Originally published on Thu September 5, 2013 5:59 am
This won't be a standard party-line vote. Big factions within both parties remain skeptical about President Obama's plans to launch punitive airstrikes against Syria.
If the vote were held today, it might not pass. Obama and his allies — including top House leaders of both parties — have a big selling job yet to do to persuade a majority of members to authorize military action.
Originally published on Wed September 4, 2013 11:08 am
Although he says he did not ask Congress to authorize the use of force against Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime "as a symbolic gesture," President Obama reiterated Wednesday that "I always reserve the right and responsibility to act on behalf of America's national security."
By "taking out Bashar Assad's delivery capabilities of chemical weapons" the U.S. can make it much harder for the Syrian leader to wage war against his people and perhaps level the fighting field or turn it in favor of Assad's opponents, Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona said Tuesday on Morning Edition.
Originally published on Sun September 1, 2013 3:46 pm
Secretary of State John Kerry says that tests have shown evidence of Syria's use of the chemical agent sarin in an attack on the opposition last month that the White House has blamed on the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.
"I can share with you today that blood and hair samples that have come to us through an appropriate chain of custody from East Damascus, from first responders, it has tested positive for signatures of sarin," Kerry told CNN on Sunday.
As President Obama and Congress decide how to respond to the use of chemical weapons in Syria, Joshua Landis outlines some of the implications for both the United States and the Middle East.
Later, a conversation with Chad and Tara Jordan of Cornerstone International. The siblings and Oklahoma native founded the consulting firms to teach businesses and non-profits how to provide humanitarian aid more efficiently.
President Barack Obama says he hasn't made a final decision about a military strike against Syria. But he says he's considering a limited and narrow action in response to a chemical weapons attack that he says Syria'sgovernment carried out last week.
“We don't know how hard they're going to hit [President Bashar] Assad, but clearly they're going to hit Assad,” says Joshua Landis, a leading Syria watcher and the director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma. “What Obama articulated very clearly is that we can hit him hard enough to dissuade him from using chemical weapons again. So it's worth it to try to extend that and punish Assad and make him think twice about using again.”
Obama says that attack was a challenge to the world and threatens U.S. national security.
Though Great Britain won't be joining in any military action aimed at Syria, it appears the White House is determined to go ahead — most likely within the next few days and most likely with missile strikes.
We'll be following the news throughout the day and over the weekend. As Friday dawns, here's where things stand:
Congress is in recess until September 9th, but lawmakers are calling for congressional involvement to any U.S. response to Syria’s use of chemical weapons against civilians last week.
This evening, U.S. House and Senate leaders will get a briefing from the White House. President Obama has said he is certain that the chemical weapon attack was initiated by Syria’s President Bashar Assad.
From 'Morning Edition': Alastair Crooke on the crisis in Syria
Some of the latest developments related to the crisis in Syria and the increasing likelihood that the U.S. and its allies will soon launch missile strikes on targets there in response to last week's alleged use of chemical weapons by the regime of President Bashar Assad: