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October 5, 2012 | By Patrick J. McDonnell, Los Angeles Times
BEIRUT - Turkish officials declared their country does not want to enter a war with Syria, even as lawmakers authorized further military operations against the embattled nation and Turkish artillery struck Syrian positions for a second day. "We have no intention for a war," Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan told journalists in Ankara, reported the semiofficial Anatolian news agency. "We want only peace and security in our region. " Turkey's retaliatory artillery strikes on Syrian territory have ratcheted up fears that Syria's more-than-18-month civil conflict could trigger a regional war in the volatile Middle East.
September 28, 2012 | By Mitchell Landsberg and Maeve Reston, This post has been corrected. See details below
Mitt Romney  expressed optimism Friday that Iran  will drop its quest for nuclear weapons without a military strike by the United States or Israel,  and suggested that he and President Obama are largely on the same page when it comes to Iran. Lest that sound like an unusually conciliatory view for a political challenger, Romney did qualify his remarks about Obama, saying that the president has changed his views until they were more in line with the Republican nominee's. Still, his comments represented a bit of a ratcheting down in tone after months of harsh words about the Iranian threat.
September 16, 2012 | By Richard Simon
WASHINGTON - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu renewed his campaign on Sunday to get President Obama to take a harder line toward Iran over its nuclear program. Netanyahu, appearing on Sunday TV news shows in the midst of a heated presidential campaign, again urged President Obama to draw a "red line" before Tehran. "This is a matter of urgency," he said on CNN's "State of the Union," calling for the kind of action that he said President John F. Kennedy took with the Soviet Union during the Cuban missile crisis.
June 26, 2012 | By Patrick J. McDonnell, Los Angeles Times
BEIRUT - Turkey hinted it would ask its NATO allies to consider Syria's downing of a Turkish jet to be an attack on the entire alliance, as it struggles to craft a response tough enough to satisfy outraged public opinion at home while trying to avoid a slide into war. On the eve of Tuesday's NATO meeting called by Turkey to discuss the incident, Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc said during a news conference in the Turkish capital that "this...
June 17, 2012 | By Paul West and Michael Finnegan, Los Angeles Times
CORNWALL, Pa. - In hawkish remarks that drew cheers from an audience of religious conservatives, Mitt Romney accused President Obama on Saturday of being more afraid of Israel attacking Iran than of Iran developing a nuclear weapon. The Republican presidential candidate, who frequently attacks the administration for failing to back Israel's government more aggressively, escalated his criticism a notch. He responded with ridicule when asked what he would do, if elected, to strengthen U.S. relations with the Jewish state.
April 22, 2012
North Korea is threatening "retaliatory measures" for a decision by the United States to withhold 240,000 metric tons of food promised as part of an agreement announced less than two months ago. Never mind that the cancellation followed Pyongyang's failed launching of a missile designed to put a satellite into space, an operation the U.S. considered a violation of that same agreement, not to mention U.N. Security Council resolutions. The regime's chutzpah and hypocrisy know no bounds.
March 9, 2012 | By David Horsey
Who's ready to go to war with Iran? Oh, I forgot. Since we now have an army of professionals, none of the rest of us is actually required to go to war. And, since we now allow commanders-in-chief to unilaterally send that army into battle whenever they please, members of Congress don't have to bother voting for a declaration of war. War has become a matter of presidential choice. That's why we should take seriously what the candidates for president have to say about attacking Iran.
March 7, 2012 | By Kathleen Hennessey and Christi Parsons, Washington Bureau
  President Obama's first news conference of the year was loaded with questions on Iran, Israel and Afghanistan; notably absent was almost any talk of the still-limping economy. That's just the way the president's campaign team wants it. As he positions himself for a close-fought reelection battle in which domestic issues - particularly the economy - remain weak spots, foreign policy has emerged as an area of strength for Obama. That reverses decades of political tradition in which Republicans have been able to characterize Democrats as soft on national defense.
March 7, 2012 | By David S. Cloud, Los Angeles Times
President Obama on Tuesday ruled out a unilateral U.S. military campaign to support the beleaguered rebels in Syria, calling such an operation "much more complicated" than the NATO-led air war launched to help protect civilians during the civil war in Libya last year. At a White House news conference, Obama described the shelling and other attacks on civilians and rebel fighters by forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad as "heartbreaking and outrageous. " But Obama made it clear that he is not prepared to send U.S. forces to try to stop the carnage in Syrian cities and towns, or to help overthrow Assad, as some Republicans in Congress have urged.
March 5, 2012 | By Christi Parsons
President Obama told the Israeli prime minister Monday morning he thinks there is "still a window" in which diplomatic pressure will deter the Iranian nuclear program and that he is thinking about the "costs of any military action" as he contemplates that possibility. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu thanked Obama for recently acknowledging that "Israel has the sovereign right to make its own decisions," but he emphasized that "Israel must be able to defend itself. " With those brief remarks before television cameras, the two leaders began a closed-door session in the Oval Office in which each will try to persuade the other of a future course of action.
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