President addresses the nation

"Tonight I want to talk to you about Syria..."

Alex Wong | Eastern Echo

President Obama leaves a meeting with Senate Republicans at the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday, September 10, 2013, in Washington, D.C. (Alex Wong/Pool/Abaca Press/MCT)

Last updated: 09/11/13 6:59pm


“Tonight I want to talk to you about Syria, why it matters and where we go from here.”

That is what President Barack Obama said on Tuesday night as he addressed the nation on the chemical weapons reportedly used in Syria. The president laid out his case as to why the country should act in response to the attacks.

He began by stating that he was originally against interfering in the internal conflicts within the foreign country. The president explained that his views changed when the evidence was uncovered that the Bashar al-Assad Regime used sarin gas on a city in which they had been attempting to stop opposition.

He described gruesome scenes that were depicted in a series of videos uploaded from Syria. The president spent his time trying to persuade the American viewers into supporting a “small” military strike against Syria.

Obama approached this decision by weighing the pros and cons to action as well as indecision. He explained that if there were to be no response to the use of chemical weapons, it would set a positive precedent to enemies of America.

“If we fail to act, the Assad regime will see no reason to stop using chemical weapons,” he said. “As the ban against these weapons erodes, other tyrants will have no reason to think twice about acquiring poison gas and using them.”

Furthermore, exploring the unfavorable possibilities, he said, “Over time, our troops would again face the prospect of chemical warfare on the battlefield, and it could be easier for terrorist organizations to obtain these weapons and to use them to attack civilians.”

After making his personal case for supporting action, he noted that despite the fact of him having the power to act immediately, he “believed it was right in the absence of a direct or imminent threat to our security to take this debate to Congress. I believe our democracy is stronger when the president acts with the support of Congress.”

In addition to his reasoning thus far, President Obama raised questions that had been posed tohim by members of congress as well as the average citizen. He quoted questions and comments such as “Won’t this put us on a slippery slope to another war?” and “This nation is sick and tired of war.”

“I will not put American boots on the ground in Syria,” the president replied. “I will not pursue an open-ended action like Iraq or Afghanistan.”

Towards the conclusion of his address, Obama revealed that military action against Syria is not the primary but the secondary option. He explained that a diplomatic solution is being explored with President of Russia, Vladimir Putin.

President Obama speaks on how President Putin and the rest of the Russian government “has indicated a willingness to join with the international community in pushing Assad to give up his chemical weapons”

Eastern Michigan University senior and political science major Danyelle Pouncil expressed her neutrality in regards to whether America should attack Syria.

“There are always more reasons to a decision like this than the public is told,” she said. “I’m kind of indifferent on whether we should attack or not.”

Published Sep 11, 2013 in News

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