Did Obama answer these 5 questions about Syria?
September 11th, 2013
09:10 AM ET
5 years ago

Did Obama answer these 5 questions about Syria?

Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama delivered one of the most crucial addresses of his presidency, seeking to convince an overwhelmingly skeptical public of the need to punish Syria militarily for alleged chemical weapons use while demonstrating a commitment to pursuing a surprise diplomatic opening to remove those stockpiles from the war-torn nation.

With many in Washington and on Main Street demanding clarity during fast-moving events, Obama had five questions to answer Tuesday night: Did he do it?


Filed under: President Obama • Syria
soundoff (12 Responses)
  1. Lynda/Minnesota

    I'm more interested in what is next on the GOPs to do list. Besides spinning themselves to China and back, that is. Oh, and BTW, I would like to give my heart filled shout out to former wannabe President Mitt Romney. Who knew his now infamous Etch A Sketch would be the next best thing to GOPerville's God, Country, and America pie campaigning? One would think that this little trinket he so treasured would have been long smashed into kingdom come.

    Not so, though. It has now become the hottest commodity in GOP campaigning. Who'd of thought, huh?

    September 11, 2013 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  2. Tom

    Did George W. Bush answer any of those questions with respect to Iraq or Afghanistan? Did Bush seek approval of Congress? I'm not a fan of attacking Syria, but it sure seems like the right-leaning media outlets (and, frankly, I think CNN belongs in that grouping at this stage) seem to be putting conditions on Obama that have not been in place with previous Presidents. Why does Obama have to answer have a plan for every possible contingency when Bush didn't have any plan for what to do after the initial attacks on Iraq?

    September 11, 2013 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  3. Data Driven

    Well, he answered those 5 points. The real question is, do people like his answers? I still disagree that we must strike unilaterally if the "Russian" proposal fails. And though I don't think "unilaterally" was mentioned in this speech, that will be the reality. We further our moral decline while imperially raining death and destruction on another nation, while the rest of the world sits by and criticizes our behavior while doing nothing to live up to their own documented responsibilities - sounds like a lose-lose, to me.

    All of us can do better than that.

    September 11, 2013 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  4. sonny chapman

    "There are none so blind as those who REFUSE to see". Ironic, but the most Trigger Happy Repubs. are against THIS War. They LOVED the Bush/Cheney Wars. It's like the OJ Simpson Trial. Even if OJ had stood up in the middle of his trail & professed his guilt, some jurors would have still voted to acquit him.

    September 11, 2013 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  5. Rudy NYC

    1. With diplomacy in play, why is military action necessary?
    That is a really stupid question? It indicates to me that someone entirely missed the point of the speech. Yes, the speech was initially billed as a call for why military action is needed against Syria. But a lot has changed since the speech was originally scheduled, and likewise, so did the context of the speech.

    I didn't know what to expect from the speech after news of the Russian proposal and an apparent acceptance by Assad. For anyone to expect that the context and purpose of the speech would not change after those events is living in the dark.

    September 11, 2013 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  6. Rudy NYC

    2. Why should Americans worry about Syria?
    3. What would be the endgame?
    4. If the U.S. attacks, what if al-Assad retaliates?
    5. Now that Syria welcomes diplomacy, why did Obama address the public?
    2. Wrong question. Why should Americans be concerned about the use of chemical weapons?
    3. Wrong question. How would it begin? The endgame depends upon the opening move.
    4. Wrong quesiton. If the U.S. attacks, what if Russia retaliates?
    5. Wrong question. What's wrong with Pres. Obama showing leadership by explaining America's position on Syria?

    These five questions are based upon a set of false assumptions about Pres. Obama's goals. They assume that he was supposed to have been making the case for a war against Syria, which he has demonstrated over the last two years is the last thing that he wants to do. He's had critics calling for military action and arming the rebels since the rebellion began, and he has pointedly kept the U.S. out of it despite the insistence by Republicans that we jump into the middle of it.

    September 11, 2013 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  7. Anonymous

    I have a few questions:

    1. Why did Fox News pundits and anchors give credit to Putin for the possible peaceful solution?
    (Saw sound bites courtesy of John Stewary). Because they love themselves more than they love

    2. Why does the President want to get approval to send missles into Syria?
    Because Putin said "All this will work only in case we hear that American side and all those who support it,
    will denounce using force". There's that old "trust but verify" thing. Guess Fox trusts Putin more than
    their own President. Of course, I don't trust Fox – – ever!

    3. Why shouldn't the President address the American people? He should have and I ,for one, am glad
    to hear what he was thinking. Who care what Newt says?

    So, he answered the questions, and we are hopeful this war plan ends. But, if our hopes are contingent
    on the honesty of Putin and Assad, it's good to keep up the pressure. These two are about as trustworthy
    as Fox Noise.

    September 11, 2013 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  8. Marie MD

    The best part was hearing our President say that we are not the police of the world.
    There have been many other countries that need humanitarian help and somehowor of another they have not gotten it. Why should Syria with their rebels executing others on video be the first?
    Both sides seem to be full of rage and barbarism.

    September 11, 2013 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  9. jpmichigan

    Usual duck and spin was provided by the President. He set double standard. 1. lets have a very short strike on Syria. 2. lets wait to vote on it. 3. give the Russians time to respond. 4. this action takes away the no-action about American killed in Benghazi. 4. he hopes everyone is still in awe of his ability to campaign . 5. he lacks credibility, leadership and governing skills. 5. he hopes he can get through the next 40 months without an impeachment

    September 11, 2013 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  10. Abbey

    Obama clearly has no plan in place. He keeps on reminding people that he was elected to end wars, not win them.

    September 11, 2013 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  11. Rudy NYC

    Yes, I am being most critical of the author of this article. It's as if the authors have been living in a bubble for the past couple of days, expecting this speech to still be about an argument to launch strikes against Syria, when so much has changed since the speech was initially scheduled. It's as if the authors had their list of prepared questions, listened most carefully to the speech to see if any of them were clearly answered, and then wrote about the misguided experience.

    September 11, 2013 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  12. Mel

    Obama left out the part where he should have thanked Putin for pulling his chestnuts out of the fire...temporarily. I can imagine Putin and the rest of his cronies have already planned out their next move for boxing Obama (and us) farther into a corner while Russia achieves their strategic goals. Be realistic, the U.S. does not currently have a coherent foreign policy.

    September 11, 2013 11:46 am at 11:46 am |