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Obama Says U.S. Working Toward Post-Assad Syria

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By Karen Parrish
American Forces Press Service

President Barack Obama said today the United States has both a moral obligation and a national security interest in “ending the slaughter in Syria,” but cannot act or build consensus based on perceptions.

During a joint White House press conference with South Korean President Park Geun-hye, Obama said the two leaders discussed Syria “where both our nations are working to strengthen the opposition and plan for a Syria without Bashar Assad.”

The United States also is obliged to ensure that a post-Assad Syria is stable, with a government that represents all its people and doesn’t create chaos for its neighbors, he added.

“That’s why for the last two years we have been active in trying to ensure that Bashar Assad exits the stage and that we can begin a political transition process,” Obama said. “That’s the reason why we have invested so much in humanitarian aid. That’s the reason why we are so invested in helping the opposition, why we’ve mobilized the international community, to isolate Syria. That’s why we are now providing non-lethal assistance to the opposition. And that’s why we’re going to continue to do the work that we need to do.”

Assessing costs and benefits of action in Syria shows “there’d be severe costs in doing nothing,” Obama said.

“That’s why we’re not doing nothing,” he added. “That’s why we are actively invested in the process.”

U.S. leaders are working “to hasten the day when we can see a better situation in Syria,” he said. “We’ve been doing that all along and we’ll continue to do that.

While many people would understandably prefer an easy answer to the dilemma Syria poses, Obama said, “That’s not the situation there.”

He added his job as president and commander in chief is to measure “our very real and legitimate humanitarian and national security interests in Syria” against “my bottom line, which is what’s in the best interests of America’s security.”

His decisions can’t be based on hope, Obama said, but “on hard-headed analysis in terms of what will actually make us safer and stabilize the region.”

The president acknowledged there is evidence of the use of sarin gas, a nerve agent, inside Syria, but added he can’t organize international coalitions around perceived information.

“We want to make sure that we have the best analysis possible,” he said. “We want to make sure that we are acting deliberately.”

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About Edited by Susan Bainbridge

At age 6, Susan was destined to be a journalist and photographer.  In 1980, Susan founded Bainbridge News and The Bainbridge Chronicle Newspaper. Bainbridge News specializes in Military and National Politics, including Military Funerals and Burials and Political Funerals and Burials.  Susan has covered the White House, the Pentagon and Capitol Hill. She has covered every president from Ronald Reagan to Barack Obama. Recognized for her versatility, Susan has also covered finance, crime, civil rights events, marches, sports, musical events and more. In 1990, she established Bainbridge Photography, an On-Location photography company. In addition to military and political events, including Military and Political funerals and burials, Bainbridge Photography expanded into covering ALL funerals and burials, receptions, weddings, real estate, inventory, insurance, portrait, head shot, pets, fire and Hazmat.  Miss Bainbridge believes in going the extra mile. "My Clients always come first." In 1980, Susan began her career in Washington, D.C., working for WMZQ Radio as a reporter and guest hostess from 1980 to 1985. Intrigued by radio, Susan wanted to write, freelancing for radio, television and print newspapers, including AP, The Washington Post, The Washington Times, The Northern Virginia Sun, The Press-Republican and The Bainbridge Chronicle (established by Susan Bainbridge). In 1986, Susan worked at WDCA-TV Channel 20 as a guest hostess for "Eye On Washington." From 1990 to 1994, Susan reported and anchored for "The Arlington Weekly News." Additionally, she produced a segment for the G. Gordon Liddy Radio Show. A prolific writer, while in high school in 1977, Bainbridge wrote an episode for NBC's "Little House on The Prairie" entitled "Laura's Best Friend." Though the show's producers did not use the script then, NBC producers encouraged Susan to pursue a writing and journalism career. Susan is a member of the National Press Club, the National Press Photographer's Association and the Society of Professional Journalists. Susan Bainbridge's recognitions include from former Presidents Ronald Reagan, George Herbert Walker Bush and Bill Clinton, former First Lady Nancy Reagan, former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, the late actor Lorne Greene, among many others. BAINBRIDGE NEWS was founded in 1980 by Susan Bainbridge (a sixth generation writer), a third generation journalist, a first generation photographer and a fourth generation entrepreneur. She is the first generation to establish a news business. Bainbridge News is dedicated in honor of Miss Bainbridge's late grandfather and idol, Mark S. Watson (The Baltimore Sun editor and war correspondent from 1920 to his death in 1966).

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