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Obama Pauses Again; Peace Wins, AIPAC Loses

By       Message James Wall       (Page 3 of 3 pages) Become a premium member to see this article and all articles as one long page.     Permalink

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"In an interview that aired simultaneously, the president told CNN that any diplomatic effort to resolve the conflict in Syria must be serious.

"'And we don't want just a stalling or delaying tactic to put off the pressure that we have ... right now,' he said.

"'We have to maintain this pressure, which is why I'll still be speaking to the nation tomorrow about why I think this is so important,' he added."

The president added that a breakthrough on control of Syrian chemical weapons would not solve "the underlying terrible conflict inside of Syria. But if we can accomplish this limited goal without taking military action, that would be my preference."

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The Washington Post emphasized that the President saw the events on Monday in a positive light:

"President Obama on Monday called a Russian proposal for Syria to turn over control of its chemical weapons to international monitors in order to avoid a military strike a 'potentially positive development,' that could represent a 'significant breakthrough,' but he said he remains skeptical the Syrian government would follow through on its obligations based on its recent track record.

"'Between the statements that we saw from the Russians -- the statement today from the Syrians -- this represents a potentially positive development,' Obama said in an interview with NBC News, according to a transcript provided by the network. 'We are going to run this to ground. [Secretary of State] John Kerry will be talking to his Russian counterpart. We're going to make sure that we see how serious these proposals are.'"

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The  Post added that the President said in a separate interview with ABC news "if Assad were to give up his chemical weapons, a military strike would 'absolutely' be on pause."

The President paused earlier when he involved the Congress in the decision to attack Syria. Now he appears ready to pause again, "absolutely."

Whatever the real story is behind Monday's series of events that unfolded in the direction of peace, we can be thankful that Obama has listened to his own public and is now choosing peaceful "pauses" rather than displays of shock and awesome military power.

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James Wall served as a Contributing Editor of The Christian Century magazine, based in Chicago, Illinois, from 1999 through 2017. From 1972 through 1999, he was editor and publisher of the Christian Century magazine. Many sources have influenced (more...)

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