WORD LISTS

President Obama's remarks on Syria crisis

September 10, 2013
The situation in Syria is extremely complicated and seems to constantly be in flux. President Obama addressed the nation to talk about both the possibility of a peaceful solution and the prospect of the use of military force. Here are 26 words to help get a handle on this ever-changing situation. Drawn from Read President Obama's Speech on Syria (New York Magazine September 10, 2013)
regime
Over the past two years, what began as a series of peaceful protests against the repressive regime of Bashar al-Assad has turned into a brutal civil war.
humanitarian
In that time, America has worked with allies to provide humanitarian support, to help the moderate opposition, and to shape a political settlement.
settlement
In that time, America has worked with allies to provide humanitarian support, to help the moderate opposition, and to shape a political settlement.
massacre
The images from this massacre are sickening: Men, women, children lying in rows, killed by poison gas.
clutch
A father clutching his dead children, imploring them to get up and walk.
implore
A father clutching his dead children, imploring them to get up and walk.
gruesome
On that terrible night, the world saw in gruesome detail the terrible nature of chemical weapons, and why the overwhelming majority of humanity has declared them off-limits -- a crime against humanity, and a violation of the laws of war.
holocaust
In World War II, the Nazis used gas to inflict the horror of the Holocaust.
dictator
When dictators commit atrocities, they depend upon the world to look the other way until those horrifying pictures fade from memory.
atrocity
When dictators commit atrocities, they depend upon the world to look the other way until those horrifying pictures fade from memory.
erode
As the ban against these weapons erodes, other tyrants will have no reason to think twice about acquiring poison gas, and using them.
tyrant
As the ban against these weapons erodes, other tyrants will have no reason to think twice about acquiring poison gas, and using them.
prospect
Over time, our troops would again face the prospect of chemical warfare on the battlefield.
embolden
And a failure to stand against the use of chemical weapons would weaken prohibitions against other weapons of mass destruction, and embolden Assad’s ally, Iran -- which must decide whether to ignore international law by building a nuclear weapon, or to take a more peaceful path.
deter
The purpose of this strike would be to deter Assad from using chemical weapons, to degrade his regime’s ability to use them, and to make clear to the world that we will not tolerate their use.
imminent
So even though I possess the authority to order military strikes, I believed it was right, in the absence of a direct or imminent threat to our security, to take this debate to Congress.
toll
Now, I know that after the terrible toll of Iraq and Afghanistan, the idea of any military action, no matter how limited, is not going to be popular.
retaliation
Other questions involve the dangers of retaliation.
demise
Neither Assad nor his allies have any interest in escalation that would lead to his demise.
extremist
It’s true that some of Assad’s opponents are extremists.
chaotic
But al Qaeda will only draw strength in a more chaotic Syria if people there see the world doing nothing to prevent innocent civilians from being gassed to death.
verify
It’s too early to tell whether this offer will succeed, and any agreement must verify that the Assad regime keeps its commitments.
posture
Meanwhile, I’ve ordered our military to maintain their current posture to keep the pressure on Assad, and to be in a position to respond if diplomacy fails.
anchor
My fellow Americans, for nearly seven decades, the United States has been the anchor of global security.
writhing
To my friends on the left, I ask you to reconcile your belief in freedom and dignity for all people with those images of children writhing in pain, and going still on a cold hospital floor.
humility
With humility, but with resolve, let us never lose sight of that essential truth.

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