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Please begin with an informative title:

One real and one imagined.

President Obama has a consistency problem. This coming Tuesday night President Obama will address the nation to make his “case” for attacking Syria. His weekly address today sets the stage for his coming speech, but when I read it I couldn’t help but think about a weekly address a different Obama would have made almost 5 years ago if international agreements and human rights really had meaning to him.  See the contrast between the two Obama’s below the squiggly.

Intro

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Remarks of President Barack Obama
Weekly Address
The White House

September 7, 2013
Almost three weeks ago in Syria, more than 1,000 innocent people – including hundreds of children – were murdered in the worst chemical weapons attack of the 21st century. And the United States has presented a powerful case to the world that the Syrian government was responsible for this horrific attack on its own people.
January 31, 2009
Almost 6 years ago in Afghanistan and Iraq more than 1,000 innocent people – including hundreds of children – were subjected to harsh interrogation techniques and torture in the broadest government sponsored use of such cruel and degrading methods of the 21st century. And the United States was wholly responsible for planning and implementation of these programs in violation of international agreements and the legal principles and values of its own people.

September 7, 2013
This was not only a direct attack on human dignity; it is a serious threat to our national security. There’s a reason governments representing 98 percent of the world’s people have agreed to ban the use of chemical weapons. Not only because they cause death and destruction in the most indiscriminate and inhumane way possible – but because they can also fall into the hands of terrorist groups who wish to do us harm.
January 31, 2009
This was not only a direct attack on human dignity; it is a serious threat to our national security. There’s a reason governments representing 98 percent of the world’s people have agreed to ban the use of torture and cruel and degrading treatment of its prisoners. Not only because they cause death and physical harm in a most inhumane way – but because they do not work and they can also embolden terrorist groups who wish to do us harm and assist in their recruitment of even more terrorists.

September 7, 2013
That’s why, last weekend, I announced that, as Commander in Chief, I decided that the United States should take military action against the Syrian regime. This is not a decision I made lightly. Deciding to use military force is the most solemn decision we can make as a nation.
January 31, 2009
That’s why, last weekend, I announced that, as Commander in Chief, I decided that the United States undertake a full investigation into these abuses conducted in our name. This is not a decision I made lightly. Deciding to share the truth about our conduct is the most solemn but necessary decision we can make as a nation.

September 7, 2013
As the leader of the world’s oldest Constitutional democracy, I also know that our country will be stronger if we act together, and our actions will be more effective. That’s why I asked Members of Congress to debate this issue and vote on authorizing the use of force.
January 31, 2009
As the leader of the world’s oldest Constitutional democracy, I also know that our country will be stronger if we act together, and our actions will be more effective. That’s why I asked Members of Congress to use their oversight responsibilities to the fullest extent so that we can all be united in the pursuit of the facts and the truth.

September 7, 2013
What we’re talking about is not an open-ended intervention. This would not be another Iraq or Afghanistan. There would be no American boots on the ground. Any action we take would be limited, both in time and scope – designed to deter the Syrian government from gassing its own people again and degrade its ability to do so.
January 31, 2009
What we’re talking about is not an open-ended investigation. This would not be another Whitewater. There would be no rush to judgment. Any action we take would be based on the facts and the law, both domestically and as we are bound by international treaties, – designed to deter any future such abuses being conducted in the name of our own people again.

September 7, 2013
I know that the American people are weary after a decade of war, even as the war in Iraq has ended, and the war in Afghanistan is winding down. That’s why we’re not putting our troops in the middle of somebody else’s war.
January 31, 2009
I know that the American people are weary as we near a decade of war, even as the war in Iraq continues, and the war in Afghanistan is about to surge. That’s why we’re going to get to the bottom of this – to ensure that nothing like it ever happens again.

September 7, 2013
But we are the United States of America. We cannot turn a blind eye to images like the ones we’ve seen out of Syria. Failing to respond to this outrageous attack would increase the risk that chemical weapons could be used again; that they would fall into the hands of terrorists who might use them against us, and it would send a horrible signal to other nations that there would be no consequences for their use of these weapons. All of which would pose a serious threat to our national security.
January 31, 2009
But we are the United States of America. We cannot turn a blind eye to images like the ones we’ve seen out of Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo.  Failing to respond to this outrageous program would increase the risk that such techniques could be used again; that they would be used by our enemies or terrorists who might use them against us, and it would send a horrible signal to other nations that there would be no consequences for their use of universally denounced abuses. All of which would pose a serious threat to our troops and personnel and our national security.

September 7, 2013
That’s why we can’t ignore chemical weapons attacks like this one – even if they happen halfway around the world. And that’s why I call on Members of Congress, from both parties, to come together and stand up for the kind of world we want to live in; the kind of world we want to leave our children and future generations.  
January 31, 2009
That’s why we can’t ignore actions taken in a program like this one – even if they happen halfway around the world. And that’s why I call on Members of Congress, from both parties, to come together and stand up for the kind of world we want to live in; the kind of world we want to leave our children and future generations.  

Thank you.

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