Obama: Diplomacy in Syria Deserves More Time - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Obama: Diplomacy in Syria Deserves More Time

Posted:

WASHINGTON, DC (CBS News) -   More than a week since announcing his decision that the United States should -- with the approval of Congress -- launch a military strike against Syrian President Bashar Assad for his alleged use of chemical weapons, President Obama on Tuesday night told the American public that the threat of a military strike should stay on the table while the U.S. and its allies take more time to pursue a diplomatic resolution with Assad.

"Sometimes resolutions and statements of condemnation are simply not enough," Mr. Obama said in a televised address from the East Room of the White House. "Our ideals and principles, as well as our national security, are at stake in Syria.:

 

The President said that, given Syria's recent offer to give up its chemical weapons, he's asked the leaders of Congress to postpone their vote on the use of force. The administration will work with its allies in the United Nations, he said, to put forward a resolution requiring Assad to give up the weapons. The international community will also give U.N. inspectors an opportunity to report their findings on the use of chemical weapons in Syria. 

In the meantime, President Obama said, he's ordered the U.S. military to "be in a position to respond" in case diplomatic efforts fail.

"For nearly seven decades the United States has been the anchor of global security," he said. "This has meant more than forging international agreements, it has meant enforcing them."
Acknowledging the skepticism and concern among the public over the prospect of a military strike, the president explained why intervening in Syria is in the nation's interest.

Mr. Obama asserted, "We know the Assad regime was responsible" for an apparent chemical weapons attack on August 21 that killed more than 1,000 people outside of Dasmascus, in what Mr. Obama called "a violation of the laws of war."

"If we fail to act, the Assad regime will see no reason to stop using chemical weapons," the president said. "Over time our troops would again face the prospect of chemical warfare on the battlefield." 

Chemical weapons could fall into the hands of terrorists or threaten American allies neighboring Syria, he said. A failure to act, he added, could weaken prohibitions against other weapons of mass destruction, potentially emboldening Iran to continue developing its nuclear weapons capabilities.

"This is not a world we should accept," Mr. Obama said. "This is what's at stake."
The president also addressed the fast-moving diplomatic developments in Syria. As recently as Sunday, in an interview with Charlie Rose, Assad refused to even acknowledge the existence of his chemical weapons stockpile. By Tuesday, however, Syrian officials said they were interested in accepting a Russian proposal to avert a U.S. strike by relinquishing its chemical weapons to the international community and signing the Chemical Weapons Convention.

"Over the last few days we've seen some encouraging signs," Mr. Obama said, noting that they followed his "constructive talks" with Russian President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the G-20 Summit last week.

"It's too early to tell whether this offer will succeed," he said. However, he added, it "has the potential to remove the threat of chemical weapons without the use of force."

The president's prime-time address followed weeks of intense engagement with Congress over a possible military strike. On Tuesday, Mr. Obama went to Capitol Hill to meet separately with the Senate Democratic Caucus and the Senate Republican Conference, spending more than an hour with each group.

 

  • Delmarvawide NewsDelmarvawide NewsMore>>

  • Shoreline Under Repair Along NASA Wallops Flight Facility

    Shoreline Under Repair Along NASA Wallops Flight Facility

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 12:05 AM EDT2014-07-23 04:05:19 GMT
    For more than one year, the Atlantic Ocean has been chewing up a zone that protects NASA's most critical launch assets on Wallops Island. Hurricane Sandy is to blame. Now, a coastal restoration project is underway to fix the damage on the coastline.More
    For more than one year, the Atlantic Ocean has been chewing up a zone that protects NASA's most critical launch assets on Wallops Island. Hurricane Sandy is to blame. Now, a coastal restoration project is underway to fix the damage on the coastline.More
  • Second Public Hearing Brings More Opposition

    Second Public Hearing Brings More Opposition

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 11:24 PM EDT2014-07-23 03:24:04 GMT
    When Planning and Zoning held their public hearing on July 10, hundreds of people came out to voice their support and opposition to a country music festival in the Harbeson area. Approximately two weeks later on Tuesday afternoon about 100 showed up to voice their opinion, primarily in opposition. The County Council heard from dozens of neighbors who said they were staunchly against the festival, citing potential problems with noise, traffic, pollution, and crime.More
    When Planning and Zoning held their public hearing on July 10, hundreds of people came out to voice their support and opposition to a country music festival in the Harbeson area. Approximately two weeks later on Tuesday afternoon about 100 showed up to voice their opinion, primarily in opposition. The County Council heard from dozens of neighbors who said they were staunchly against the festival, citing potential problems with noise, traffic, pollution, and crime.More
  • Del. Police See High Crime Clearance Rate

    Del. Police See High Crime Clearance Rate

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 1:27 AM EDT2014-07-23 05:27:14 GMT
    The Dover Police Department says its criminal investigations unit could see its best clearance rate in five years.More
    The Dover Police Department says its criminal investigations unit could see its best clearance rate in five years.More
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Updated: Fire Ruins Historical Hebron Church

    Updated: Fire Ruins Historical Hebron Church

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 11:33 PM EDT2014-07-23 03:33:21 GMT
    Fire has destroyed the historical St. Paul's Episcopal Church located on westbound Route 50 in Hebron.More
    Authorities are investigating a Tuesday fire that destroyed the historical St. Paul's Episcopal Church at the corner of Memory Gardens Lane and Route 50 in Hebron, Md. Preliminary damage is estimated at approximately $500,000.More
  • Two Killed in Del. Crash

    Two Killed in Del. Crash

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 11:45 AM EDT2014-07-22 15:45:19 GMT
    Delaware State Police say two Dover men were killed Monday night after the tow truck they were riding in went off the road and crashed into a telephone pole near Little Creek.More
    Delaware State Police say two Dover men were killed Monday night after the tow truck they were riding in went off the road and crashed into a telephone pole near Little Creek. More
  • Federal Appeals Court Deals Blow to Health Law

    Federal Appeals Court Deals Blow to Health Law

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 11:46 AM EDT2014-07-22 15:46:35 GMT
    A federal appeals court has delivered a serious setback to President Barack Obama's health care law, potentially derailing subsidies for many low- and middle-income people who have bought policies.More
    A federal appeals court has delivered a serious setback to President Barack Obama's health care law, potentially derailing subsidies for many low- and middle-income people who have bought policies.More
Powered by WorldNow

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and WBOC. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service