It seemed to me like he had the first part of the speech written days before the new russian request, and before Assad
responded to it…Because, after however much time last night, the speech then stopped on a dime so to speak, and then started up in real time talking about the new scenario….Regardless…Here is a message from the WH and Obama just before some more of our commentary…PS: (Lindsey) Graham and (John) McCain
were out speaking against the speech before it was over last night…man oh man…I still do not get why they are so gung ho about invading every country and about going to war after war…its very odd unless again…they have stock in the steel companies or any private military company so they can make bank money by us being in wars because otherwise…i just dont get why the constant saber rattling as they call it…by those two guys…
Good evening –
I just addressed the nation about the use of chemical weapons in Syria.
Over the past two years, what began as a series of peaceful protests against the repressive regime of Bashar al-Assad has turned into a brutal civil war in Syria. Over 100,000 people have been killed.
In that time, we have worked with friends and allies to provide humanitarian support for the Syrian people, to help the moderate opposition within Syria, and to shape a political settlement. But we have resisted calls for military action because we cannot resolve someone else’s civil war through force.
The situation profoundly changed in the early hours of August 21, when more than 1,000 Syrians — including hundreds of children — were killed by chemical weapons launched by the Assad government.
What happened to those people — to those children — is not only a violation of international law — it’s also a danger to our security. Here’s why:
If we fail to act, the Assad regime will see no reason to stop using chemical weapons. As the ban against these deadly weapons erodes, other tyrants and authoritarian regimes will have no reason to think twice about acquiring poison gases and using them. Over time, our troops could face the prospect of chemical warfare on the battlefield. It could be easier for terrorist organizations to obtain these weapons and use them to attack civilians. If fighting spills beyond Syria’s borders, these weapons could threaten our allies in the region.
So after careful deliberation, I determined that it is in the national security interests of the United States to respond to the Assad regime’s use of chemical weapons through a targeted military strike. The purpose of this strike would be to deter Assad from using chemical weapons, to degrade his regime’s ability to use them, and make clear to the world that we will not tolerate their use.
Though I possess the authority to order these strikes, in the absence of a direct threat to our security I believe that Congress should consider my decision to act. Our democracy is stronger when the President acts with the support of Congress — and when Americans stand together as one people.
Over the last few days, as this debate unfolds, we’ve already begun to see signs that the credible threat of U.S. military action may produce a diplomatic breakthrough. The Russian government has indicated a willingness to join with the international community in pushing Assad to give up his chemical weapons and the Assad regime has now admitted that it has these weapons, and even said they’d join the Chemical Weapons Convention, which prohibits their use.
It’s too early to tell whether this offer will succeed, and any agreement must verify that the Assad regime keeps its commitments. But this initiative has the potential to remove the threat of chemical weapons without the use of force.
That’s why I’ve asked the leaders of Congress to postpone a vote to authorize the use of force while we pursue this diplomatic path. I’m sending Secretary of State John Kerry to meet his Russian counterpart on Thursday, and I will continue my own discussions with President Putin. At the same time, we’ll work with two of our closest allies — France and the United Kingdom — to put forward a resolution at the U.N. Security Council requiring Assad to give up his chemical weapons, and to ultimately destroy them under international control.
Meanwhile, I’ve ordered our military to maintain their current posture to keep the pressure on Assad, and to be in a position to respond if diplomacy fails. And tonight, I give thanks again to our military and their families for their incredible strength and sacrifices.
As we continue this debate — in Washington, and across the country — I need your help to make sure that everyone understands the factors at play.
Please share this message with others to make sure they know where I stand, and how they can stay up to date on this situation. Anyone can find the latest information about the situation in Syria, including video of tonight’s address, here:
President Barack Obama
…Public pressure worked! President Barack Obama just addressed the nation and said he’ll delay a congressional vote on bombing Syria in order to pursue diplomacy.
Rep. Alan Grayson attended our Syria vigil.
In the last week, over 73,000 PCCC members took action on this issue — flooding Congress with phone calls, attending over 100 local vigils last night, and generating dozens of media stories from the Washington Post to MSNBC.
Tonight feels great, but this fight is nowhere close to over.
Politico reports, “A powerful group of senators is quietly drafting a new proposal” to give the White House power now to drop bombs later if this specific diplomatic option does not work.
We must continue pressuring Congress to let diplomacy work and oppose bombing Syria. Chip in $3 to our effective activism.
Giving the White House a blank check to drop bombs and end diplomacy is a bad idea.
War must be a last resort — not a second resort. And the last 48 hours proved that new diplomatic options can be found and pursued.
But tonight is a night to celebrate. The will of the public prevailed — and together, we impacted history.
Chip in $3 to continue our effective activism together.
Thanks for being a bold progressive.
This is gaining steam! Almost 900,000 signatures, thousands of tweets and messages, and diplomats showing interest. Now help up the pressure by getting our call all over the media by clicking here.
A Solution for Syria — our call is growing!
|Just weeks ago the kids in this image were gassed to death in their sleep. There is one peaceful way to stop these massacres – if Iran and the US sit down to talks and bring the warring parties to the table to get a ceasefire. For the first time the two Presidents are showing dialogue is possible. Let’s tell them the world wants talks to start saving lives now! Sign up:
Just weeks ago the kids in this image were gassed to death in their sleep, but it feels the world has forgotten them and got stuck in a debate between US strikes or doing nothing. Now there is a glimmer of hope for a peaceful way to stop these massacres.
Syria’s bloody war has been fuelled by rivalry between Iran, Assad’s main backer, and the US and their allies. But this vile chemical attack has changed their discourse: Iran’s new moderate president condemned the gassing and Obama signalled he’d work with “anybody” to resolve the conflict. Let’s urgently call on both leaders to sit down to talks and bring the warring parties together before any more lives are lost.
Right now, the global drums of war are beating over Syria, but if enough of us make sure Rouhani and Obama know the world wants bold diplomacy, we could end the nightmare for thousands of terrified Syrian children under threat of new gas attacks. We have no time to lose. Click now to join this urgent call — when we reach one million signers we will deliver the petition directly to the two presidents:
Syria’s one of the most brutal wars of our generation, and this chemical attack on innocent civilians is the worst our world has seen in 30 years. The world has a responsibility to protect Syrians from extermination, but for two years the international community has been shamefully gridlocked and has failed the innocent victims. Now, despite overwhelming evidence that Assad’s forces launched the attack, Syria’s backers have sown doubt and, wary of war, the world is unsure about a humanitarian intervention. These talks are a new chance to stop the bloodshed.
It’s always been believed that the US would never talk to Iran and that Iran would never help the US solve the Syrian crisis, but current evidence points to change and hope. President Obama may launch strikes, but he has no public support for a longer war, and he is looking for a way out of a sustained conflict. And 130 members of the US Congress are calling on President Obama to talk with Iran. A massive global public push for diplomacy right now could push Obama towards talks.
Iran’s former President Ahmadinejad spent billions supplying cash and weapons to the Assad regime. But the new President Rouhani was elected on a ticket to build bridges with the West and favours a political settlement with the Syrian opposition. The chemical attack is eroding Iranian public support for Assad, rekindling painful memories of Iraq’s gas attacks on Iran, and insiders say pressure is building to reconsider Iran’s support for Assad. This could be a tipping point to bring Rouhani to the table.
Talks won’t stop the horror overnight, but there is no quick and easy solution. We urgently need to get started on a path that can stop the killing of innocent children and bring the world closer together rather than tear us further apart. Let’s get the US and Iran to start talks now:
A roadmap has already been put in motion for a Syrian peace process in Geneva, but this is the first time there could be the political will to overlook all the differences and sit down. Iran is the only country in the world with sufficient influence in Syria to push the regime to the table. Russia, another key ally of Assad, has said it will come to the table. And the US, with its Middle East allies, can push the opposition to sit down.
It took the horror of the Second World War to get the United Nations and the Declaration of Human Rights. Maybe the horror of Syria might finally push the US and Iran, and their moderate presidents, to address longstanding differences and build the basis for a more lasting peace for Syria and the region, with consequences for a host of global issues from nuclear proliferation to peace in Israel and Palestine. Our community has stood by the Syrian people from the very beginning. Now they need us more than ever. Let’s give it our best shot.
Alice, Luis, Ian, Emily, Bissan, Antonia, Ricken, Lisa, Mais and the whole Avaaz team
PS – Many Avaaz campaigns are started by members of our community! Start yours now and win on any issue – local, national or global: http://www.avaaz.org/en/petition/start_a_petition/?bgMYedb&v=23917
Syria Offers Opportunity For US-Iran Talks (Al Monitor)
Drawing a Line on Syria, U.S. Keeps Eye on Iran Policy (New York Times)
No, Iran Doesn’t Need Assad (The Atlantic)
For Syria’s sake, end Iran’s isolation (Guardian)
Syrian government carried out chemical weapons attacks: HRW (Global Post)
Survey of evidence that Assad regime used chemical weapons on August 21 (Avaaz)
Over 130 Reps. Sign Bipartisan Dent-Price Letter to President Urging Diplomacy on Iran
Iran’s Rouhani acknowledges chemical weapons killed people in Syria (Reuters)
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