SYRIA

Syria: Obama suggests diplomacy as alternative option

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As the president laid out his plan for Syria before a national TV audience on Tuesday night, political analyst Stephen Farnsworth was already breaking down the president's latest proposal to focus on diplomacy instead of airstrikes.

"I don't think the speech could really convince people who suffered through years and years of problems relating to Iraq and Afghanistan that it's time to take on yet another country in the Middle East," he said.

While the plan to use diplomacy instead of force may appeal to many Americans, the majority of those polled were actually opposed to military action in Syria. Many Syrians themselves are skeptical of the roles Syrian and Russian leaders will play.

Khalid Saleh is the spokesman for the Syrian opposition coalition that wants to remove President Bashal al-Assad from power. He says his organization was pleased with President Obama’s speech, and he agrees that only the threat of force from outside Syria will lead to diplomatic talks.

But he does worry that there will be more violence in Syria before anything constructive is accomplished.

"It requires us to trust Bashar Assad -- someone who killed 110,000 people, and now we have to trust him?," he questioned. "Someone who denied until 72 hours ago he had chemical weapons but now he says, I'll show you where they are, so now we have to take his word for it? It requires us to trust the Russians who supplied Assad with chemical weapons that are used to kill Syrian people..."

Saleh continued:

"Bashar Assad comes out on TV and says, I'm open to political solutions. His foreign minister does that and usually within 45 minutes to an hour he fires Scud missiles -- people are scared every time he mentions political solutions. They know he's going to use his air force against them."

 

 

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