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Nation/World

September 2, 2013

Obama seeks Congress' OK for action on Syria

(Continued)

Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., said Congress and the American people would support action once Obama finishes making his case. Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., said if Obama doesn’t do that, he won’t get his authorization.

“He’s got to come out and really be in-depth with respect to the intelligence that we know is out there,” said Chambliss, the top Republican on the Senate Intelligence Committee. “He’s got to be in-depth with respect to what type of military action is going to be taken and what is our current strategy.”

At the Capitol, Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., said Obama’s proposed resolution needed tightening. “I don’t think Congress is going to accept it as it is,” he said.

In his TV interviews, Kerry reiterated Obama’s oft-repeated promise not to send any American troops into Syrian territory.

Polls show significant opposition among Americans to involvement, and several lawmakers have cited the faulty intelligence about weapons of mass destruction that led up to President George W. Bush’s 2003 Iraq invasion as justification of the need for lengthy debate before U.S. military action.

Kerry, who voted to authorize Bush’s 2003 Iraq invasion but then opposed it in his unsuccessful presidential bid a year later, rejected any comparisons to America’s recent wars.

“This is not Iraq. This is not Afghanistan. There is nothing similar in what the president is contemplating,” Kerry said. “There are others who are willing to fight, others who are engaged. And the issue here is not whether we will go and do it with them, it’s whether we will support them adequately in their efforts to do it.”

Kerry appeared on CBS, NBC’s “Meet the Press,” CNN’s “State of the Union,” ‘‘Fox News Sunday” and ABC’s “This Week.” Paul was on NBC, Rogers and Murphy were on CNN, King and Inhofe were on Fox, and Chambliss and Kaine were on CBS.

Associated Press writer Laurie Kellman in Washington contributed to this report.

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