Obama tries to persuade skeptics on military action in Syria
by Jim Kuhnhenn, Associated Press
September 03, 2013 12:14 AM | 910 views | 2 2 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama worked on Monday to persuade skeptical lawmakers to endorse a U.S. military intervention in civil war-wracked Syria, winning conditional support from two leading Senate foreign policy hawks even as he encountered resistance from members of his own party after two days of a determined push to sell the plan.

Sens. John McCain of Arizona and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina said Obama still needs to make a strong case for attacking the regime of President Bashar Assad, but they toned down past criticism that the president’s plan was too weak to change the course of the fighting in Syria in favor of the opposition.

“We have to make it clear that a vote against this would be catastrophic in its consequences,” now and in future international crises, McCain told reporters outside the White House following an hour-long private meeting that he and Graham had with Obama and White House national security adviser Susan Rice.

But the outcome of any vote remained in doubt amid continued skepticism in a war-weary Congress. Several Democrats in a conference call with administration officials pushed back against military action, questioning both the intelligence about a chemical attack last month outside Damascus and the value of an intervention to United States interests, according to aides on the call. Others demanded narrower authorization than that requested by the administration.

“The White House has put forward a proposed bill authorizing the use of force that, as drafted, is far too broad and open ended, and could be used to justify everything from a limited cruise missile strike to a no fly zone and the introduction of American ground troops,” said Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), a member of the House intelligence committee.

Obama has insisted that he will not send troops into Syria and that he was considering a military operation that was limited in duration and scope. The White House said Monday that Obama was open to working with Congress to make changes to the language of the resolution.

In a post on his website, Democratic Rep. Rick Nolan of Minnesota reflected a view shared by others: “I want you to know that I am vehemently opposed to a military strike that would clearly be an act of war against Syria, especially under such tragic yet confusing circumstances as to who is responsible for the use of chemical weapons.”

After changing course and deciding to seek congressional approval for military action, Obama is confronted with one of his most difficult foreign policy tests and faces a Congress divided over an unavoidably tough vote-of-conscience on overseas conflict rather than the more customary partisan fights over domestic policy.

Following months of rejecting direct intervention in Syria, Obama and his aides now want to strike at the Assad regime in response to a reported chemical attack.

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anonymous
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September 04, 2013
Bro Ranger rides again with the Republicans acting as Tonto remember Obama called George Bush the Lone Ranger now we had Bro Ranger!! How many in Israel will die for Obamas big mouth we could let the brave European coalition led the way and we support in the back ground.
FROM TEXAS
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September 03, 2013
Big union crony works on Labor Day golfs off all weekend when he should have been working. Lady Boy Obama is the biggest laughing stock in the world. Now the Middle East dictators can hold Israel hostage controlled by the same puppet masters in Iran. Which red line was crossed and how many times this guy makes Jimmy Carter look strong. He has single handily taken the U. S. to the lowest level on the world stage in just a few years. Now he begging the Republicans to save face in front of the world and wastes a few hundred million dollars for the hell of it. “Welcome back 1979” I Czar needs the military after all!
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