90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
President Obama’s Case On Syria

The President makes his case on Syria.  We turn to Congress and you for reaction.

President Barack Obama walks along the West Wing Colonnade towards the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2013, ahead of his daily briefing. (AP)

President Barack Obama walks along the West Wing Colonnade towards the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2013, ahead of his daily briefing. (AP)

And so the President came to the “my fellow Americans” moment last night on Syria.  White House trappings.  Stern appeal.  A wrong has been done.  A wrong that threatens a dark world.  America must raise its might to respond.

But not yet.  First, a stab at diplomacy.  With the Russians.  It was not an easy sell.  Americans have become a tough audience on war, or even its glimmer.  Congress, too.  So where do we stand?

This hour, On Point:  Reaction from you and from a big line-up of members of Congress to President Obama’s call on Syria.

– Tom Ashbrook

Guests

David Gergen, senior political analyst and director of the Center for Public Leadership at the Harvard Kennedy School. Former Presidential adviser to Presidents Nixon, Ford, Reagan and Clinton. (@david_gergen)

Rep. Eliot Engel, Democratic member of Congress for New York’s 16th District. Ranking minority member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. (@repeliotengel)

Rep. Michael Burgess, Republican member of Congress for Texas’ 26th District. (@michaelcburgess)

Rep. Alan Grayson, Democratic member of Congress for Florida’s 9th District and a member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. Last week, the New York Times published his op-ed, headlined: “On Syria Vote, Trust, but Verify.” He has started an online petition against intervention in Syria at www.dontattacksyria.com. (@alangrayson)

From Tom’s Reading List

Los Angeles Times: Obama, in speech on Syria, says America can’t ‘look the other way’ — “In a rare prime-time address from the White House, Obama declared that he saw “encouraging signs” in negotiations sparked by an unexpected Russian proposal to place Syria’s chemical weapons stockpiles under international control. But the president also counseled caution, and argued that the U.S. must maintain the threat of an attack to put pressure on the Syrian government.”

New York Magazine: Obama Talked War Tonight, But Lucked Into Peace — “President Obama’s East Room speech tonight was unusual, and probably unique, because it raised throughout the question: Why are you giving this speech? It was originally conceived as an argument for military action in Syria, but then two things happened in quick succession to make that moot. First, public opinion turned from skeptical to wildly hostile, especially among Republicans, killing any chance of passage in the House. Next, John Kerry, or perhaps Albert Brooks, set off an accidental chain of events that relocated the crisis into the diplomatic realm.”

NBC News: Obama will try more diplomacy on Syria but warns US ‘doesn’t do pinpricks’ – “Obama pledged not to send American troops into Syria but warned: ‘The United States military doesn’t do pinpricks. Even a limited strike will send a message to Assad that no other nation can deliver.'”

 

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Dec 19, 2014
Alan Gross, waves as he and his wife Judy leave following his statement at his lawyer's office in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014. Gross was released from Cuba after 5 years in a Cuban prison. (AP)

Cuba reset. Russia’s rubble troubles. School massacre in Pakistan. Jeb explores 2016. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

Dec 19, 2014
Soledad, and from left, Nina Pastori, and Lila Downs perform on stage at the Latin Recording Academy Person of the Year Tribute honoring Joan Manuel Serrat at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino on Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2014, in Las Vegas. (AP)

From crossover hits to hip-hop to soul, we look at a big year in the wide world of Latin music.

RECENT
SHOWS
Dec 18, 2014
A poster for the movie "The Interview" is carried away by a worker after being pulled from a display case at a Carmike Cinemas movie theater, Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014, in Atlanta. (AP)

A big Sony hack gets weirder and wider. And Hollywood and Homeland Security are on edge.

 
Dec 18, 2014
This handout photo from the Twitter account of Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz. shows Alan Gross arriving at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014. The US and Cuba have agreed to re-establish diplomatic relations and open economic and travel ties, marking a historic shift in U.S. policy toward the communist island after a half-century of enmity dating back to the Cold War, American officials said Wednesday. (AP)

Following months of secret talks the US will restore full diplomatic relations with Cuba after more than fifty years.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Our Week In The Web: December 19, 2014
Friday, Dec 19, 2014

Rage, shortlinks and things you people seem to be into, we guess. Also, Putin.

More »
Comment
 
Cosby Accuser Beverly Johnson: ‘He's A Black Man. I Had To Separate The Trayvon Martins, The Michael Browns From What Happened To Me’
Tuesday, Dec 16, 2014

Beverly Johnson accused comedian Bill Cosby of drugging her in a high-profile Vanity Fair column. She tells us why she waited so long to share her story, and why it was even harder to share now.

More »
2 Comments
 
Our Week In The Web: December 12, 2014
Friday, Dec 12, 2014

On listener engagement, the meeting of trans-Atlantic royalty and the elusive origins of the chicken. (We promise this feed hasn’t been taken over the BBC…yet)

More »
Comment