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As Congress prepares to debate Syria military strike, stakes are high for Obama

Sunday, September 08, 2013 - 01:59

Sept. 8 - As Congress prepares to debate limited military action on Syria, the stakes are high for President Barack Obama. Gavino Garay reports.

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Even as Congress gets ready to reconvene this week, stakes are high for U.S. President Barack Obama as he tries to rally support from U.S. lawmakers, the American people, and the international community for a limited military strike on Syria. Senior Fellow of Foreign Policy at the Brookings Institution, Bruce Riedel: (SOUNDBITE) (English) Bruce Riedel, Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution Saying: "The Obama plan to use largely cruise missiles to send a shot across the bow of the Syrian regime is feasible to implement, the question is what happens the day after it's implemented..." The U.S. government has accused Syrian President Bashar al-Assad of using chemical weapons against his own people. Assad has dismissed suggestions that forces loyal to him were behind an alleged sarin gas attack that killed more than 1,400 near Damascus on August 21, Washington and its allies, including Britain and France, are not convinced. Meanwhile, new amateur video of Syrian rebels firing at a Syrian army base has surfaced -- Reuters cannot independently verify the video. Obama has decided to delay military action and asked for the authorization of a divided Congress, which may be a political gamble for the president as he prepares to deliver a televised address to the nation Tuesday. A recent Reuters/Ipsos poll said 56 percent of Americans believed the United States should not intervene, while only 19 percent supported action. (SOUNDBITE) (English) MARY SUE ALBARADO FROM LOUISIANA SAYING: "I think it's the wrong move. We don't need to police the world. Let them police themselves. And our men have been dying for no reason already. Don't lose any more lives because of that." (SOUNDBITE) (English) PETER MASTRO FROM QUEENS, NEW YORK SAYING: "We have to get involved. After what they did and you see on the video those children, what they did with the chemicals, I mean that can't be done. I mean we have to, we have to go over there and set things straight." (SOUNDBITE) (English) WILLIAM HILL FROM BRONX, NEW YORK SAYING: "I believe that America is overextended around the world and I believe that America has sort of overreached its welcome around the world. And I believe that because of that we should sort of step back in this regard and really let them handle their own situation." The Senate is expected to vote on the resolution in the coming week.

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As Congress prepares to debate Syria military strike, stakes are high for Obama

Sunday, September 08, 2013 - 01:59