Obama in weekly address: Syria won't be another Iraq or Afghanistan
September 7th, 2013
06:00 AM ET
10 years ago

Obama in weekly address: Syria won't be another Iraq or Afghanistan

(CNN) – President Barack Obama assured war-weary Americans in his weekly address Saturday that a potential military intervention in Syria wouldn't resemble the unpopular engagements in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Obama and his allies are hurriedly working to muster popular approval for his plan of limited strikes in Syria after they say a chemical weapon attack killed more than a thousand people in August. Lawmakers, who return to Washington next week, have been divided over whether or not to support Obama's plan.

In his address, the president reiterated his assertion that Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad's use of sarin gas was a threat to U.S. national security, as well as an affront to international law. And he said again that his plan wouldn't mimic the wars of the past decade, which many Americans say were mistakes.

"What we're talking about is not an open-ended intervention. This would not be another Iraq or Afghanistan," Obama said, adding later: "I know that the American people are weary after a decade of war, even as the war in Iraq has ended, and the war in Afghanistan is winding down. That's why we're not putting our troops in the middle of somebody else's war."

Passage of Obama's plan for Syria in Congress is far from certain, with many lawmakers saying their constituents are overwhelmingly against U.S. action in the war-torn nation. Public opinion polls show more Americans oppose military strikes than support them.

Without saying whether or not congressional approval was necessary to begin strikes in Syria, Obama stressed Saturday that any action would be more effective if "we act together."

"We are the United States of America," he said. "We cannot turn a blind eye to images like the ones we've seen out of Syria."

Filed under: President Obama • Syria
soundoff (33 Responses)
  1. GI Joe

    Obama said surgical strike.

    So McCain ran right out and wrote an all out war scenario.

    Cindy - take him home and put him on Aricept and whatever else he needs. Stick him in one of his 11 houses where you don't have to be bothered by him. Hire some illegal Latinos to care for him (or let some of your current illegals care for him).

    September 7, 2013 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  2. don in albuquerque

    At ST-And we have won how many wars since WWII? Oh that's right we invaded some little Caribbean Island for Ronnie Raygun. We did win that, of course entire their population would't fill a football stadium. "Best" at what?

    September 7, 2013 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  3. dwicjan

    Obama, Do you really think anyone believes you? I worked and voted for you but on this issue you are wrong. Listen to Tom Udall and Bernie Sanders. We need to spend more at home not on policing the world and creating an American empire.

    September 7, 2013 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  4. A True Conservative

    Of course it won't be. This is a democrat administration. What Democrat ha started a war....ok besides Wilson, FDR, Truman Kennedy/LBJ.....besides them.....

    September 7, 2013 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  5. dwicjan

    How many times do you need to be told NO. Listen to Tom Udall and Bernie Sanders not John McCain.

    September 7, 2013 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  6. Woman In California

    "We are the United States of America," he said. "We cannot turn a blind eye to images like the ones we've seen out of Syria."
    No, we can't but why must the U.S. do it alone? IF this is so right, why does it feel so wrong (to so many) and why aren't there others willing to aid us?

    September 7, 2013 11:56 pm at 11:56 pm |
  7. @RI_Roger (Follow me on Twitter)

    Five years of nothing but partisan political spin and ineffective leadership and now we are supposed to put our faith and confidence in the President? Unless there's deceit and trickery involved nothing gets passed along bi-partisan votes. Dropping munitions on a sovereign country is an act of war no matter how limited you "spin" it. The only way for the President to save face on this issue is for him to reverse his position and tell the American people on Tuesday how he will create a foreign policy that congress can agree will give him the authority for any type of future considerations that could be implemented without telegraphing (e.g. Killing OBL).

    September 8, 2013 06:23 am at 6:23 am |
  8. Dixie

    Well now China is in the Med. Gettin' pretty crouded there. Hope no one flinches. This is shapping up to be bigger than Syria. Will we be able to just leave? Don't think so.

    September 8, 2013 08:24 am at 8:24 am |
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