President Obama took to the airwaves in a rare prime time address to the nation from the White House Tuesday evening to make his case for taking military action in Syria of. The President began by discussing the recent use of chemical weapons by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad against rebel forces that resulted in the deaths of civilians, including children. "These things happened...the facts cannot be denied," said the President. "The question now is what the United States of America and the international community is prepared to do about it." The President then made a direct case to the American people. "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."
President Obama reiterated that he wants Congress to authorize military action, but not as soon as he originally thought. That's because of a recent offer by Russia to broker an agreement to have the Syrian regime voluntarily turn over its chemical weapons. While the President said any such agreement is far from a sure thing and would have to be verified, he does want to give it a chance. "I have therefore asked the leaders of Congress to postpone a vote to authorize the use of force while we pursue this diplomatic path," said the President.
The President's address failed to win over at least one of his skeptics. Texas Congressman Kevin Brady (R-The Woodlands) called the speech "puzzling" in a statement, accusing President Obama of calling for "a time out on the very military action he's been trying to sell the American people on." Texas Senator Ted Cruz has also been a critic of military action in Syria. Cruz recently stated that the Obama Administration's actions are "not based on defending U.S. national security, but instead on defending amorphous international norms --which is not the job of the United States military."