Obama makes case for Syria strike but then asks Congress

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It was a bit of a roller-coaster week for many living in the Middle East.

France, Britain and the United States started the week with strong talk of punishing Syria for a chemical attack that killed 1,400 — 400 of which were children.

Britain pulled out of the coalition after Parliament refused to sanction Prime Minister David Cameron. (If you pray for the U.K. check out the Christian Science Monitor’s analysis of what this means for Britain as a world power.)

France’s President Francois Hollande is still gung-ho on attacking Syria, but there are now buzz that Parliament there wants a say.

That’s because in a surprise to even President Barak Obama’s advisers, he decided to ask Congress to vote on striking Syria. Congress doesn’t come back in session until Sept. 9.

So everybody has a week to think about it. Everybody includes Syria, Israel, Lebanon, Jordan, the U.S., France and Turkey, at least.

The Syrian rebels are disappointed, and Syrian ruler Bashar Assad is defiant. Israel is scrambling to prepare for possible retaliatory strikes from Syria.

The immediate situation could deflate. If Obama decides to strike Syria — with or without Congress’ OK — it could spark a Mid East war that could inflame every nation from Iran to Egypt (Add Russia and Saudi Arabia. Russia continues to sell arms to the Syria government. Saudi Arabia is funding the rebels.)

Now what? We continue to watch and pray.

[Editor’s note: Because of a technical problem at Paper.li, no archive for this week’s headlines exists.]