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Text of Obama’s statement on Syria
WHEC-TV ^ | 8/31/2013 | President Barack Obama

Posted on 08/31/2013 1:50:26 PM PDT by mdittmar

Edited on 08/31/2013 3:13:23 PM PDT by Admin Moderator. [history]

Text of President Barack Obama’s statement Saturday on Syria, as provided by the White House:

___

Good afternoon, everybody. Ten days ago, the world watched in horror as men, women and children were massacred in Syria in the worst chemical weapons attack of the 21st century. Yesterday the United States presented a powerful case that the Syrian government was responsible for this attack on its own people.

Our intelligence shows the Assad regime and its forces preparing to use chemical weapons, launching rockets in the highly populated suburbs of Damascus, and acknowledging that a chemical weapons attack took place. And all of this corroborates what the world can plainly see _ hospitals overflowing with victims; terrible images of the dead. All told, well over 1,000 people were murdered. Several hundred of them were children _ young girls and boys gassed to death by their own government.

This attack is an assault on human dignity. It also presents a serious danger to our national security. It risks making a mockery of the global prohibition on the use of chemical weapons. It endangers our friends and our partners along Syria’s borders, including Israel, Jordan, Turkey, Lebanon and Iraq. It could lead to escalating use of chemical weapons, or their proliferation to terrorist groups who would do our people harm.

In a world with many dangers, this menace must be confronted.

Now, after careful deliberation, I have decided that the United States should take military action against Syrian regime targets. This would not be an open-ended intervention. We would not put boots on the ground. Instead, our action would be designed to be limited in duration and scope. But I’m confident we can hold the Assad regime accountable for their use of chemical weapons, deter this kind of behavior, and degrade their capacity to carry it out.

Our military has positioned assets in the region. The chairman of the Joint Chiefs has informed me that we are prepared to strike whenever we choose. Moreover, the chairman has indicated to me that our capacity to execute this mission is not time-sensitive; it will be effective tomorrow, or next week, or one month from now. And I’m prepared to give that order.

But having made my decision as commander in chief based on what I am convinced is our national security interests, I’m also mindful that I’m the president of the world’s oldest constitutional democracy. I’ve long believed that our power is rooted not just in our military might, but in our example as a government of the people, by the people, and for the people. And that’s why I’ve made a second decision: I will seek authorization for the use of force from the American people’s representatives in Congress.

Over the last several days, we’ve heard from members of Congress who want their voices to be heard. I absolutely agree. So this morning, I spoke with all four congressional leaders, and they’ve agreed to schedule a debate and then a vote as soon as Congress comes back into session.

In the coming days, my administration stands ready to provide every member with the information they need to understand what happened in Syria and why it has such profound implications for America’s national security. And all of us should be accountable as we move forward, and that can only be accomplished with a vote.

I’m confident in the case our government has made without waiting for U.N. inspectors. I’m comfortable going forward without the approval of a United Nations Security Council that, so far, has been completely paralyzed and unwilling to hold Assad accountable. As a consequence, many people have advised against taking this decision to Congress, and undoubtedly, they were impacted by what we saw happen in the United Kingdom this week when the Parliament of our closest ally failed to pass a resolution with a similar goal, even as the prime minister supported taking action.

Yet, while I believe I have the authority to carry out this military action without specific congressional authorization, I know that the country will be stronger if we take this course, and our actions will be even more effective. We should have this debate, because the issues are too big for business as usual. And this morning, John Boehner, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi and Mitch McConnell agreed that this is the right thing to do for our democracy.

A country faces few decisions as grave as using military force, even when that force is limited. I respect the views of those who call for caution, particularly as our country emerges from a time of war that I was elected in part to end. But if we really do want to turn away from taking appropriate action in the face of such an unspeakable outrage, then we must acknowledge the costs of doing nothing.

Here’s my question for every member of Congress and every member of the global community: What message will we send if a dictator can gas hundreds of children to death in plain sight and pay no price? What’s the purpose of the international system that we’ve built if a prohibition on the use of chemical weapons that has been agreed to by the governments of 98 percent of the world’s people and approved overwhelmingly by the Congress of the United States is not enforced?

Make no mistake _ this has implications beyond chemical warfare. If we won’t enforce accountability in the face of this heinous act, what does it say about our resolve to stand up to others who flout fundamental international rules? To governments who would choose to build nuclear arms? To terrorist who would spread biological weapons? To armies who carry out genocide?

We cannot raise our children in a world where we will not follow through on the things we say, the accords we sign, the values that define us.

So just as I will take this case to Congress, I will also deliver this message to the world. While the U.N. investigation has some time to report on its findings, we will insist that an atrocity committed with chemical weapons is not simply investigated, it must be confronted.

I don’t expect every nation to agree with the decision we have made. Privately we’ve heard many expressions of support from our friends. But I will ask those who care about the writ of the international community to stand publicly behind our action.

And finally, let me say this to the American people: I know well that we are weary of war. We’ve ended one war in Iraq. We’re ending another in Afghanistan. And the American people have the good sense to know we cannot resolve the underlying conflict in Syria with our military. In that part of the world, there are ancient sectarian differences, and the hopes of the Arab Spring have unleashed forces of change that are going to take many years to resolve. And that’s why we’re not contemplating putting our troops in the middle of someone else’s war.

Instead, we’ll continue to support the Syrian people through our pressure on the Assad regime, our commitment to the opposition, our care for the displaced, and our pursuit of a political resolution that achieves a government that respects the dignity of its people.

But we are the United States of America, and we cannot and must not turn a blind eye to what happened in Damascus. Out of the ashes of world war, we built an international order and enforced the rules that gave it meaning. And we did so because we believe that the rights of individuals to live in peace and dignity depends on the responsibilities of nations. We aren’t perfect, but this nation more than any other has been willing to meet those responsibilities.

So to all members of Congress of both parties, I ask you to take this vote for our national security. I am looking forward to the debate. And in doing so, I ask you, members of Congress, to consider that some things are more important than partisan differences or the politics of the moment.

Ultimately, this is not about who occupies this office at any given time; it’s about who we are as a country. I believe that the people’s representatives must be invested in what America does abroad, and now is the time to show the world that America keeps our commitments. We do what we say. And we lead with the belief that right makes might _ not the other way around.

We all know there are no easy options. But I wasn’t elected to avoid hard decisions. And neither were the members of the House and the Senate. I’ve told you what I believe, that our security and our values demand that we cannot turn away from the massacre of countless civilians with chemical weapons. And our democracy is stronger when the President and the people’s representatives stand together.

I’m ready to act in the face of this outrage. Today I’m asking Congress to send a message to the world that we are ready to move forward together as one nation.

Thanks very much.


TOPICS: Breaking News; Foreign Affairs; Israel; News/Current Events; Russia; US: California; US: Kentucky; US: Nevada; US: Ohio; United Kingdom; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: bho44; bhomiddleeast; california; harryreid; impeachment; iran; israel; johnboehner; kentucky; lebanon; mitchmcconnell; nancypelosi; nevada; ohio; russia; speech; syria; transcript; unitedkingdom; waronterror
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"But having made my decision as commander in chief based on what I am convinced is our national security interests, I’m also mindful that I’m the president of the world’s oldest constitutional democracy."
1 posted on 08/31/2013 1:50:26 PM PDT by mdittmar
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To: mdittmar

Let me some it up

Present !!!


2 posted on 08/31/2013 1:51:58 PM PDT by al baby (Hi Mom)
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To: mdittmar

We are a Representative Republic he knows nothing of our Country


3 posted on 08/31/2013 1:52:43 PM PDT by al baby (Hi Mom)
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To: mdittmar
This is just another distraction .Its’ obama the pos trying to help Islamic radicals/terrorists take over Syria like Obama helped Islamic terrorists take over Lybia and Egypt.

Obama is pure evil that's why he helps communism and Islam.

4 posted on 08/31/2013 1:53:55 PM PDT by Democrat_media (IRS rigged election for Obama and democrats by shutting down tea party)
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To: mdittmar
This is what I love in our beloved leader.
Once he makes up his mind to do something, he might or might not do it.
Kinda reminds me of the famous Davy Crockett slogan,
“Be sure you are right.
Then go ahead”.

No. I guess not.

5 posted on 08/31/2013 1:55:22 PM PDT by Tupelo (There are no Republicans or Democrats in Washington. Just Millionaires protecting their turf.)
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To: mdittmar

6 posted on 08/31/2013 1:56:07 PM PDT by Hotlanta Mike ("Governing a great nation is like cooking a small fish - too much handling will spoil it." Lao Tzu)
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To: mdittmar

Are they going to start calling him The Great Decider over on HuffPo and MoveOn.org now?

I’ve never seen a President vote “Present” on military action before. Someone take that damned turtle off the post!


7 posted on 08/31/2013 2:00:20 PM PDT by Bryanw92 (Sic semper tyrannis)
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To: mdittmar

“We, we, we ... it’s about who we are as a country.”
Whaddya mean “we”? Zero, you. Don’t. Speak. For. Me.


8 posted on 08/31/2013 2:02:39 PM PDT by tumblindice (America's founding fathers: All armed conservatives.)
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To: mdittmar

...he’s the only “leader” I’ve ever heard give a warning before a warning shot. The only Administration to tell an enemy when, where, what, and why, we are going to do what he intends to do. Then delay, so the enemy’s resources can be moved so several billions can be wasted on missiles hitting nothing...sort of s shovel ready attack.


9 posted on 08/31/2013 2:03:17 PM PDT by Doogle (USAF.68-73..8th TFW Ubon Thailand..never store a threat you should have eliminated))
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To: mdittmar

Daniel 8


10 posted on 08/31/2013 2:04:02 PM PDT by EBH (Is Damascus on the Eve of Destruction? Isaiah 17)
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To: tumblindice

...he called the military “my military” yesterday


11 posted on 08/31/2013 2:04:09 PM PDT by Doogle (USAF.68-73..8th TFW Ubon Thailand..never store a threat you should have eliminated))
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To: mdittmar

Couldn’t watch it, won’t read it.

Thanks, anyway.


12 posted on 08/31/2013 2:06:57 PM PDT by ButThreeLeftsDo (Support Free Republic!!!)
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To: mdittmar
they’ve agreed to schedule a debate and then a vote as soon as Congress comes back into session

Which won't happen (back into session) until Sept 6 according to the US Senate schedule. I'm impressed! /s

13 posted on 08/31/2013 2:07:48 PM PDT by Former Fetus (Saved by grace through faith)
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To: Doogle

It certainly keeps Assad guessing. The speech itself was pretty well done, he must have a new writer.

Gives me time to stock up on gas and water so I’m actually good with it.


14 posted on 08/31/2013 2:11:33 PM PDT by TheRhinelander
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To: Doogle

He’s a fag.


15 posted on 08/31/2013 2:11:43 PM PDT by tumblindice (America's founding fathers: All armed conservatives.)
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To: Hotlanta Mike
Assad will probably say, "I've seen it already."


16 posted on 08/31/2013 2:12:16 PM PDT by WilliamofCarmichael (If modern America's Man on Horseback is out there, Get on the damn horse already!)
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To: mdittmar

Did he ask for Congressional input or approval before he used drones to kill American citizens? Why now for Syria?


17 posted on 08/31/2013 2:14:11 PM PDT by vox_freedom (America is being tested as never before in its history. May God help us.http://img849.imageshack.us/)
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To: mdittmar

He just passed the buck to congress!


18 posted on 08/31/2013 2:14:26 PM PDT by jacob allen
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To: mdittmar

Crisis in Syria? People who hate us are killing each other. One side aligned with Iran, the other with Al Qeda.


19 posted on 08/31/2013 2:14:37 PM PDT by umgud (2A can't survive dem majorities)
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To: mdittmar

Typical CYA. If Congress says yes and it turns into a fiasco he can say he had backing. If Congress says no and it turns into a fiasco the evil GOP has blood on their hands.


20 posted on 08/31/2013 2:15:57 PM PDT by Oshkalaboomboom
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To: mdittmar
I read as much of that "statement" as I could stand - the usual self-serving BS from the Kenyan-in-Chief. And he had the unmitigated gall to go from there to Fort Belvoir to play golf. That maggot should not be allowed on a U.S. Military base - he is flat out not worthy to shine the boots of any serving soldier, sailor, airman or Marine.



America demands Justice for the Fallen of Benghazi!

Genuflectimus non ad principem sed ad Principem Pacis!

Listen, O isles, unto me; and hearken, ye people, from far; The LORD hath called me from the womb; from the bowels of my mother hath he made mention of my name. (Isaiah 49:1 KJV)

21 posted on 08/31/2013 2:20:08 PM PDT by ConorMacNessa (HM/2 USN, 3/5 Marines RVN 1969 - St. Michael the Archangel defend us in Battle!)
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To: mdittmar
Behind the scenes.. the President reads his speech and adds what he wants.

"In a world with many dangers -- gassing citizens, stalking and killing young minority children, stupid white policemen -- every menace must be confronted.. uh?"

"No! No! Mr. President, this is not the place for that. This is about Syria only. Later."

"Oh darn. OK."

22 posted on 08/31/2013 2:22:40 PM PDT by WilliamofCarmichael (If modern America's Man on Horseback is out there, Get on the damn horse already!)
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To: mdittmar

"I’m confident in the case our government has made without waiting for U.N. inspectors..."

No, you haven't come close.

Seriously, what is the point of funding the U.N. if we are not even going to use them? I would tell him that either he waits for the U.N. inspectors to finish their report... or else, we're going to have to go ahead and defund them...

23 posted on 08/31/2013 2:23:17 PM PDT by Qbert ("The best defense against usurpatory government is an assertive citizenry" - William F. Buckley, Jr.)
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To: mdittmar

Obama found an out. He painted himself into a corner with his line in the sand, but now he knows the repercussions of military actions will spin out of control. Democrats in congress didn’t want to go anywhere near voting to support his intervention as it would demoralize their base for the ‘14 midterms, but they didn’t want to undermine him either.

So Obama will save face by allowing congress to “persuade” him to not to intervene militarily, following the Cameron precedent...and we end up just sending humanitarian aid through the UN. A nice tidy escape.


24 posted on 08/31/2013 2:24:29 PM PDT by runfree
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To: mdittmar

This is an easy decision for congress. Tell Obama he can’t attack Syria... but that we’ll make Syria adopt Obamacare. Then in a couple of years they’ll be bankrupt and not able to afford any more chemical weapons.


25 posted on 08/31/2013 2:26:07 PM PDT by kjam22 (my newest music video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l7gNI9bWO3s)
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To: mdittmar

Obama seeking political cover by asking for a Congressional vote on Syria intervention

http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2013/08/obama_seeking_political_cover_by_asking_for_a_congressional_vote_on_syria_intervention.html


26 posted on 08/31/2013 2:26:16 PM PDT by Hotlanta Mike ("Governing a great nation is like cooking a small fish - too much handling will spoil it." Lao Tzu)
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To: umgud
Crisis in Syria? People who hate us are killing each other. One side aligned with Iran, the other with Al Qeda.

Exactly. I don't see the downside.

27 posted on 08/31/2013 2:27:16 PM PDT by kjam22 (my newest music video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l7gNI9bWO3s)
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To: al baby
Representative Republic and democracy are interchangeable.

I know the way you are using Republic to contrast against a democracy, with democracy meaning one person one vote. But that's not the way the word democracy is normally used. Democracy is normally used to include a representative government elected by democratic means.

See Webster's definition #1

28 posted on 08/31/2013 2:35:54 PM PDT by DannyTN
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To: umgud
And the stinking rebels are burning Christian Churches and massacring Christians on a daily basis. But I guess that's okay with the Kenyan-in-Chief. And I guess the traitor John F'in Kerry doesn't regard that as a "moral obscenity."

There is a moral obscenity in this vignette - it's the anti-Christian, anti-life, and anti-American Obama Regime!



America demands Justice for the Fallen of Benghazi!

Genuflectimus non ad principem sed ad Principem Pacis!

Listen, O isles, unto me; and hearken, ye people, from far; The LORD hath called me from the womb; from the bowels of my mother hath he made mention of my name. (Isaiah 49:1 KJV)

29 posted on 08/31/2013 2:36:28 PM PDT by ConorMacNessa (HM/2 USN, 3/5 Marines RVN 1969 - St. Michael the Archangel defend us in Battle!)
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To: jacob allen
He just passed the buck to congress!

As he must according to both htge Constitution and the War Powers Act.

And Congress should say "NO WAY!"

30 posted on 08/31/2013 2:40:37 PM PDT by newberger (Put not your trust in princes, in sons of men in whom there is no salvation.)
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To: runfree
The president has the military on "wag the dog standby"...

Our military has positioned assets in the region. The chairman of the Joint Chiefs has informed me that we are prepared to strike whenever we choose. Moreover, the chairman has indicated to me that our capacity to execute this mission is not time-sensitive; it will be effective tomorrow, or next week, or one month from now. And I’m prepared to give that order.

He is doing this because within the next few weeks we will see markets collapse...he knows the artificial money pumping has come to an end world wide...bad things are brewing on the horizon...

31 posted on 08/31/2013 2:45:07 PM PDT by Caliban (Politics is war conducted by other means...)
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To: mdittmar

If George W. Bush had ever delivered a similar statement without first consulting with Congress and with the full support of known US allies, the Democrats would be howling for immediate presentation of articles of impeachment. They would have had them already drawn up and released the text to the NYT and the Washington Post.

But if articles of impeachment are presented on Bronco Bama, the Cowboy Rodeo Clown President, it would be “racist”.

None dare call it treason.

Secession is sounding better and better.


32 posted on 08/31/2013 2:45:51 PM PDT by alloysteel (Unattended children will be given a Red Bull and a free Kazoo. Reminds me of Congress...)
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To: mdittmar

May be the most astounding thing I have ever heard a president (?) say. Constitutional democracy??? Really!


33 posted on 08/31/2013 2:46:37 PM PDT by Captain7seas (Fire Jane Lubchenco and John Pistole.)
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To: vox_freedom
He painted himself into a corner with his Red Line threat, then watched as the entire world refused to support his plan to attack. But he had to save face, so, for possibly the first time in his life, he decided to do the right thing, the Constitutional thing, and go to Congress. In other words, he's going to let Congress take the blame for whatever happens.

At any rate, the ball is now in our court. We need to storm Congress and tell them not just no but hell no to intervention of any kind.

34 posted on 08/31/2013 2:48:21 PM PDT by giotto
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To: mdittmar
And all of this corroborates what the world can plainly see--

That you are a bag of wind.

35 posted on 08/31/2013 2:51:05 PM PDT by Parmy
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To: All

Look, I’m against Obama as much as anyone, if you doubt that, read my past posts.

That being said, I’m pro-America more than I’m anti-Obama. I think we’re all pretty much in agreement here that NOT going into Syria is the best thing for the country. IF, and this is a big if, going to Congress is Obama’s way of backing away from his rhetoric while trying to save face by saying he didn’t have Congressional authorization as an excuse...well, I’m okay with that, because the end result is NOT going, which I think is the best thing for the country.

I love rubbing his nose in crap as much as anyone, but we can’t have it both ways. If we’re going to criticize him going into a civil war when we are best served letting both sides kill each other, its not honest or to our benefit to block all the exits and dare him to proceed.


36 posted on 08/31/2013 2:53:06 PM PDT by SoCalTransplant (Wake me when we get to the part where we alter or abolish it.)
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To: mdittmar

Make no mistake blah blah blah hope and change blah blah blah my military blah blah blah spread the wealth around blah blah blah golf


37 posted on 08/31/2013 3:02:47 PM PDT by FlyingEagle
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To: mdittmar

But having made my decision as commander in chief...

to punt!

(((((

You picked up on the exact word that I did, when listening to his teleprompter reading. Everything that comes before a “but” can be cancelled or erased.


38 posted on 08/31/2013 3:04:53 PM PDT by maica (Welcome to post-rational America.)
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To: SoCalTransplant

No one on this thread, at least, is daring the One to go ahead. We are just enjoying watching him lead from behind one more time.

I predicted this speech would happen because he is going to St Petersburg, Russia, next week as a guest of Vlad Putin. How could he show up with the many ‘world leaders’ who will be there at the G20 Summit, if US missiles were raining down on Syria. The following week contains September 11, on which day a “Million Muslim” march is scheduled for our National Mall. Another bad time to be bombing muslims.

So he had to punt. It was inevitable.

And of course the answer to what will he be doing for the rest of the Labor Day weekend: playing golf, of course. No problem. No worries!


39 posted on 08/31/2013 3:14:21 PM PDT by maica (Welcome to post-rational America.)
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To: mdittmar

Guy’s a lying sack’O’crap!


40 posted on 08/31/2013 3:21:17 PM PDT by Rich21IE
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.. Uhhhh, and in .. Uhhh summary,, uhhhhhhh


41 posted on 08/31/2013 3:27:42 PM PDT by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi --)
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What message will WE send? Indeed, Pres__sent Obama.

If we don ‘t toss this bum and his cohorts to the curb,, can we blame the world for ‘hating’ us. It was and is all about him, y’know.


42 posted on 08/31/2013 3:31:17 PM PDT by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi --)
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He must have felt so pressured by his ‘peers’ in his early years. His formative Islamic years.


43 posted on 08/31/2013 3:32:54 PM PDT by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi --)
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To: mdittmar; P-Marlowe; jazusamo; Lancey Howard; Girlene

Obama is wrong. This is not about who we are as a country. This is about whether we can strike a real national security threat to the USA and take it out. It is then in our national security interest. Otherwise, it is not. We’ll leave sending messages to Western Union.

Regardless, I’m totally behind any of our forces placed in harms way, whether on air, sea, or land in proximity to Syria.

Those who truly support our troops pray for victory!


44 posted on 08/31/2013 3:36:52 PM PDT by xzins ( Retired Army Chaplain and Proud of It! Those who truly support our troops pray for victory!)
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To: mdittmar

I was under the impression our littler tin horn dictator Obdinga did not need Congress anymore and would bypass them on all decisions?

Come on lil Dicktator, make a decision instead of voting “Present”.

You do not have the nads to even make a decision against a land mass the size of Utah.

A bus load of rednecks would just kick the living crap out of your gay muslim goat humping rear and your brown shirts.

The noose is getting tighter for dictator in chief. He is standing on a very slippery slope and all real Americans are waiting for that one mistep. Pray that he takes that one step into the abyss.


45 posted on 08/31/2013 3:54:54 PM PDT by eartick (Been to the line in the sand and liked it)
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To: mdittmar

Translation — the fix is in. He must know he has the votes. There are very few in Congress with a clue.


46 posted on 08/31/2013 4:07:03 PM PDT by plain talk
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To: mdittmar
At the end of the day, when the dust settles, and all is said and done...

Just say NO.

47 posted on 08/31/2013 4:19:19 PM PDT by NautiNurse (Obama sends U.S. Marines to pick up his dog & basketballs. Benghazi? Nope.)
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>> and why it has such profound implications for America’s national security.

Shut up.


48 posted on 08/31/2013 4:47:21 PM PDT by Gene Eric (Don't be a statist!)
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To: AdmSmith; AnonymousConservative; Berosus; bigheadfred; Bockscar; cardinal4; ColdOne; ...

Thanks mdittmar.
This would not be an open-ended intervention. We would not put boots on the ground. Instead, our action would be designed to be limited in duration and scope. But I’m confident we can hold the Assad regime accountable for their use of chemical weapons, deter this kind of behavior, and degrade their capacity to carry it out. Our military has positioned assets in the region. The chairman of the Joint Chiefs has informed me that we are prepared to strike whenever we choose. Moreover, the chairman has indicated to me that our capacity to execute this mission is not time-sensitive; it will be effective tomorrow, or next week, or one month from now. And I’m prepared to give that order.
Wait for Pooty's next state visit and snuff him and his second-favorite dictator.


49 posted on 08/31/2013 4:58:43 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (It's no coincidence that some "conservatives" echo the hard left.)
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To: xzins

Of course we support our troops, xzins. I just hate to see us get involved here. I don’t trust the administration and their information as to who/how/etc. on the chemical weapons.

I think Obama is stirring another hornets’ nest here in the ME.

I will always pray for victory when our troops are committed to an action, though.


50 posted on 08/31/2013 4:59:43 PM PDT by Girlene (Hey, NSA!)
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