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September 6th, 2013
07:21 PM ET

What happens if Congress says no?

Friday morning, White House deputy national security adviser Tony Blinken told NPR, "The President, of course, has the authority to act, but it's neither his desire nor intention to use that authority absent Congress backing him." The president struck a different tone at a press conference later that morning, backtracking and saying, "It would be a mistake for me to jump the gun and speculate because right now I'm working to get as much support as possible out of Congress."

The comments shook up Washington and left many wondering what the president's plans really are and whether he would strike on Syria even without Congressional support. CNN's Jessica Yellin interviews Mr. Blinken and pushes him to clarify the administration's position.

Filed under: Barack Obama • Congress • Syria
soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. T.McCullough

    No mention from the President about the Desert Storm Troops that were exposed to Sarin Gas..........American Military...What about us, huh?

    September 11, 2013 at 11:39 am |
  2. James A. Bunker

    The last time a U.S. Soldier was injured by chemicals in the battle fielded was in 2006. This was a positive exposure where the IED had a nerve gas round with it.

    September 11, 2013 at 11:09 am |
  3. CRV

    Folks, this garbage is going to continue because no one calls them on it. Of course troops have been exposed to chemicals, diseases, cancer-causing materials, and more. The average soldier sent to Iraq in 2005 was exposed to asbestos, lead and mercury in water, black mold, funguses, burning feces and urine, unexploded depleted uranium, smoke, burning rubber, trash, etc. She was exposed to HIV/AIDs, tuberculosis, bubonic plague, herpes, meningitis, SARS, MERSA, Avion Flu, etc. She was exposed to areas where chemical weapons were used, and not always given proper safeguards to prevent infection/contamination. All of this is common to a soldier's experience, and it's not a secret. Until we call out idiots like those employed by Mr. Obama, we will never get the truth, just more lies and manipulations at the expense of our troops.

    September 11, 2013 at 3:21 am |
  4. Kaleb


    Why not get 5,000 troops or however many that it takes from every nation that wants these weapons gone to stand by ready to destroy the Syrian RĂ©gime if they in any way interrupt the UN or Nato going in and removing these weapons where it be destroying them on site or carrying them out of the country. No matter who used the weapons it is the regime's responsibility to keep them out of the hands of anyone that will use them.

    Yes it is costly, however war is also costly. If any Syrian military or opposition force take any measure to harm the organization removing these weapons we pull every country out and then begin a war campaign to destroy the Syrian Military to never be able to harm again. it is no other way to assure this ends.

    September 8, 2013 at 9:25 am |
  5. J. L. Smith

    Agree or don't agree with intervention in Syria, but PLEASE consider: At the 4:40 mark, Mr. Blinken wrongly asserts that no US servicemember has been exposed to chemical weapons since WWI. That is an unforgivable insult to myself and all other very sick Gulf War veteran; over 200,000 of us. We are sick, remain sick, and many have died from Gulf War Illness and/or resulting suicide from lack of proper VA care.

    Apparently, it is an outrage to use chemical weapons against others in a foreign land, but certainly okay to let our nation's servicemembers exposed to those toxins suffer and die without care or concern for over 20 years. Still more wretched is the fact that now the same maladies are being visited upon GWOT's Iraqi Theater veterans, many of whom have been exposed to those very toxins in Iraqi soil.

    Yes, moral imperative is excellent when in a position to take it; However, not when faced with the obvious hypocrisy - We continue to let our own service members languish without care at the mercy of a historically corrupt VA, and then dare decry a dictator's deeds... Contemptible, at the very least. Please, wake up America, you are being mislead while your patriots are left to ruin.

    September 7, 2013 at 2:39 am |
    • quidnuncsimcha

      Well Said!

      I cannot believe I heard recent policy makers comments that WWI was the last time US Soldiers were exposed to chemical weapons. In fact, it was President Obama's Deputy National Security Advisor, Tony Blinken, on CNN. Are top government officials really that ignorant with respect to Pre-9/11 Gulf War experiences?

      September 10, 2013 at 4:28 pm |
      • J. L. Smith


        Thank you for your response. Sadly, no they are not that ignorant; Which logically only leaves blatant misdirection via falsehood. This shows deplorable and wanton disrespect for our many long-suffering and forsaken Gulf War veterans and our newly afflicted GWOT vets, with the latter's level of service-related illness likely being fully realized in the decades to come. Simply, they cannot tell the truth or must admit our government's dire disservice to our nation's ill Gulf War veterans and would then also lose credibility for their Syria engagement justification.

        September 10, 2013 at 11:18 pm |
  6. Phil, south jersey

    For world peace and harmony, there needs to be world rules and standards. And if countries snub their nose at simple decency, their needs to be consequences. Everyone always looks at history and says how could people stand by and allow things like the Holocost to happen and can't see they are letting a modern Holocost occur. The purpose of the war is punishment, to degrade and detour. Critics keep asking what is the plan but refuse to listen to the answer. It doesn't have to be any more than to punish and let them continue their civil war. Their either needs to be Norms or everybody get the Hell out of the way and let everybody do anything they want. Just doesn't sound humane does it?

    September 6, 2013 at 8:24 pm |

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