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  • aretired_1998t aretired_1998t Apr 26, 2013 5:50 PM Flag

    Iraq looms large as wary Obama warns Syria over chemical weapons

    Iraq looms large as wary Obama warns Syria over chemical
    weapons
    By Olivier Knox, Yahoo! News | The Ticket – 1 hr 33 mins ago
    “A whole bunch,” meet “systematic.” President Barack Obama's cautious stance
    on the conflict in Syria shone clearly Friday as he warned President Bashar Assad
    that “the systematic use” of chemical weapons against Syrian rebels would
    trigger a forceful American response.
    Back in August, Obama bluntly warned Assad’s regime that while he had not “at
    this point” ordered an American military response to Syria's civil war, “a red line
    for us is we start seeing a whole bunch of chemical weapons moving around or
    being utilized."
    When it comes to chemical weapons, what is "a whole bunch"? What does
    "systematic" mean? The White House has carefully refused to define either term
    precisely, keeping the president's options open. Republicans have called for a far
    more forceful U.S. role in Syria, notably by arming the rebels and establishing
    "safe zones" to protect the opposition or Syrians fleeing the fighting.
    In 2008, Obama used his opposition to the Iraq war—and Hillary Clinton’s initial support for it—as a potent weapon to
    capture the Democratic presidential nomination. The flawed case for toppling Saddam Hussein looms large now as the
    president wrestles with the U.S. response to signs that Assad’s iron-fisted regime used chemical weapons in Syria’s two-year
    civil war. The conflict has claimed the lives of an estimated 70,000 people.
    “I think all of us, not just in the United States but around the world, recognize how we cannot stand by and permit the
    systematic use of weapons like chemical weapons on civilian populations,” Obama said as he met Friday in the Oval Office
    with King Abdullah II of Jordan.
    The president’s comments came a day after Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and the White House revealed that U.S.
    intelligence believed Assad had used chemical weapons, specifically the deadly nerve agent sarin, against opposition forces in
    the country's on

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