t serious about consultations, and believing that by shaping the authorization to make sure we accomplish the mission we will be more effective.”

“And so long as we are accomplishing what needs to be accomplished, which is to send a clear message to Assad degrading his capabilities to use chemical weapons, not just now but also in the future as long as the authorization allows us to do that, I’m confident that we’re going to be able to come up with something that hits that mark.”

Asked if he was confident of winning the vote, Obama simply said, “I am.”

Bridget Johnson is a veteran journalist whose news articles and opinion columns have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe. Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor at The Hill, where she wrote The World from The Hill column on foreign policy. Previously she was an opinion writer and editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. She is an NPR contributor and has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, Politico and more, and has myriad television and radio credits as a commentator. Bridget is Washington Editor for PJ Media.

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All Comments   (13)
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til I looked at the receipt for $5147, I accept that...my... neighbour woz like actualey taking home money in there spare time on-line.. there uncles cousin has been doing this for less than a year and just repaid the dept on their cottage and bought a brand new audi. her explanation >>>>http://www.wep6.com
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1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
And here we have it; the exact same MO as Libya and Egypt,
" It also fits into a broader strategy that we have to make sure that we can bring about over time the kind of strengthening of the opposition and the diplomatic and economic and political pressure required so that ultimately we have a transition that can bring peace and stability not only to Syria but to the region,” Obama said."
"Strengthening of the opposition" - that would be the Muslim Brotherhood.
Does anyone bother asking this bozo WHO EXACTLY he's talking about in the very very loose term, "opposition"? Obama just addressed the ISNA conference and again voiced his support for the Muslim Brotherhood in that address. THIS IS WHAT BOTHERS ME - will he renounce Islam and embrace Israel???????
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
my classmate's step-sister makes $84/h hourly on the internet. She has been out of a job for 6 months but last month her pay was $20791 just working on the internet for a few hours. Read more on this site...

http://www.Rush60.com
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Geez! Obama like all post-Vietnam Democrats is dumber than a box of rocks when it comes to the use of military force. We should be encouraged by his confidence why?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I wonder what the NSA has on Old Yellowstain and his butt-bandit Cantor? They will march lock-step with the dems no matter what; they are so damn stoooopid. Dear Leader wants congress in the game for cover and the republicans are falling for it....dumbasses. How bad can it get? I guess we're about to find out.

Remember BENGHAZI!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The United States has no vital interests at stake in Syria.

If the HOR passes a resolution authorizing the president, then Boehner needs to lose his position as speaker.

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Put the rebels in power so that they can burn our embassies and murder the ambassadors and their staff
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Congress should vote against attacking Syria. Hopefully Obama would be embarrassed enough that he'd resign. I know Biden would move up but at least he isn't as stupid as Obama.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"at least he isn't as stupid as Obama". You're right, Biden isn't as stupid he's even more stupid but that goes in his favor. He's a blithering idiot now, just think how bad he'll be after a short time in the hot seat. It shouldn't take much effort at all to get him thrown out of office. Then let's see, who's next in line? Oh, that's right, then Boehner would be tapped for the job. Hmmm, wonder if he would cry over every decision he had to make? For that matter, I wonder if he would be able to make a decision? We do live in interesting times now a days.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Dear Barry,

What is the plan? What “end state” do you hope to bring about with this strike? You do not “send a message” with the military, you take territory, you support a ground offensive, you destroy assets etc. I am not opposed to a strike in a blanket way, if the strike will achieve objectives vital to the US national interest. I just don’t know what those interests are. You have not articulated what those interests are or how an air strike will achieve them.

It SOUNDS like you are planning a strike to save face for you personally. Someone called your ill-conceived bluff, now you have to hit him. If this is the case, then I ask you to re-consider. Please do not put the US national interest at risk, risk our allies and risk destabilizing the entire region because some punk double dog dared you to.

If you cannot define how this strike will improve the situation from the perspective of the American people, then walk away. Please.

The American People
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Cost to deploy the Truman strike group approximately $300 million in operations and maintenance costs (food, fuel, spare parts, and forward deployment/combat pay),

Tomahawk cruise missiles to $1.45 million

U. S. National Debt Is $16.8 Trillion!
Crude Oil (WTI)USD/bbl.108 up $5 this weekend.

When you are paying $10 a gallon for gas, thank these war mongers.

Lies about being Fiscal Responsible… Priceless.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Yes, you are right, but what bothers me even more is the immense suffering that the US is causing on the Syrian ground. Saudi Arabia is also very deep into this horror show.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The Syrian Christian Church, still known by the name Antioch where it started in about 40 A.D., is against our taking action:

http://antiochian.org/metropolitan-philip-urges-faithful-contact-congress
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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