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President Obama Seeks Approval For Syria Strike46:58
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President Obama seeks Congressional approval for a strike on Syria. We look at the latest.

President Barack Obama makes a statement about the crisis in Syria in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, Saturday, Aug. 31, 2013. (AP)
President Barack Obama makes a statement about the crisis in Syria in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, Saturday, Aug. 31, 2013. (AP)

What a shift of gears on Syria.  From what felt like “Full steam ahead and bombs away” to “Well, let’s take it to Congress.”  Let’s debate.  Let’s see.  President Obama’s Saturday address and call for a Congressional vote came at the end of a week of high dudgeon, full-on moral outrage over chemical attacks outside Damascus and American warships on the move.

Now, Washington has hit the pause button.  Will Congress support the President’s call for military action?  Not clear.

This hour, On Point:  the reluctant warrior, Barack Obama, waits on Syria – and what that means.
- Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Jim Michaels, military reporter for USA Today. (@jimmichaels)

Nancy Cordes, congressional correspondent for CBS News. (@nancycordes)

Aaron David Miller, public policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center. From 1978 to 2003 he advised six U.S. secretaries of state on Middle East policy and Arab-Israeli negotiations. (@aarondmiller2)

Paul Pillar, visiting professor at the Center for Security Studies at Georgetown University. 28-year veteran of the CIA, where he was one of the Agency’s top analysts.

From Tom's Reading List

The New York Times: Obama Seeks Approval by Congress for Strike in Syria -- "President Obama abruptly changed course on Saturday and postponed a military strike against the Syrian government in retaliation for a chemical weapons attack so he could seek authorization first from a deeply skeptical Congress."

Los Angeles Times: President Obama's U-turn on Syria is a gamble -- "But after less than an hour's stroll, Obama returned to the Oval Office and stunned his mostly new second-term national security team. He tapped the brakes on a military operation he had set in motion a week ago."

CBS News: Obama's request for congressional approval on a Syria strike marks "retreat," Syrian state media says — "A Syrian state-run newspaper on Sunday called President Barack Obama's decision to seek congressional approval before taking military action against Syria 'the start of the historic American retreat.'"

This program aired on September 2, 2013.

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