The U.S. will not be acting alone if and when it launches military strikes against the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad. French President Francois Hollande spoke with President Obama today. France and the U.S. will act together after congressional discussions.
As NPR's Eleanor Beardsley reports, this Franco-American alliance is a complete turnabout from the lead up to the war in Iraq 10 years ago.
If you're just joining us, this is WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Jacki Lyden.
The chemical weapons attack in Syria on August the 21st was the first time in a quarter century that such weapons had been used against civilians during a conflict. In 1988 during the Iran-Iraq War, the Iraqi city of Halabja was subjected to a gas attack by Saddam Hussein. At least 5,000 people died.
A transcript of President Obama's remarks on possible U.S. military action in Syria, as released by the White House:
Good afternoon, everybody. Ten days ago, the world watched in horror as men, women and children were massacred in Syria in the worst chemical weapons attack of the 21st century. Yesterday the United States presented a powerful case that the Syrian government was responsible for this attack on its own people.
Originally published on Tue September 3, 2013 10:22 am
When the Cold War ended two decades ago there was a widespread belief that the greatest threat to U.S. troops would be boredom. It seemed they faced a future with little to do besides polishing their boots and staging the occasional military exercise.
Yet U.S. presidents are calling on the military more often than ever, with U.S. forces carrying out more than a dozen separate operations since the first Gulf War in Iraq in 1991.
Police say the convicted 18-year-old was one of five men who lured the 23-year-old victim and her male friend onto a bus in the capital, New Delhi, where she was repeatedly raped and beaten in December.
The Taliban conducted a series of deadly attacks across Afghanistan this week, killing civilians, Afghan forces and several NATO service members. But they are targeting far fewer NATO troops these days, because those troops are focused on training and advising the Afghan army. NPR's Sean Carberry spent five days with U.S. Marines in one of Afghanistan's chronic hot spots and speaks with host Scott Simon.
What would Iraq and Israel do if the U.S. launches military action against the Syrian government? Former analyst at the Defense Intelligence Agency Joshua Foust speaks with host Scott Simon about the wider consequences for the Middle East.
Originally published on Fri August 30, 2013 6:07 pm
As President Obama attempts to make good on his threats to punish Syrian officials for crossing a "red line" by allegedly using deadly chemical weapons, he's being buffeted by political crosscurrents.
Some arise from the structure of U.S. democracy itself, and the balance of powers between the branches. Others emerge from the nation's particular state of mind after more than a decade of war in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Here are six points to keep in mind as Obama considers how best to demonstrate American resolve to Syrian President Bashar Assad.
Just as good writing demands brevity, so, too, does spoken language. Sentences and phrases get whittled down over time. One result: single words that are packed with meaning, words that are so succinct and detailed in what they connote in one language that they may have no corresponding word in another language.
Such words aroused the curiosity of the folks at a website called Maptia, which aims to encourage people to tell stories about places.
The U.S. intelligence community has released its declassified analysis of the Aug. 21 chemical weapons attack in Syria. The analysis concludes that Syria's government is likely responsible for the attack, which, it says, killed some 1,400 people.
All summer we've been traveling the world hearing about what other cultures put on their grills. We call it the Global Grill. Today, reporter Lauren Frayer brings us a treat enjoyed throughout the Spanish-speaking world, but she offers her apologies. The Cochinillo asado isn't exactly cooked on a grill, but it is cooked on an outdoor fire in a clay pot. Lauren tells us the dish comes from the ancient kingdom of Castile in central Spain and has made literary appearances dating back hundreds of years.
The U.S. Open is underway in New York. The top tennis players from all over the world are competing. On the women's side, Li Na of China, the sixth ranked female player in the world, today advanced to the fourth round with a win over Laura Robson of Britain. Li Na has had a remarkable career. She won the French Open in 2011, making her the only athlete from Asia to win a Grand Slam singles title.
It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Robert Siegel.
MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:
And I'm Melissa Block. U.N. weapons inspectors visited a military hospital in Damascus today. There, they saw the effects of what the Syrian government says were chemical weapons attacks by rebel fighters. The inspectors have already collected samples from a rebel-held suburb that was allegedly struck with chemical weapons more than a week ago, early on August 21st.
Originally published on Mon September 2, 2013 10:03 am
Jamaica is known for beaches and warm weather, but for many gay and lesbian people living on the island, it's a place of hatred. A documentary, The Abominable Crime shines a light on homophobia and anti-gay violence in Jamaica. Host Michel Martin finds out more from filmmaker Micah Fink and human rights activist Maurice Tomlinson. This segment initially aired July 22, 2013 on Tell Me More.
Originally published on Fri August 30, 2013 1:24 pm
For the past year and a half, Mike Hallatt has been driving across the U.S.-Canada border and back, bringing loads of groceries back to Vancouver. There's no food shortage in Canada — but there's an absolute lack of Trader Joe's grocery stores, and that created an opening for an entrepreneur who doesn't mind making a long drive.
Originally called Pirate Joe's, Hallatt's store serves a niche market: Canadians who wish Trader Joe's was in their country and who will pay a bit extra for triple ginger snaps and fanciful trail mixes.
Originally published on Fri August 30, 2013 2:15 pm
International outrage was palpable last week following reports that Syria used chemical weapons near the capital, Damascus. But now, as President Obama contemplates a strike against Syria, there's only limited support for military action.
Here's a look at countries that have criticized Syria and where they stand on intervention:
Originally published on Fri August 30, 2013 11:45 am
While public opinion polling hasn't exactly caught on in North Korea, a survey of defectors estimates that more than half of the country they left behind approves of the job leader Kim Jong Un is doing.
Seoul's Institute for Peace and Unification Studies, as reported by Yonhap news agency, asked 133 defectors to hazard a guess as to Kim's actual approval rating in the country, which at least publicly buys into the absolute cult of personality surrounding its leadership.
It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Linda Wertheimer.
DAVID GREENE, HOST:
And I'm David Greene. Good morning. Preparations for a military strike against Syria continue. The Obama administration says action is necessary, because the Syrian government used chemical weapons against its own people last week, killing hundreds.
WERTHEIMER: All week, the administration has been claiming their case is open and shut.
Now, one of the people urging President Obama to act on intelligence findings and strike against Syrian president Bashar al-Assad is retired General Jack Keane. He served in an advisory role in the U.S. occupation of Iraq, and he's now chairman of the board of the Institute for the Study of War. Keane says he has not been involved in the most recent talks about Syria, but he has a long history of military planning at the highest levels, and he gave us a window into the planning that's going on now.
Originally published on Thu August 29, 2013 5:35 pm
After debating deep into the night, the British House of Commons refused a precursory resolution on military strikes in Syria. The resolution, which failed 272-285, called for a second vote to authorize military action once the U.N. inspectors have issued their findings on whether the Syrian regime of Bashar Assad used chemical weapons against its own people.
"It is clear to me the British Parliament, reflecting the views of the British people, does not want to see British military action," Prime Minister David Cameron said. "I get that and the government will act accordingly."