PRESIDENT OBAMA: Let me say this to the American people: I know well that we are weary of war. We’ve ended one war in Iraq, we’re ending another in Afghanistan, and the American people have the good sense to know that we cannot resolve the underlying conflict in Syria with our military. In that part of the world there are ancient sectarian differences. And the hopes of the Arab spring have released forces of change that are going to take many years to resolve. That’s why we’re not contemplating putting our troops in the middle of someone else’s war. Instead we’ll continue to support the Syrian people through our pressure on the Assad regime, our commitment to the opposition, our care for the displaced, and our pursuit of a political resolution that achieves a government that respects the dignity of the American people.
But we are the United States of America. And we cannot and must not turn a blind eye to what happened in Damascus. On the ashes of world war we built an international order and enforced the rules that gave it meaning and we did so because we believe that the rights of individuals to live in peace and dignity depends on the responsibilities of nations. We aren’t perfect, but this nation more than any other has been willing to meet those responsibilities.
So to all members of Congress of both parties, I ask you to take this vote for our national security.