In his address to the nation Tuesday night on Syria, President Obama asked congress to authorize U.S. air strikes but to wait to take that controversial vote. He wants to see if the diplomatic solution promised by Russian President Vladimir Putin can work.
With his original call to strike Syria soon rejected by most in Congress and the public, President Obama pivoted in his speech to the nation to make that the backup in case the Putin plan fails
"This initiative has the potential to remove the threat of chemical weapons without the use of force," Obama said.
Russia's president seemingly came to the rescue forcing his ally, Syrian dictator Bashar Assad, to admit having chemical weapons and give them up. Mr. Obama wants UN verification and Congress to green light a U.S. attack in case Syria balks.
"A targeted strike can make Assad or any other dictator think twice before using chemical weapons," the President said.
That, he argued, would protect us and our values.
"We can stop children from being gassed to death and thereby make our own children safer over the long run, I believe we should act. that's what makes America different."
But he's asking Congress to delay any vote and give diplomacy a chance.
The signs aren't good: Putin is blocking UN involvement and demanding the U.S. renounce the use of force. But most in Congress seem happy to wait.
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