Syrian president Bashar Assad ”now joins a list of Adolf Hitler and Saddam Hussein who’ve used these weapons in a time of war,” Secretary of State John Kerry said this morning on NBC’s Meet the Press. “This is of great consequence to Israel, to Jordan, to Turkey, to the region, and to all of us who care about enforcing the internation norm with respect to chemical weapons,” he explained. The U.S. military has decided the timing of the attack, Kerry argued, “is not going to make the difference with respect to sending the message” that chemical weapons shouldn’t be used.
"He who talks a lot doesn´t act," said Souad, a Damascus resident, mocking US President Barack Obama as a "coward" for delaying a decision to attack the Syrian regime. "Obama is a coward. He didn´t strike because he knows that our President Bashar (al-Assad) is all-powerful," said the employee of nationality electricity firm Ferdaws, in the northeast of the capital.(Snip)"He was like an actor taking part in a play being shown to the American people," staunch government supporter Hassan Azzam, 73, said of Obama. "I saw him, he was trembling like a leaf as he spoke, he seemed really troubled,"
The world’s eyes are riveted on Syria this week, as the United States, France and perhaps a few others organize plans to punish a bloodstained government for its use of chemical weapons against its own people. [snip] But another story that is getting less attention is much more important for the future of the world: the economic crisis in India represents a much more fateful moment in world politics than anything happening in Syria.
Scores of skeptical lawmakers attended a classified briefing on Syria at the Capitol on Sunday, but not a single member seemed to think a resolution authorizing force against the war-torn nation could pass at the present time. Indeed, the challenge for House and Senate leaders, who appear to largely be supportive of a U.S. strike in retaliation for the Syrian regime’s alleged use of chemical weapons, will be in changing the minds of members who said they still fail to see what President Barack Obama’s ultimate goal is. (Snip) Democrats and Republicans do not typically do whip counts on “conscience”
Under the proposals new cars would be fitted with cameras that could read road speed limit signs and automatically apply the brakes when this is exceeded. Patrick McLoughlin, the Transport Secretary, is said to be opposed to the plans, which could also mean existing cars are sent to garages to be fitted with the speed limiters, preventing them from going over 70mph. The new measures have been announced by the European Commission’s Mobility and Transport Department as a measure to reduce the 30,000 people who die on the roads in Europe every year. A Government source told the Mail on Sunday Mr McLoughlin
A leading skeptic of U.S. intervention in conflicts abroad said Sunday that he believes there is only a "50/50" chance that the GOP-controlled House will vote to authorize the use of U.S military force in the Syria. "I think it´s at least 50/50 whether the House will vote down involvement in the Syrian war," Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky said on NBC´s Meet the Press. "I think the Senate will rubber stamp what [Obama] wants but I think the House will be a much closer vote," he added. "And there are a lot of questions we have to ask." Paul, a staunch defender
It took less than 24 hours for lawmakers to realize that the draft authorization for the use of military force sent to Congress by President Barack Obama would open the door to a prolonged war with Syria. That’s not something that Obama or top administration have been publicly pushing for — all indications are that the plan is for targeted action to deter the regime of Bashar al-Assad from further use of chemical weapons. But, as became clear on Capitol Hill on Sunday, Congress has no appetite for the broader mandate that the White House technically proposed. As #WGDB noted
Secretary of State John Kerry on Sunday said he “can’t contemplate” that Congress would not authorize military action against the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad and therefore “turn its back on” the United States’ allies in the region and “on innocent Syrian people who have been slaughtered by this gas.” Host Chris Wallace asked Kerry on "Fox News Sunday" what would happen if Congress refused to give its authorization for military action in Syria, and Kerry replied that he does not believe that will happen. “I think the stakes of upholding the international standard of behavior that has been in place
WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama is taking a risk by asking Congress to approve airstrikes against Syria. The potential payoff is that he’ll win the kind of vote that signals broad popular support, giving him a stronger hand in facing Syrian President Bashar Assad and perhaps other dictators later in such regimes as Iran. But there are military and political risks in the process. Militarily, a desperate Assad could use the time while Obama waits for a Congressional debate to launch another chemical weapon attack, either in his own country or elsewhere in the Middle East, turning a civil war into a regional
WASHINGTON — While President Barack Obama insists he wants only a limited air attack on Syria, his proposed authorization of force would empower him to do much more than that. Congress is likely to impose tighter reins, as lawmakers have learned that presidents are prone to expand on powers once granted The substantive part of Obama’s proposed authorization of the use of military force, conveyed to congressional leaders over the weekend, contains 172 words. That’s significantly more than either the 1964 Tonkin Gulf Resolution authorizing the Vietnam War or the 2001 resolution authorizing retaliation for the 9/11 terror attacks, two measures
WASHINGTON—The White House is girding for more than a week of battle with Congress over President Barack Obama´s plan to launch limited military strikes against the Syrian regime for its alleged use of chemical weapons last month. To back the administration´s position, Secretary of State John Kerry said Sunday that the U.S. had obtained new blood and hair samples from inside Syria that confirmed President Bashar al-Assad´s regime used sarin, a powerful nerve agent, against civilians in an Aug. 21 attack on an eastern Damascus suburb. Mr. Kerry said he believed this new evidence will help the White House build more support
The first rule for President Obama: It’s all about 2014. The second rule for President Obama: See Rule No. 1. Make no mistake: The president couldn’t care less about the plight of Syrians, the 1,500 gassed to death — including nearly 500 children. It’s all about 2014. Win the House, reign supreme. Consider this: Mr. Obama made his dramatic Rose Garden statement on Saturday — then headed to the golf course. Congress has no plans to cut short its 30-day vacation, and the president did not call lawmakers back. So much for urgency. The conventional wisdom is, as usual, wrong. Losing the
On Saturday on the Fox News Channel, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton harshly criticized President Barack Obama handling of the United States’ involvement in Syria, calling him the weakest president since James Buchanan, Abraham Lincoln’s predecessor. “This is absolutely stunning,” Bolton said. “I’ve been trying to fill in the blank of the following sentence: ‘Barack Obama is the weakest president since…’ And I have to say, the best I can come up with is James Buchanan who watched the country dissolve into the Civil War. We’re watching the collapse of American influence in the Middle East
Baghdad - Clashes on Sunday at a camp in northeastern Iraq that houses a group of Iranian dissidents, who until last year were considered terrorists by the United States government, left at least 15 people dead, according to two security officials. The circumstances of the violence, as well as the number of casualties, were contested by both sides — the Iraqi government and representatives of the group — and the United Nations said it was trying to determine the details of the episode. The Iraqi security officials said 15 people in the camp had been killed and more than 30
Sir David Frost has been described as ´extraordinary´ as Sir Michael Parkinson led tributes for the veteran broadcaster who died of a heart attack age 74. Sir David was due to give a speech aboard a cruise ship, the Queen Elizabeth, on Saturday night. Known for incisive interviews with the leading figures of his time - and most famously disgraced US president Richard Nixon - Sir David spent more than 50 years as a television star. Scroll down for video -Sir Michael described a ´non-judgmental interviewer´ with a strong sense of morality. He said: ´He was guided in his life
WASHINGTON— Just a week before astronaut John Glenn´s maiden voyage orbiting the Earth in 1962, a record 46 million people sat down before their black-and-white sets to watch Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy conduct the first televised White House tour. The mansion´s $1.5-million renovation was her debut project as first lady, restoring "an emblem of the American republic," as Kennedy breathily described the stately residence. Midway through the program, the camera scanned the elegant Green Room. Kennedy walked to a corner and stood beside a marquetry card table — a very fine antique,
BEIRUT, Lebanon — President Obama’s decision to seek Congressional approval for a military strike in response to reports of a chemical weapons attack in Syria drew a range of reactions from Syrians on Sunday, with rebel leaders expressing disappointment and goverment leaders questioning Mr. Obama’s leadership. Syria’s government on Sunday mocked Mr. Obama’s decision, saying it was a sign of weakness. A state-run newspaper, Al Thawra, called it “the start of the historic American retreat,” and said Mr. Obama had hesitated because of a “sense of implicit defeat and the disappearance of his allies,”
President Obama’s surprise decision to seek congressional approval for a Syria strike puts the plan in the hands of the Republican-controlled House, but it’s far from clear the House will comply. GOP sources say it is highly unlikely leadership will whip support for the proposal; such “votes of conscience” are typically left to members’ discretion. While there is still plenty of time for Obama to make the case for war, lawmakers are still seeking answers to big questions, chief among them being what a strike would accomplish. That’s true among Democrats as well. One Democratic aide says if the
In a statement he released on Saturday evening, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) said in response to Obama’s Rose Garden remarks on Syria that he would support a move to bring Congress back early only if the President determined there was an urgent need to deal with the situation immediately. “Given that the President did not request an emergency session of Congress, that must mean that he agrees there is no imminent threat requiring the Commander in Chief to act without consulting the representatives of the American people,” Cruz said. Obama said on Saturday there is no urgent need to act
There was what could prove to be an instructive moment for the Deplorable Nanny State Mayor this week, provided courtesy of the citizens of Ohio. The group Mayors Against Illegal Guns hosted a “rally” in Columbus, Ohio to build support for additional gun control legislation, but as the intro to the local news report asked (video below), “what happens when you throw a political rally, but nobody shows up except your opposition?” It was a rally organized by gun-control supporters, but by the end, it looked more like an NRA rally. “As a gun owner, I’m a responsible person and I think
New York - The last day of a New York City dance music festival featuring high-profile acts including Avicii, David Guetta and Diplo was canceled Sunday after the deaths of two attendees and the hospitalizations of several others, apparently linked to drugs. The city said it recommended Electric Zoo festival end early after the deaths and illnesses during the first two days of performances on Friday and Saturday. The festival took place on Randall´s Island in the East River. "The Electric Zoo organizers have worked with city officials to reduce health risks at this event, but in view of these
Mary Cheney, the younger daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney who married her long-time partner Heather Poe last year, chastised her older sister, a Republican who is running for the Senate, for her opposition to same-sex marriage in a posting on Facebook. Liz Cheney, who is seeking a Senate seat in Wyoming, said on Friday that she was "not pro-gay marriage." "For the record, I love my sister, but she is dead wrong on the issue of marriage," Mary Cheney wrote on Facebook, according to the New York Times. "Freedom means freedom for everyone," she wrote,
A cluster of controlled fire and tree-thinning projects approved by forestry officials but never funded might have slowed the progress of the massive Rim Fire in California, a wide range of critics said this weekend. (Snip) About 9,000 acres were suitable to be deliberately burned as fire prevention buffer zones in 2012, the Forest Service said in a document provided to Reuters. But reductions in funding for fire prevention efforts by Congress in recent years coupled with stringent air quality standards that limit the timeframe for such burns have hampered efforts to carry them out on a larger scale.
U.S. President Barack Obama called Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Saturday and informed him that he planned to delay what seemed like an imminent attack on Syria, ahead of his speech at the White House to that regard. Obama also told Netanyahu that he would relegate the matter to Congress, and ask for a congressional vote on any military action. Senior Israeli officials who asked to remain nameless stated that the phone call took place roughly four hours before Obama´s speech. In contrast to phone calls made to other world leaders, the White House decided to keep this specific call
Americans are always on the verge of leaping to the defense of less fortunate souls—much to our credit. But how do we decide when pondering violent defense of others that it is genuinely in our best interest? In fact, perhaps since the Vietnam War, the US has entered into the frays of other countries and paid the largest price, while enduring pillorying in the international press. There is a cost to trying to combine being the only superpower and the good guy. We do well to recall Solomon’s sage advice— “Do not be excessively righteous, and do not be overly wise. Why should you ruin yourself?”—