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President Obama's Address to the Nation on the Syria Crisis: VIDEO


In a special primetime address to the nation, President Obama argued his case for the use of military action in Syria, and recent developments that could lead to a diplomatic solution to the crisis over chemical weapons. Specifically, a proposal that international monitors take control of Assad's arsenal and ultimately oversee its destruction.

Watch the speech, AFTER THE JUMP...

The NYT offered an excellent summary of the rapidly-changing developments shortly before the speech:

On Monday, Secretary of State John Kerry told reporters in London that President Bashar al-Assad of Syria could avert a strike if he turned over his chemical weapons stockpile within a week, adding that such an outcome was unlikely. Mr. Kerry’s staff later described the remark as a “rhetorical exercise,” but by Monday night his apparently off-the-cuff proposal had gained broad support, including a warm welcome from both Syria and Russia, which said it would bring Syria’s chemical weapons under international control. On Tuesday, France said it would propose a United Nations Security Council resolution calling for Syria to allow weapons inspectors to oversee the destruction of its chemical weapons stockpile and to require it to sign the international treaty banning the use of such weapons. But Russia responded that the French resolution was “unacceptable” because it allowed for military enforcement, and said it would propose its own measure.

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  1. They want a war. Why? And why now? Same thing with Libya. It's obvious powerful special interests are itching for a war in Syria, and want to 'regime change'. Why? I assume it's about oil, oil pipe lines, denying Russia the opportunity to build a pipeline and denying China access to affordable energy sources. I also think ultimately Putin knows he is powerless to militarily stop any action the U.S., NATO take. They have done nothing up to now and allowed Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, soon [?] Syria than most likely Iran to be attacked. China also has it's hands tied. We live in interesting times.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Sep 10, 2013 10:10:36 PM

  2. What all this fuss is all about? He is not the president of the world or Syria. There are more important things to do at home. No sane person will believe that Assad purposely used chemical weapons on civilians. These victims may be rebels or "human shields". If he strikes Syria, similar thing could happen and innocent people killed. Does it mean someone should punish the US?

    Posted by: simon | Sep 10, 2013 10:15:55 PM

  3. That speech was a home run: a clear, persuasive presentation on why the US has the moral responsibility to stand up when chemical weapons are used. I want Syria to turn over their chemical weapons for the safety of everyone, but they will not do so unless they think the US might strike them if they don't. Murderous regimes in Syria, North Korea and other places only respect power and might, not appeasement.

    Posted by: Joe in SF | Sep 10, 2013 10:17:18 PM

  4. Open the speech with unvalidated claims...again.
    WHO used the gas - NOT established
    1400+, every other source around 500 (both really bad numbers, but let's keep it accurate, hmm?)

    NO WAR
    Push the diplomatic solution,

    Posted by: GreatLakeSailor | Sep 10, 2013 10:32:42 PM

  5. What a piece of crap.

    Posted by: Hagatha | Sep 10, 2013 10:48:02 PM

  6. The President is totally and utterly out of his depth. he looks foolish and petty on the 2World stage. he embarrasses out nation. he is PATHETIC man.

    Posted by: Kevin thor | Sep 10, 2013 11:32:21 PM

  7. I think you're all being too harsh on the man. Here's what will happen - Russia and Syria will agree to pack up Syria's chemical weapons and then stall stall and stall. It will never happen. Months will go by, Syrians will continue to be slaughtered but we'll do nothing because we don't care - hell, we've got better things to do. Who cares about the people of Syria or any other country for that matter. Let's keep it all right here at home.

    Obama could have said screw you to Russia/Syria and proceeded to bomb the crap out of Assad but he didn't. He came before all of us tonight and said we should do something and has hopes for a diplomatic solution. That doesn't absolve that pinhead Assad from what he has done and if he can get away with it - why can't Iran fire off a nuke and annihilate Israel or some other country?

    I've never been a war monger but in this case I believe we should take Assad out completely. Send a drone at the guy and wipe him off the face of this earth - whether he gassed his own people or not he has lead his forces to kill many man innocent citizens.

    Posted by: Mike Ryan | Sep 10, 2013 11:50:50 PM

  8. Correction: "...he has lead his forces to kill many man innocent citizens..." should read, "he has led his forces to kill many many innocent citizens and for that alone he himself should die."

    Posted by: Mike Ryan | Sep 10, 2013 11:53:16 PM

  9. 100,000 Syrians are dead.

    More are going to die.

    It makes me just sick.

    Posted by: Pookie | Sep 10, 2013 11:56:00 PM

  10. His claim would make more sense if the US gave up its chemical weapons, but that's not going to happen. The ICC should indict Assad first, then at least an international police action won't seem completely unilateral. Libya was about various European states fighting over oil contracts. There's no oil in Syria. There are foreign actors in Syria: Egypt, Turkey, Iran, Russia, China, Saudi Arabia and North Korea. Each has it's own agenda. The pan-national Muslim Brotherhood (which is mostly Egyptian) also has a huge role in the civil conflict as does Al Queda. The Assad regime is mostly a relict of the Cold War as a longtime USSR ally.

    Posted by: anon | Sep 11, 2013 12:26:23 AM

  11. Yeah, it was a home run for Putin. I hope the President can function for the next three years with no balls. His credibility is gone. But Andy's isn't. He finally ran the story.

    Posted by: Gary | Sep 11, 2013 1:52:44 AM

  12. None of the scenario makes sense. Stay home and fix the bridges, feed the hungry, get the vets off the street and with proper REAL care
    This is simply weary!

    Posted by: L Goethe | Sep 11, 2013 4:31:02 AM

  13. The Obama regime failed miserably with it's plans to attack Syria and further isolate Iran. It's as big a failure and as Afghanistan where they're going to be kicked out the same way the US left Vietnam - defeated. Their handling of the economy is nothing short of disastrous and their attempts to put the finishing touches on a police state are meeting with widening opposition, as is their plot to gut Social Security and Medicare.

    Then Putin ran an end run around the Obama regime and played them as fools in an effort to protect their investments in the region centered around arms sales. For a while war is averted.

    That's the good news.

    The bad news is that not much will change. We'll see but I suspect that the rich, who buy and sell political hacks like Obama, will invest in a Republican lesser evil next time around. They'll forgot all he's done for them - trillions in gifts via qualitative easing, TARP, ACA and other scams. massive union busting and fighting to gut Social Security and Medicare.

    The lesser evil scam is the only option for the rich if they want to pretend to be democratic and it's failing. "A report estimating the percentage of eligible voters who cast ballots in Tuesday's election shows the rate was lower than in the past two presidential contests, though it surpassed the rate from 2000. Thursday's report, from the Center for the Study of the American Electorate, put 2012 voter turnout at 57.5% of all eligible voters, compared to 62.3% who voted in 2008 and 60.4% who cast ballots in 2004. In 2000, the turnout rate was 54.2%." People, fed up with an endless string of Republicans and Democrat lesser evils are not voting in the tens of millions. That's the other good news.

    Posted by: Bill Perdue | Sep 11, 2013 6:32:57 AM

  14. Domestically (at this point: Classic case of "You've got me right where I want you" says Barack. Now it's time for Congress to actually DO something...other than just say "NO". Internationally it's a lose/lose situation. Russia, Iran, Israel - everyone - war is wrong. Use of chemical weapons is wrong, too. Aaaarrrgggggg!!

    Posted by: Geoff | Sep 11, 2013 7:01:50 AM

  15. Duhhhhh. The US enemies think Obama is a fool and aren't the least bit fearful of him. Time to promise Americans more free "stuff"!!

    Posted by: MIke | Sep 11, 2013 7:05:46 AM

  16. The Russian proposal makes a lot of sense.

    Are we seriously expected to believe that NO-ONE in the US administration thought of it?

    Why does Obama WANT to engages in another illegal war before even considering diplomatic solutions; against the will of the US population?

    Who is pulling his strings?

    Is it AIPAC?

    Is it Halliburton?

    Why was my original comment censored?

    Posted by: MaryM | Sep 11, 2013 9:09:51 AM

  17. "PLEEEEEEEEEEEEZE Let me bomb Syria!!!!!!"

    Posted by: Roscoe | Sep 11, 2013 9:26:00 AM

  18. It truly is shocking that Obama seems as bloodthirsty as George W. Bush was (more even considering that Obama uses unmanned drones in civilian areas of Pakistan).

    I guess it just proves what we all know - whoever gets elected is utterly irrelevant - as the President represents money and vested interests. Representing the will of the American people is way down the president's list of priorities.

    Posted by: MaryM | Sep 11, 2013 9:30:05 AM

  19. I kind of agree with @MARYM on this. My opinion of Obama has drastically altered due to recent events. He is not the President I was hoping for :(

    Posted by: Lucas H | Sep 11, 2013 9:46:04 AM

  20. Many of you, especially THOR, are simply too unsophisticated to know that this was deal hashed by President Obama and Putin when they met. The game is bring up the big guns, threaten to bomb, and then just-by-chance, your Secretary of State lets it slip that securing the chemical weapons would be a deal in the offing. Putin jumps on it, and look where we are now!

    Some of you just need to wash-out that innate BIGOTRY, and get-educated!

    Posted by: BRAINS | Sep 11, 2013 10:06:36 AM

  21. Brains:
    To further your "theory". Actually Syria government didn't have chemical weapons. (remember WMD under Bush?) Now Syria has to manufacture some quickly to complete this drama.

    Posted by: simon | Sep 11, 2013 11:15:40 AM

  22. Oh Brains, not even Rachel Maddow buys that BS. Who are you, Valerie Jarrett?

    Posted by: MIke | Sep 11, 2013 11:22:42 AM

  23. It is nothing new. Bush, Kennedy, khrushchev (or even Hitler) employed the same tactics. They may not want wars. It is just the threat of it that by chance is sufficient to achieve your goals. While you think you may have overwhelming advantages over your enemy, it is very tempting to start one especially when your enemy call your buff and crosses your "red line".

    Posted by: simon | Sep 11, 2013 11:32:24 AM

  24. It is kind of phony. Chemical weapons are not that sophisticated like the nuclear bombs. Even if they destroy them now. It may not be that difficult to acquire them again.

    Posted by: simon | Sep 11, 2013 11:42:51 AM

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