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Obama speaks as Syria conflict continues

By Megan Byrne

Staff Writer

In his address to the nation on Tuesday night, President Obama supported his plan for the U.S. to strike Syria, yet told Congress to hold off its vote. Congressional favor was already not leaning toward supporting the president on this pursuit, but Obama still made his case for military intervention.

The reason for Obama’s request to delay the vote is that Russia, an ally of Syria, has proposed to take control of and destroy the locations where chemical weapons are being stored in Syria. Obama has agreed that he would give critical thought to this before taking action.

Obama still reminded the country of the consequences of the chemical weapons attack in Damascus when he said, “The facts cannot be denied. The question is now, what is the U.S. and the international community prepared to do about it? Because what happened, to those people, to those children, is not only a violation of international law, but a threat to our security.” The president still believes that Syria should be punished for its moral error in using chemical weapons.

There is hope for the Russian proposal to come through, since many U.S. and U.N. officials are endorsing the proposal as the correct alternative to a violent interruption. Other government leaders disagree that Syria would give Russia its chemical weapons arsenal because Syria’s president, Bashar al-Assad, denied that he had chemical weapons.

Vladimir Putin’s proposal for Syria to surrender its chemical weapons to the U.N. effectively moved away from President Obama’s plan to send an airstrike to Syria. President Obama’s argument was still felt in his speech but he also made a point for diplomacy. The future of chemical weapons could also change for Russia if Syria followed through with the U.N., securing its chemical weapons.

The president’s openness to a new way of approaching Syria shows his thoroughness and decisiveness as a president when it comes to the world’s security. Obama stated last week, “I would much rather spend my time talking about how to make sure every 3 and 4 year old gets a good education than I would spending time thinking about how can I prevent 3 and 4 year olds from being subjected to chemical weapons and nerve gas.” The president is acting out of what he believes is necessary for the safety of the country and the world.

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Obama speaks as Syria conflict continues