(CBS) More than a week since announcing his decision that the United States should — with the approval of Congress — launch a military strike against Syrian President Bashar Assad for his alleged use of chemical weapons, President Obama on Tuesday night told the American public that the threat of a military strike should stay on the table while the U.S. and its allies take more time to pursue a diplomatic resolution with Assad.
“Sometimes resolutions and statements of condemnation are simply not enough,” Mr. Obama said in a televised address from the East Room of the White House. “Our ideals and principles, as well as our national security, are at stake in Syria.”
Acknowledging the skepticism and concern among the public over the prospect of a military strike, the president explained why intervening in Syria is in the nation’s interest. He also addressed the fast-moving diplomatic developments.
As recently as Sunday, in an interview with Charlie Rose, Assad refused to even acknowledge the existence of his chemical weapons stockpile. By Tuesday, however, Syrian officials said they were interested in accepting a Russian proposal to avert a U.S. strike by relinquishing its chemical weapons to the international community and signing the Chemical Weapons Convention.