Obama: Syria Chemical Weapon Surrender Could Be 'Breakthrough'
Would 'absolutely' pause military strike if it works
By Ruth Brown, Newser Staff
Posted Sep 9, 2013 6:05 PM CDT
President Barack Obama speaks at a G-20 Summit press conference in St. Petersburg, Russia.   (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

(Newser) – Obama has weighed in on the Russian proposal to get Syria to surrender its stockpile of chemical weapons, calling it both a "potentially positive development" and a possible "breakthrough"—but only if it's a genuine offer. The move comes after Hillary Clinton also made cautiously positive comments about the idea, as did John Kerry—though he later tried to back away from them. Like Clinton, Obama says in an interview with CNN that he doesn't believe Russia and Syria would have made this gesture had the US not threatened to retaliate in the first place. But, he says in a separate interview with ABC News, if the plan does work, he would "absolutely" pause the military strike.

"We're going to run this to ground," Obama tells CNN, saying he and Kerry will work with Russia and others to "see if we can arrive at something that is enforceable and serious." Obama acknowledges that removing every last chemical weapon from Syria won't end the country's civil war, "but it does solve the problem that I'm trying to focus on right now, which is making sure that you don't have over 400 children gassed indiscriminately by these chemical weapons."

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Sep 10, 2013 7:43 AM CDT
Mr. President Obama, A true leader knows what he/she is doing when he/she relinquishes the lead and follows another. You had damn well better be right on your change in direction, resolve, and control. This is your decisive world history legacy moment... I hope you are smart enough to realize it. Mr. President Putin, A true leader knows what to do when he/she is put into the preeminent lead position. Your offer apparently is being accepted, you damn well better deliver. This could very well be your unique moment to re-establish Russia as a true positive world advancer... I hope you see it that way and are not simply seeing President Obama as your personal new remote control toy. Mr. Presidents Obama and Putin, True leaders display conviction, communication, and conduct that firmly secures the confident support and backing of their leadership. Above all else, they also enforce a standard of performance upon themselves and others... a justice standard that visibly delivers rewards and remediation. Hundreds of innocent children have been slaughtered. What are your justice plans for their slaughterers? THE WORLD IS WATCHING... STAND UP AND DELIVER!!!
Sep 10, 2013 3:57 AM CDT
I do hope something can be achieved about the chemical weapons. That said: I want the civil war to STOP as well. So, how do we achieve this? Yes, we do need to get involved. I am a longtime member of Peace Action and I am a pacifist in theory. I don't like the US getting involved unless they have been asked to do so or IF the situation is a matter of life or death. Get my point? But, as long as that good for nothing SOB Ala Saad family is alive, there will be nothing but a living hell. He has to be one away with. The f... g family must GO.
Sep 10, 2013 3:44 AM CDT
I believe him when he says he'll 'run this thing into the ground'. he's definitely had experience in this endeavor - he's run this country into the ground and did an a$$-kickin' job of it, too.