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President Obama Asks Congress to Postpone Syria Vote [VIDEO]

President Obama again made his case for action against Syria in a speech from the East Room of the White House on Tuesday night while asking the House and Senate to put off a vote a vote on military action.

 President Barack Obama addresses the nation in a live televised speech from the East Room of the White House
President Barack Obama addresses the nation in a live televised speech from the East Room of the White House (Evan Vucci-Pool/Getty Images)

The president said that as a result of talks with Russian President Vladmir Putin that could lead to the removal of chemical weapons from Syria “without force” he asked Congress to put off a vote on any action while Secretary of State John Kerry heads to Switzerland to meet with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to finalize details.

Speaking from the same room where he announced the death of Osama bin Laden, the president spelled out the evidence showing that it was Syrian President Assad who was behind the chemical weapon attacks on August 21.

“These things happened. The facts cannot be denied,” said a stern Obama, who called the images of the victims of chemical weapons “sickening.”

Obama said that as commander-in-chief he has the right to take military action on his own, but as “president of the world’s oldest constitutional democracy” he felt it necessary to bring Congress into the decision.

He said he is aware that after long military involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan “this nation is sick and tired of war” and promised not to put American boots on the ground  However, he added the United States military “does not do pinpricks” in not following a strategy of a prolonged air campaign.

As Obama delivered his speech, protesters gathered outside the White House chanting “No war in Syria.”

“Not The World’s Policemen”

President Barack Obama
President Barack Obama (Evan Vucci-Pool/Getty Images)

In reviewing some of the comments and questions that have come up regarding possible military action against Syria, Obama said he agrees that the United States should not be the “world’s policeman” and that he has a “deeply held preference for peaceful solutions.” He added, “What kind of world we would live in if we watch a leader violate international law with poison gas and look the other way?”

“The burdens of leadership are often heavy, but the world is a better place because we have borne them,” said Obama.

Read a transcript of President Obama's speech on action against Syria



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