Obama Giving Diplomacy With Syria More Time

To join the conversation on this story and others, "like" our KKTV 11 News Facebook page!

President Barack Obama says he long resisted calls for military action in Syria but that the situation changed after Syria's government gassed its own citizens.

But in the wake of Syria's announcement preceding his televised address Tuesday that they are willing to agree to a Russian proposal to turn over their chemical weapons, the president said he has asked members of Congress to postpone their vote on the use of force.

"Over the last few days, we've seen some encouraging signs," Obama said in his address to the nation Tuesday night. "It's too early to tell whether this offer will succeed...[it] has the potential to remove the threat of chemical weapons without the use of force."

But, Obama said, the military has been ordered to "be in a position to respond," if diplomacy fails.

Prior to Syria's surprise gesture of conciliation, Obama's remarks were expected to be aimed at garnering support for military action. He still hit those bullet points Tuesday night, explaining that he saw both a moral imperative for action as well as a threat to national security.

"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."

Obama said no one disputes that chemical weapons were used in an attack on Aug. 21, and said thousands of Syrians have died from them. He said the images and videos of men, women and children are sickening and demand a response.

"When dictators commit atrocities, they depend upon the world to look the other way until those horrifying pictures fade from memory," the president said.

Chemical weapons could also fall into the hands of terrorists, and a failure to act could embolden other countries, particularly Iran, to continue developing their nuclear weapons capabilities, he went on.

If the U.S. were to take military action, Obama promised it would be a narrow and focused attack that would not put "boots on the ground."

"This would be a targeted strike to achieve a clear objective, deterring the use of chemical weapons and degrading Assad's capabilities," he said.

But now with the possibility of diplomacy, the president has pressed pause on plans for a military strike and is focusing over the coming days on a peaceful resolution. Secretary of State John Kerry is scheduled to meet with his Russian counterpart later this week, in hopes of drawing up a timeline for Syria to turn over their stockpile of chemical weapons. According to CNN, if a deal is reached, it will move on to the United Nations next.

KKTV firmly believes in freedom of speech for all and we are happy to provide this forum for the community to share opinions and facts. We ask that commenters keep it clean, keep it truthful, stay on topic and be responsible. Comments left here do not necessarily represent the viewpoint of KKTV 11 News.

If you believe that any of the comments on our site are inappropriate or offensive, please tell us by clicking “Report Abuse” and answering the questions that follow. We will review any reported comments promptly.

powered by Disqus
KKTV 520 E. Colorado Colorado Springs, CO 80903 Office: (719) 634-2844 Fax: (719) 632-0808 News Fax: (719) 634-3741
Copyright © 2002-2015 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 223230611 - kktv.com/a?a=223230611
Gray Television, Inc.