Obama: Syria Chemical Weapons a "Danger to Our Security"

Wednesday, Sep 11, 2013  |  Updated 7:50 AM EDT
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Obama: Syria Chemical Weapons a "Danger to Our Security"

AP

President Barack Obama addresses the nation in a live televised speech from the East Room of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2013. President Obama blended the threat of military action with the hope of a diplomatic solution as he works to strip Syria of its chemical weapons. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, Pool)

President Barack Obama made a moral argument for a targeted U.S. military strike against Syria in his presidential address Tuesday night, calling Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's alleged chemical weapons attack on civilians "a danger to our security" as well as "a crime against humanity." Failing to act, he said, would embolden other brutal dictators to use chemical weapons as well. "When dictators commit atrocities, they depend upon the world to look the other way," Obama said. "But these things happened. The facts cannot be denied. The question now is what the United States of America and the international community is prepared to do about it." Insisting that no American boots would be put on the ground there, Obama reiterated his support for a strike to punish Assad, even as he said that he had asked Congress to postpone its consideration of a resolution to authorize one amid a flurry of diplomacy aimed at pushing Assad to turn over his chemical weapons arsenal. Obama called such talks, which he attributed to a "credible threat" of a strike, "encouraging" but said it was "too early to tell" if they would work.

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