President Obama Addresses the Nation on Syria

Posted by Matt Compton
September 10, 2013

Just after 9:00 p.m. EDT, President Obama delivered a national address from the East Room of the White House to discuss the situation in Syria. He explained why he has called for military strikes in response to the Assad regime's use of chemical weapons, laid out his reasons for asking Congress to authorize the use of force, and described how the threat of U.S. action has created the potential for a diplomatic breakthrough.

"Terrible things happen across the globe, and it is beyond our means to right every wrong," the President said. "But when, with modest effort and risk, 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."

Read the full remarks here, or watch the full video here.

About the Author: Matt Compton serves in the Office of Digital Strategy in the White House.

Editor's Note: This entry originally appeared on the White House Blog.

For more information:

  • Explore WhiteHouse.gov/Syria to learn more about President Obama's response to the Assad regime's use of chemical weapons in Syria and get the latest news from the White House about the situation.

Comments

Comments

Patrick W.
|
Maryland, USA
September 11, 2013
I think a limited strikes to show we mean what we say, about not using chemical weapons is something that should be done. That way the present threat of chemical weapons would be eliminated in this war. They don't need these launch site for chemical weapons, if they say their not go too use them.
Pamela M.
|
Florida, USA
September 11, 2013
I watched the presidents speech on Syria and as usual I think that he swayed my opinion that action must be taken, however I don't think that our military should be involved. I think that the Russians should take the lead on this. This is their mess in their backyard and they should clean it up. The Russians should use their base in Syria as a depot for the chemical weapons and they can be destroyed on the Russian base safely. Russian troops should be use to escort the UN inspectors. Not US troops.
Eric J.
|
New Mexico, USA
September 12, 2013

There are times that make one wonder, and things that make one go "Mmmm...", but I'm not suprised to hear Mr. Putin's vitrol directed at President Obama in the New York Times today, it's like President Obama gave him an estimated bill for our expense of kineticly scrapping a lot of Russian-made weaponry in Syria, and suggested to him on the side at the G-20 that it would be cheaper if Russia simply "repo'ed" these delivery systems and other weapons and munitions, along with any and all chemical and other WMD's that may be in Assad's hands.

Like he said something to the effect..., "Look either you can do it or we can do it, your choice.....but if we have to do it for you, here's the service charge for $100 billion and there may be subsequent billing in case we run into any further problems in the UN."

(Not to start another conspiracy theory here, but the inescapable logic hypotheticly applied here to cause Russia to "own this"...as one US official has been quoted as saying, then indeed they are finding out that it really doesn't pay or serve one's national interests to arm dictators, when a leader is forced to go disarm them to correct that mistake and save face in the eyes of the world when one's government looks to be complicit in crimes against humanity done with weapons Russia provided Assad long ago.

In any case, I hope the stuff I dug up from the archives here ( a few pages out of the book, "The Cure for Political Stupidity and/or How Not To Go To War With America"), will offer a look back, as well as a look forward, as a perspective on the present.

---

http://blogs.state.gov/stories/2011/08/01/ongoing-violence-syria

August 2, 2011
Eric in New Mexico writes:

To those "appalled" (you know who you are);

I suppose it gets easy to be appalled by a lot of things, especially when they seem par for the course with ethical infants, as there ain't no helping dysfuntionality when it looks a lot like a skunk with its head stuck in a jar of "Skippy" peanut butter,...just ask Jon Stewart. Compromise in Congress may equate with a tomato juice remedy in the aftermath of "debtmaggedon-averted" in the time delay it takes to perform public aroma therapy in those chambers.

Assad? He ain't coming out of the asinine conundrum of his mass murdering ways smelling like rose water, that's for sure.

But being appalled ain't no solution either, if you can't prevent the crime occuring, Mr. President...(in case you're reading this).

They say "there isn't a military solution". Well I suggest Assad get with that program before we have to find one for his terminal stupidity...now won't we?

That is unless Amb. Susan Rice thinks it's a good idea to ask the Russians if they feel obliged to repo Assad's tanks they sold him seeing as how the UNSC is in emergency meeting over this today.

I mean, to be only fair to the Russians, I don't think they sold them to Syria for them to be used to slaughter civilians. But for defensive purposes against external threats.
Thus Assad is in "breach of contract" and someone definately needs to relieve him of his tools of genocide....pronto.

I know how the Russians like to do things all legal and above board in the UN, and this would be one way to correct their own karma before it hits home to Mother Russia like a trainwreck of past cold-war manifestations, for there's lot of work to be done on that without a lot of quibbling about it.

The benefactors of our own weapons sales throughout the region have been influenced by our relations to put a lid on any violent response to protest...and Russia flat needs to do its part with the recipiants of their's.

Either one is a responsible global partner or not, and there's not much grey area in the doing.

It's only right to ask folks to correct their mistakes, but when they don't listen?

You know folks be calling on America to solve their problems kineticly, and we generally oblige eventually.

What comes around goes around and I think it's time for Russia to step on a dictator's neck for once, and bring a little peace to the world instead of complaining constantly about how we go about that.

Fair's fair, and I think the Russians capable of meeting such a fair challenge.

EJ

---

http://blogs.state.gov/stories/2011/06/17/op-ed-there-no-going-back-syria

Eric |New Mexico, USA .June 30, 2011
Eric in New Mexico writes:

Here's a little food for thought for all those commenting here in support of Assad's insanity.

You know folks, as an American all I really want to see is folks generally get their act together and stop being stupid;...there's a reason it took me ten years to write "The Cure for Political Stupidity, and /or How not to go to war with America", and I'm still not sure if dictators are a byproduct of genetic mutation or simply idiots due to the fact that their mommies and daddies were brother and sister.

But good folks like yourself came before you praising one such as this and followed Hitler over oblivion's cliff.

Lest you'all make the same mistake today, you might want to take off your rose-colored glasses.

Just sayin'...

It's your country and you can screw it up if you want to, just don't screw with us or we'll drop a rock on your pencil necked geek you call a leader, but who is just a chip off the old block, for like father like son,...mass murder runs in the family.

Good luck with it,

EJ

---

http://blogs.state.gov/stories/2010/04/23/improving-us-syria-relationship
Eric |New Mexico, USA .April 27, 2010
Eric in New Mexico writes:

@ John in Greece,

You seems to be handling everything tossed your way in great form, so I wouldn't want to tread on the free-for-all going on as to who has the worst form of government.

Let's just say being an American is an attitude, not just via place of birth.

If you want to do buisiness without paying bribes in addition to taxes, then you're American.

If you want to vote the fat-cat politicians out of office, then you're Ameican, just be careful who you replace them with.

If you want to tell your government to its face that it's being dysfuntional and get away with it. Then you're American.

If you struggle for freedom from fear, from want or from apathy and entropy, then you're American.

If you find yourself in a state of perpetual revolution of the mind, then you're American.

If you're looking to put all global conflicts to bed, and find peaceful resolution to them before going for something more "kinetic", then you're an American.

And we generally save "kinetic" for those with which have no inclination to talk with us anyway while issuing threats to us.

But if those who wish to see our defeat in creating a better world to live in have a grain of sense, Assad and Aminidijad will stop reminding me of "Pinky and the Brain".

'lil Kim wil retire and take up comedy...as anyone who calls himself "Divine" surely has a sense of humor.

Far be if for anyone to suggest there's no truth in humor...

Or in the reality of the cage they find themselves in, of their own making.

Or that a pretty major social experiment is in their imminent future.

As soon as the people get fed up with their governments not having the proper attitude, they may just find the path to follow has been paved for them.

"They got the guns, but we have the numbers."

We can simply lend the blueprints of a mindset that changed this country for the better and let it go "viral".

Same is true of most evey Muslim, when confronting violent apostates of Islam.

Talk about putting houses in order...

It's either get it repaired or watch it blow up.

.----

I think I'll leave it to "amuse bored officials" (not my words), to understand why I would recieve such a ringing endorsement for a book written...in the middle of a long and heated debate among various contributors of public commentary on this blog. (chuckle)

http://blogs.state.gov/stories/2011/12/02/ambassador-donahoe-people-syri...

"I disagree! I think Assad should buy Eric’s book concerning political stupidity and soon enough, I predict for your Syrian heroe that you’ll understand that Eric was right… "

-John in Greece

---

 It's actually all John in Greece's fault for suggesting that I write a book in the first place, and I hope he's doing well.

  I suppose if State wants to compile a "survival guide" for those thinking of becoming a dictator, and handing out copies....I wouldn't have a problem with that ...we'd all share in the profits if they learned something from it.

 EJ

Eric J.
|
New Mexico, USA
September 13, 2013

It seems to me that the president has had a pretty tough week in office...with the media circus and accusations flying about that he's gone soft on Assad...or that he isn't "Commander in Chief"-like enough for a doubtful Senator. Let alone Putin taking exception to the adjective "exceptional".

Let me just offer this thought that there's some exceptional political stupidity afoot on the world stage on a daily basis, but in reading Putin's op-ed, I realized that I'll probably never finish the book I've started on this blog,...simply because there will always be someone in denial of the reality they've helped create on the world stage who will inspire additional chapter and footnotes.

It is notable that Russia now wants to "secure and ultimately destroy" Assad's chemical arsenal w/ international supervision and has gained Assad's acceptance given the alternative President Obama has handed them.

Or "reposess" them...and I would think that would include delivery systems , including aircraft, artillery, missiles, launchers, in fact just about every piece of heavy weaponry Assad's got, including tanks.

...and of course all the shells, bombs, warheads etc. that so far have killed 100-120 thousand and made millions homeless.

Given the fact than most of these things were supplied by Russia to begin with, and considering the use the regime is putting all that hardware too, in an effort to "deal with terrorists" which are for the most part actually ordinary Syrian civilans Assad is reffering to, he is in breach of contract of the purchase agreement, as well as international law by using them on his own population. Therefore Russia today would be in breach of international law for supplying Assad's forces with one more bullet, and would demonstrate its ability to be a responsible member among nations if they were to "reposess" everything ever sold to that regime capable of killing people...period...no quibbling about it from Assad or his minions.

An immediate halt to hostilities is required.

I don't believe even if all the chemical weapons are disposed of could the president take his decision off the table while Assad continues to slaughter the innocent via conventional means.

The only peaceful way out of the impasse of Assad leaving power that I can possibly think of at the moment...and whether that is a diplomatic solution...or ultimately a military solution and/or mob justice by the hands of the people forcing his decision;...If I were Assad right about now and looking for a way out of this....I would be thinking of spending time some in a Moscow airport with my family, waiting for asylum papers to be approved.

Now I wonder what would happen if Sec. Kerry let that little hypothetical scenario slip out at a news conference...soon.

There was a young Syrian refugee who said that the US "could change the equasion in 15 minutes"...and I'd have to say the president's decision to use force did exactly that.

It certainly has changed the diplomatic equasion for a lot of people and just maybe it's got folks off that "stuck place" that political stupidity has got them hung up on for so long that's cost the lives of a whole lot of people.

It's only right that the Russian Federation correct its own mistake in having actively created and supported the freak show Assad and Co. have become today....that the Russian now realize America's got its limits putting up with.

And folks ask why it is that America goes to war?

Better I think dictators figure out what it takes Not to go to war with America...then I can get on with writing the sequel "Change we can live with"

Damn, and that's been a long time coming too, sorry....hope my publisher will forgive me...;)

EJ Sept. 13, 2013

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