Saturday, August 31 2013 10:42 PM EDT2013-09-01 02:42:39 GMT
WASHINGTON (AP) - The White House has sent Congress a draft of a resolution authorizing President Barack Obama to use military force against Syria. The draft follows through on Obama's decision, announcedMore >>
The White House has sent Congress a draft of a resolution authorizing President Barack Obama to use military force against Syria.More >>
Saturday, August 31 2013 9:27 PM EDT2013-09-01 01:27:32 GMT
The United States is considering launching a punitive strike against the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad, blamed by the U.S. and the Syrian opposition for an Aug. 21 alleged chemical weaponsMore >>
The United States is considering launching a punitive strike against the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad, blamed by the U.S. and the Syrian opposition for an Aug. 21 alleged chemical weapons attack in a rebel-held suburb of the Syrian capital of Damascus.More >>
WASHINGTON (AP) - For more than a week, the White House had been
barreling toward imminent military action against Syria. But President
Barack Obama's abrupt decision to instead ask Congress for permission
left him with a high-risk gamble that could devastate his credibility if
no action is ultimately taken in response to a deadly chemical weapons
attack that crossed his own "red line."
The stunning reversal also raises questions about
the president's decisiveness and could embolden leaders in Syria, Iran,
North Korea and elsewhere, leaving them with the impression of a U.S.
president unwilling to back up his words with actions.
The president, in a hastily announced statement
Saturday in the White House Rose Garden, argued that he did in fact have
the power to act on his own. But faced with the prospect of taking
action opposed by many Americans, the commander in chief tried to shift
the burden and instead round up partners on Capitol Hill to share in
"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," Obama said. "We should have this
The consequences for Obama's turnabout could be
sweeping, both at home and abroad. If Congress votes against military
action, it would mark a humiliating defeat for a second-term president
already fighting to stay relevant and wield influence in Washington. It
could also weaken his standing internationally at a time when there are
already growing questions about the scope of American influence,
particularly in the Arab world.
But the White House sees potentially positive
political implications in punting the strike decision to Congress. Obama
could make good on the promises he made as a senator and presidential
candidate, when he called for restraint and congressional consultation
by White House's seeking military force. And with the American public
weary of war and many opposed to even modest military action against
Syria, Obama could share with Congress the burden of launching an
An NBC News poll conducted last week suggests the
use of chemical weapons has not shifted public opinion in favor of
taking military action against Syria. About 50 percent said the U.S.
should not take military action against the Syrian government in
response to the use of chemical weapons, while 42 percent said the U.S.
should. Just 21 percent say military action against Syria is in the U.S.
Obama's advisers wouldn't say what the president
will do if Congress does not approve military action. If he presses on
with military action despite their opposition, he would likely cast
Congress as obstructionists allowing an autocrat to kill civilians
"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?" Obama asked Saturday.
It's unclear how effective that approach would be
given that Obama himself has been deeply reluctant to get involved in
Syria's lengthy civil war. More than 100,000 people have died in more
than two years of clashes between the government and rebels seeking to
overthrow Syrian President Bashar Assad. But Obama declared last year
that the one thing that would cross his "red line" would be if Assad
deployed his stockpiles of chemical weapons.
U.S. officials say that has now happened multiple
times this year, most recently on Aug. 21 in the Damascus suburbs.
According to the Obama administration, more than 1,400 people were
killed by the deadly gases, including 426 children.
For Obama, the stakes for responding after the most
recent attack were already heightened, not only because of the scope,
but also because of the scant response from the White House when Assad
used chemical weapons earlier this year. While Obama approved shipments
of light weaponry and ammunition for the rebel forces fighting Assad,
the bulk of the arms are yet to arrive.
Throughout much of the last week, it appeared Obama
was ready to make good on his promises to act in the face of chemical
weapons use. Five Navy destroyers armed with Tomahawk cruise missiles
were put on standby in the Mediterranean Sea. Defense Secretary Chuck
Hagel declared that the military was "ready to go" once Obama gave the
order. And the president dispatched Secretary of State John Kerry twice
last week to make a vigorous and emotional case for a robust response to
a reluctant public.
As the week dragged on, Obama's international
backing began to erode. Russia again blocked action against Syria at the
U.N. Security Council. NATO declared that the alliance would not launch
coordinated military action. And in the strongest blow for the White
House, Britain's Parliament voted against military action, a stunning
defeat for Prime Minister David Cameron, a key ally who had expected to
join Obama in taking military action.
Despite the setbacks, Obama and his team were
prepared to move forward without any authorization from the U.N. and
Capitol Hill. But on Friday, aides said the president simply changed his
mind. After a long walk around the White House's grounds with his chief
of staff, Obama summoned some of his top aides and told them he now
wanted to hold off on launching an attack until Congress had its say.
In shifting the debate to Capitol Hill, Obama is
ensuring that a military strike will be pushed off for at least another
week. Lawmakers aren't due back from their summer recess until Sept. 9.
House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said he expected the House to
consider the force resolution that week. Senate Majority Leader Harry
Reid said he, too, will hold a vote no later than the week of Sept. 9,
with public hearings beginning next week.
Even before Congress decides, Obama will have to
directly confront the international implications of his decision. He's
set to travel abroad next week for a visit to Sweden and a meeting of
world leaders in St. Petersburg, Russia.
There, he'll come face-to-face with Russian
President Vladimir Putin, one of Assad's strongest supporters. Putin, in
a pointed jab, made a plaintive plea for Obama to take more time to
consider the full implications of a strike on Syria, appealing, he said,
not to another world leader, but to a Nobel Peace laureate.
Tuesday, December 10 2013 5:58 AM EST2013-12-10 10:58:43 GMT
Westbound lanes of the turnpike are restricted early Tuesday morning due to a crash involving two semi trucks and a tow truck. Dispatchers with the turnpike say the crash happened sometime after 2 a.m. AccordingMore >>
Westbound lanes of the turnpike are restricted early Tuesday morning due to a crash involving two semi trucks and a tow truck.More >>
Tuesday, December 10 2013 5:53 AM EST2013-12-10 10:53:29 GMT
Toledo Police are responding to reports of two people shot.It happened just before 8:30 p.m. on Pearl Street. That's near Manhattan and Lagrange.At this time, there is no word on the extent of the injuries.13abcMore >>
Toledo Police confirm two people were killed in a shooting in North Toledo.More >>
Tuesday, December 10 2013 5:11 AM EST2013-12-10 10:11:36 GMT
Two tractor trailers collided on the Ohio Turnpike in Lake Township early Tuesday morning. It happened around 2 AM in the westbound lanes near the I-280 interchange. Ohio State Highway Patrol dispatchersMore >>
Two tractor trailers collided on the Ohio Turnpike in Lake Township early Tuesday morning.
It happened around 2 AM in the westbound lanes near the I-280 interchange. Ohio State Highway Patrol dispatchers say one semi was pulled over getting assistance from a tow truck when it was clipped by another semi.
Only minor injuries were reported in the crash.More >>
Monday, December 9 2013 6:12 PM EST2013-12-09 23:12:16 GMT
Some of the workers left jobless by the sudden shutdown of MedCorp say they plan to file a lawsuit against the company for failing to give them notice. The workers were left Friday night without 60 dayMore >>
Some of the workers left jobless by the sudden shutdown of MedCorp say they plan to file a lawsuit against the company for failing to give them notice.More >>
Monday, December 9 2013 5:26 PM EST2013-12-09 22:26:32 GMT
A fire destroyed the home of a mother and her four sons just weeks before Christmas.It happened Saturday evening in the 2000 block of County road 32 in Helena Ohio. 13abc's Alexis Means explains how theMore >>
The community reaches out to help a mother and her four sons after their house was destroyed by fire on Saturday.More >>
Tuesday, December 10 2013 6:05 AM EST2013-12-10 11:05:11 GMT
DETROIT (AP) - Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick is relying on others to tell him how much he owes the city. Kilpatrick has waived his attendance at a court hearing Tuesday that will determine hisMore >>
DETROIT (AP) - Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick is relying on others to tell him how much he owes the city.
Kilpatrick has waived his attendance at a court hearing Tuesday.
Monday, December 9 2013 10:42 PM EST2013-12-10 03:42:00 GMT
It's been almost a year to the day, that Julia Niswender, 23, was found dead in her apartment.Monday night, her family and closest friends held a candle light vigil to remember her and keep her story inMore >>
Family and friends remember Julia Niswender, 23, Monday night. The Eastern Michigan student was found dead in her apartment in December 2012. Police have not made any arrests in the case.More >>
Monday, December 9 2013 6:46 PM EST2013-12-09 23:46:11 GMT
The victim of a hunting incident in Royalton Township has been identified as 21-year-old Jacob Karamol of Oregon. The incident happened Tuesday afternoon near State Route 109 and County Road N.A spokesmanMore >>
The victim of a hunting incident in Royalton Township has been identified as 21-year-old Jacob Karamol of Oregon.More >>
Monday, December 9 2013 6:31 PM EST2013-12-09 23:31:43 GMT
Toledo Mayor-elect Mike Collins knows he has less money to work with next year and he's ready to take on the challenge of paring down city government. The city will see millions less in revenue in 2014,More >>
Toledo Mayor-elect Mike Collins knows he has less money to work with next year and he's ready to take on the challenge of paring down city government.More >>
Monday, December 9 2013 6:17 PM EST2013-12-09 23:17:45 GMT
A rollover crash helped make an icy mess on a Monday evening. A driver lost control of his vehicle on the ice on West State Line Road and it rolled over and hit fire hydrant. That sent water spraying outMore >>
A driver lost control of his vehicle on the ice on West State Line Road and it rolled over and hit fire hydrant. That sent water spraying out of the hydrant.More >>