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2014-07-09
R.I.P. William 'Bill' Herbert Kelder - Intellpuke

2013-11-28
Gamers Donate 37,500 Pounds Of Food To Needy

2013-09-30
Statement From The Whitehouse Regarding The Government Shutdown

2013-09-29
An Open Response To 'Organizing for Action'

2013-08-26
Bayou Corne: The Biggest Ongoing Disaster In The U.S. You Have Not Heard Of

2013-04-21
Boston Mayor Hopes Feds 'Throw the Book' at Marathon Bombing Suspect

2013-04-19
Boston Police Closing In On Suspects

2013-04-15
2 Explosions At Boston Marathon. 2 Dead, Many Injured.

2013-01-03
The Press vs Citizens Rights and Privacy - Act 3

2012-12-30
CBS News - Year In Review 2012

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2012-12-25
Happy Holidays

2012-12-21
Welcome To A New Era!

2012-12-16
An Open Letter To United Health Care, Medcom, And The Medical Insurance Industry In General

2012-11-17
Whitehouse Petition To Remove "Under God" and "In God" From Currency And The Pledge.

2012-11-15
December 21, 2012

2012-11-11
If Hillary Clinton Ran For President, She Would Probably Be The Best-prepared Candidate In American History

2012-11-10
CIA Director David Petraeus Resigns After FBI Investigation Uncovers Affair With High-Profile Journalist

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2012-11-07
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2012-11-06
Live Election Results

2012-09-30
FIP In Hiatus

2012-09-18
U.S.-Afghan Military Operations Suspended After Attacks

Iran Nuclear Chief Says IAEA Might Be Infiltrated By 'Terrorists And Saboteurs'

Romney Stands By Gaffe

2012-09-17
President Obama Says China Trade Practices Harm American Auto Parts Workers


President Obama Warns Syria Over Use Of Chemical Or Biological Weapons
2012-08-21 03:55:32 (118 weeks ago)
Posted By: Intellpuke

U.S. President Barack Obama bluntly warned Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Monday not to cross a "red line" by using chemical or biological weapons in his country's bloody conflict and suggested that such action would prompt the United States to consider a military response.

Pointing out that he had refrained "at this point" from ordering U.S. military engagement in Syria, President Obama said that there would be "enormous consequences" if Assad failed to safeguard his weapons of mass destruction.

It was President Obama's strongest language to date on the issue, and he warned Syria not only against using its unconventional weapons, but against moving them in a threatening fashion.

"We have been very clear to the Assad regime, but also to other players on the ground, that a red line for us is we start seeing a whole bunch of chemical weapons moving around or being utilized," said Obama. "That would change my calculus."

"We cannot have a situation where chemical or biological weapons are falling into the hands of the wrong people," the President told an impromptu White House news conference. He acknowledged he was not "absolutely confident" the stockpile was secure.

(story continues below)




President Obama said the issue was of concern not only to Washington but also to its close allies in the region, including Israel.

Seeking re-election in November, Obama has been reluctant to get the United States involved in another war in the Middle East, even refusing to arm rebels fighting a 17-month-old uprising against Assad.

Syria last month acknowledged for the first time that it had chemical and biological weapons and said it could use them if foreign countries intervene - a threat that drew strong warnings from Washington and its allies.

Western countries and Israel have expressed fears chemical weapons could fall into the hands of militant groups as Assad's authority erodes.

Israel has said that if Syrian-backed Hezbollah guerrillas used the situation to take control of the weapons, it would "act immediately and with utmost force."

"We're monitoring that situation very carefully. We have put together a range of contingency plans," President Obama said when asked whether he envisioned the possibility of using U.S. forces at least to safeguard Syria's chemical arsenal.

The Global Security website, which collects published intelligence reports and other data, says there are four suspected chemical weapons sites in Syria: north of Damascus, near Homs, in Hama and near the Mediterranean port of Latakia. Weapons produced include the nerve agents VX, sarin and tabun, it said, without citing its sources.

President Obama also used the opportunity to renew his call for Assad to step down.

"The international community has sent a clear message that rather than drag his country into civil war, he should move in the direction of a political transition," said Obama. "But at this point, the likelihood of a soft landing seems pretty distant."

President Obama said the United States had already provided $82 million in humanitarian assistance for Syrian refugees and will "probably end up doing a little bit more" to keep the situation from destabilizing Syria's neighbors.

Intellpuke: You can read this Reuters article in context here: www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/aug/20/barack-obama-syria-chemical-weapons


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