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Sep 4, 2013

Obama says U.S. not snooping on ordinary people

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) – The United States does not spy on ordinary people’s mail and phone calls, President Barack Obama said on Wednesday, insisting that U.S. intelligence gathering was targeted at specific areas of concern.

Obama has faced questions at home and abroad after Edward Snowden, a former contractor for the National Security Agency, leaked documents showing the organization monitors a vast array of email and telephone data of both Americans and foreigners.

Sep 4, 2013

Obama: U.S. credibility on the line in Syria response

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) – President Barack Obama issued a blunt challenge to skeptical U.S. lawmakers on Wednesday to approve his plan for a military strike on Syria, saying otherwise they would put America’s international prestige and their own credibility at risk.

Using a visit to Sweden to build his case for limited military action against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Obama insisted that the international community could not remain silent in the face of the “barbarism” of the August 21 chemical weapons attack he blamed on Syrian government forces.

Sep 2, 2013

Obama and aides confront skeptical Congress on Syria strike

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama and his top aides launched a full-scale political offensive on Sunday to persuade a skeptical Congress to approve a military strike against Syria, but faced a struggle to win over lawmakers from both parties and a war-weary American public.

Obama made calls to members of the House of Representatives and Senate, with more scheduled for Monday, underscoring the task confronting the administration before it can go ahead with using force in response to a deadly chemical attack blamed on the Syrian government.

Sep 1, 2013

Building case for lawmakers, U.S. says sarin gas used in Syria attack

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Secretary of State John Kerry said on Sunday tests showed that sarin nerve gas was used in a deadly August 21 chemical attack near Damascus as he sought to build the case to convince skeptical lawmakers to authorize a military strike against the Syrian government.

He invoked the crimes of Adolf Hitler, Saddam Hussein and the potential threat to Israel from Syria and Iran in a round of television interviews a day after President Barack Obama delayed imminent military action in Syria to seek approval first from the U.S. Congress – a decision that puts any strike on hold for at least nine days.

Aug 31, 2013

Obama and Syria: The education of a reluctant war president

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – He was the peace candidate who became a war president, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate who has regularly ordered executions by drone.

Just three months ago, President Barack Obama called for an end to America’s “perpetual war-time footing.” Now he has ordered the U.S. military into position for an aerial strike in Syria – with neither hopes it will end that country’s cataclysmic civil war, nor the backing of the broad global coalition he wanted.

Aug 31, 2013

Analysis – Obama and Syria: The education of a reluctant war president

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – He was the peace candidate who became a war president, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate who has regularly ordered executions by drone.

Just three months ago, President Barack Obama called for an end to America’s “perpetual war-time footing.” Now he has ordered the U.S. military into position for an aerial strike in Syria – with neither hopes it will end that country’s cataclysmic civil war, nor the backing of the broad global coalition he wanted.

Aug 29, 2013

Obama makes case for punishing Syria, delay looks likely

WASHINGTON/AMMAN (Reuters) – President Barack Obama told Americans a military strike against Syria is in their interest, although there were signs on Thursday that any action will be delayed at least several days while the case is laid out to U.S. and British lawmakers.

Senior Obama administration officials are expected to brief congressional leaders on Thursday, with lawmakers complaining they have not been properly consulted about plans to respond to what Washington says was the gassing of civilians.

Aug 29, 2013

Obama makes case for punishing Syria, but possible delays loom

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama made the case on Wednesday for a limited military strike against Syria in response to last week’s chemical weapons attack even as he faced new obstacles with British allies and U.S. lawmakers that could delay any imminent action.

Casting the need for intervention in Syria’s civil war on the basis of U.S. national security interests instead of humanitarian grounds, Obama presented his clearest justification to war-weary Americans for confronting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government with “international consequences.”

Aug 29, 2013

Obama makes case for punishing Syria over gas attack

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama vowed on Wednesday that the Syrian government would face “international consequences” for last week’s deadly chemical attack, but made clear any military response would be limited to avoid dragging the United States into another war in the Middle East.

Casting the need for action based on U.S. national security interests instead of humanitarian grounds, Obama made his case to a war-weary American public for what is looking like an all-but-certain use of force in Syria, where he has long been reluctant to intervene.

Aug 28, 2013

U.S., allies prepare for probable military strike on Syria

AMMAN/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States and its allies geared up on Tuesday for a probable military strike against Syria that could come within days and would be the most aggressive action by Western powers in the Middle Eastern nation’s two-and-a-half-year civil war.

Western envoys have told the Syrian opposition to expect a military response soon against President Bashar al-Assad’s forces as punishment for a chemical weapons attack last week, according to sources who attended a meeting with the rebel Syrian National Coalition in Istanbul.

    • About Matt

      "White House correspondent who has covered news on four continents for Reuters, from Latin American coups and drug wars to the O.J. Simpson murder trial in Los Angeles to the Balkans conflict to the second Palestinian Intifada to the Iraq war. He has covered George W. Bush and is now covering President Barack Obama."
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