“Does Obama want to attack Syria or not?”


THE WASHINGTON POST

By Eugene Robinson, Opinion Writer

 

The Obama administration keeps undermining its own case for a punitive strike in Syria. If the president wants permission from Congress and support from the American people, he and his aides had better get their story straight.

The “messaging,” to use an unfortunate Washington term, has been confusing, contradictory and halfhearted. The nation simply will not approve going to war if its leaders cannot coherently explain what they want to do, how they plan to do it and why.

Secretary of State John Kerry threw mud into turbid waters Monday when he said the attack would be an “unbelievably small, limited kind of effort.” This punch line came at the end of a string of similar assurances: no “troops on the ground,” nothing “prolonged,” merely a “very targeted, short-term” affair.

But if the attack is designed to be so limited, why bother? Why not just send a special envoy to give Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad a stern talking-to, followed perhaps by a reassuring hug?

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Russia tries to go around Obama and influence our Congress


RUSSIA OBAMA

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CNN

First on CNN: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has turned down a Russian request to meet to discuss Syria, his office says, making it unclear if any U.S. lawmakers will sit down with a planned delegation from Moscow.
This comes less than a day after House Speaker John Boehner rejected a similar request from the Russian government.
A spokesman for the Russian embassy would not comment on the declined requests. “We are still working on the visit,” Maxim Abramov said.
Click here to read the full story.
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CHRIS MATTHEWS ASKS IF SYRIA WILL BE ONE STRIKE ONLY


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CHRIS HAYES’ TAKE ON SYRIAN CRISIS


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THIS JUST IN . . .


Saudi Arabia called Sunday for international action in Syria.

“The Syrian regime has crossed all the lines with its tyranny. … It’s time for us to ask International community to carry its responsibility and put an end to this tragedy that is entering its third year,” Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal said at a meeting of Arab League foreign ministers in Cairo.

“The Syrian regime has lost its legitimacy within the Arab world and internationally,” he said.

The Saudi stance came as the Obama administration pushed forward Sunday on a new path toward military action in Syria, urging Congress to support the president’s call.

Announcing that evidence collected independently of a United Nations probe shows Syria used sarin gas in an attack on its people, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said the United States has to act.

“If you don’t do it, you send a message of impunity,” he said in an interview with CNN’s “State of the Unio n.” Read the story here.

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BREAKING NEWS . . .


President Obama will address the situation in Syria from the White House at 1:15 p.m. today. Get complete coverage of breaking news on CNN TV, CNN.com and CNN Mobile.
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“Kerry accuses Syria of using chemical agents; US preparing to release evidence” 1


NBC NEWS

By Catherine Chomiak and M. Alex Johnson, NBC News

Secretary of State John Kerry on Monday accused Syria of using chemical weapons against its people, and U.S. officials told NBC News that they would release intelligence evidence to prepare the public for a possible military response.

President Barack Obama hasn’t made any decision on whether wage strikes against the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad, White House press secretary Jay Carney told reporters Monday. But other U.S. officials told NBC News that the administration could begin laying the groundwork by disclosing the evidence as early as Tuesday.

The officials said an attack isn’t imminent, because it will take time to make all the information public, and preparations must be coordinated with allies including Britain, France and Turkey. The U.S. is also unlikely to attack while a U.N. weapons team remains in Syria — and it isn’t scheduled to leave until Sunday.

The officials reiterated that any military action would be limited and not targeted at Assad because its goal would be to respond to the use of chemical weapons. Targets would be command and control bunkers, airfields and artillery.

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