The use of chemical weapons anywhere in the world is an affront to human dignity and a threat to the security of people everywhere. We have a duty to preserve a world free from the fear of chemical weapons for our children. Today marks an important step towards achieving this goal.President Obama, in a statement on the deal between the U.S. and the Russian government to destroy chemical weapons in Syria—a deal which sets a mid-2014 deadline to do so, allowing UN penalties to be imposed if Syria doesn’t hold up its end of the bargain. Props to Kerry.
The American people are tired of war. But fatigue does not absolve us of our responsibility.Secretary of State John Kerry • Making a case for some sort of military action in Syria. With 1,429 people (including at least 426 children) reportedly killed in last week’s chemical attacks according to the U.S. government, President Obama laid out the possibility of a “limited, narrow act” to help in the region. Around 80 percent of Americans believe Obama needs Congressional approval before taking such an action.
To the best of our professional understanding, the regime used lethal chemical weapons against gunmen in a series of incidents in recent months.Brig. Gen. Itai Brun, research division chief for Israeli army intelligence • Claiming that Syria’s Assad government has used chemical weapons against it’s people (though offering no corroborating evidence), in remarks at the Institute for National Security Studies. of Tel Aviv University. Secretary of State John Kerry says he spoke to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu this morning, and that the leader “was not in a position to confirm” his military’s assessment. This isn’t a new concern for the United States, which has been under some international pressure to address claims to the UN by France and Britain, both allies, also suggesting that pro-Assad forces have used chemical weaponry. This has major political and diplomatic implications for America, as the administration has engaged in “red line” rhetoric on the matter of chemical weapons. source
And today, I want to make it absolutely clear to Assad and those under his command: The world is watching. The use of chemical weapons is and would be totally unacceptable. And if you make the tragic mistake of using these weapons, there where be consequences, and you will be held accountable.President Obama • Speaking forcefully to the Assad government of Syria last night, at the Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction symposium (he also lauded outgoing GOP Senator Richard Lugar, with whom he’s worked extensively on nuclear disarmament). The possibility of Syria mobilizing a chemical weapons attack on its people has been a worrisome one for human rights organizations worldwide, further stoked by a recent internet blackout that left Syria functionally opaque for two days. This is one of the most aggressive statements Obama has made on the conflict in Syria — as foreign-policy types like to say, he’s drawn a red line, which may be instructive of the level of involvement he’s comfortable with. source