World Leaders Resisting Obama's Push to Strike Syria

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From the G-20 Summit in Saint Petersburg, Russia, to congressional meetings in Washington D.C., the Obama administration is making the case that military action is needed against Syria as many world leaders and members of Congress remain skeptical. 

President Barack Obama met for all of 15 seconds Thursday with one of his chief opponents on Syria -- Russian President Vladimir Putin.

A Putin spokesman said the United States should wait for a united nations report on the chemical attack last month. and putin himself said the united states should not take action unless the U.N. authorizes a strike.

Russia has blocked any U.N. resolutions so far but the president said he'll continue to press.

"I think that international action would be much more effective and ultimately we can end deaths much more rapidly if Russia takes a different approach to these problems," Obama said.

Other world leaders are also resisting. German President Angela Merkel said no one knows who's behind the poison gas in Syria. And even the pope urged leaders to abandon the "futile pursuit" of military action.

Nevertheless the United States is moving forward with plans to punish Syria. Obama is monitoring the votes of lawmakers at home, as well as urging a strong international response.
"I didn't set a red line. The world set a red line," Obama said Wednesday at a joint press conference in Stockholm with Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt.
"The world set a red line when governments representing 98 percent of the world's populations said the use of chemical weapons are abhorrent and passed a treaty forbidding their use, even when countries are engaged in war," he said.
In Washington, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee passed a resolution that would give the president the authority to strike Syria. But it's still unclear whether it can pass the full Senate or House.
On Wednesday, Secretary of State John Kerry tried to convince House members to vote yes.
"The world is wondering whether the United States of America is going to consent through silence to stand aside while this type of brutality is allowed to happen without consequence," Kerry said.
But some say it's already too late. Conservative writer John Fund slammed Obama for his "pattern of indecisiveness."
"Washington is abuzz with talk about how much President Obama has damaged America's credibility with his indecisiveness on Syria," Fund wrote this in National Review Online.
So far, the president has been unable to get both houses of Congress to approve military action in Syria, with skepticism still coming from both Democrats and Republicans.
"I don't believe we should've given up on the United Nations," Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., said during Wednesday's hearing.
"We haven't given up on the UN," Kerry replied.
"Yes we have," Udall shot back.
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said, "I see a horrible tragedy. But I don't see that our involvement will lessen the tragedy."
Meanwhile in Syria, brutal fighting continues. Al Qaeda-linked rebels attacked a Christian village held by the Assad regime.

The president returns from the summit Friday night and is expected to address the nation in the next few days.

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Heather Sells

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