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Pushing for action in Syria

Bill Ritter's daily take on the news.
September 3, 2013 2:14:36 PM PDT
All the President's men tried to make the case this afternoon about why the U.S. Congress should authorize an attack on Syria.

Americans and Congress still recuperating from getting burned the last time a White House promised and crossed its heart that intelligence reports of weapons of mass destruction existed in a Muslim country. We're still paying for the mistake in Iraq, where in fact no WMD's existed.

But now the man who cut his political teeth testifying before Congress as a young Vietnam Vet against the war way back when, today tried to convince his former colleagues that this time, promise, cross-my-heart, really and truly, we need to bomb Syria on a "limited basis" because they killed their own people with Sarin gas, which is outlawed under international law.

There are many people who are blasting Pres. Obama for drawing the "red line" and then backing away, and then asking Congress for authorization of military force. But it was a bold move ? and a symbol of democracy. This is a hornet's nest of an issue. No one wants to bomb Syria ? and the powder keg that could explode if that happens. On the other hand, what's a civilized country to do about mass murder of adults and children? If we do nothing, then what does that say of us?

There are many who offer that we should punish Syria in other ways ? ways that hurt them financially.

Either way, it's a good thing this debate is now going on in Congress.

It was a big day in the Senate, with John Kerry and Chuck Hagel ? both former Senators ? making the case to their former colleagues. We'll have the latest on the crisis in Syria, tonight at 11.

Also at 11, we're in Brooklyn, where police are trying mightily to find the gang banger who killed a 1-year-old baby as his gang-banger father pushed him in a stroller on a street in Brownsville. Was the father targeted? Was the baby targeted? The folks who are grieving aren't cooperating. It's a sad commentary that has many in the community upset ? gangs have taken over. And many are fed up. Our Carolina Leid is there tonight .

And our political reporter Dave Evans is covering tonight's Democratic candidates Mayoral debate. This as the latest poll shows Bill de Blasio has skyrocketed in the polls ? to 43 percent. If that holds above 40, he would avoid a runoff. De Blasio winning big with women (more than twice as much as Quinn, curiously) and with blacks, with 47 percent.

We'll also have any breaking news of the night, plus Meteorologist Lee Goldberg's AccuWeather forecast, and Laura Behnke (in for Rob Powers) with the night's sports. I hope you can join Sade Baderinwa and me, tonight at 11.

BILL RITTER

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