Obama said on Saturday, according to a transcript of his remarks on the White House website:
"Yesterday the United States presented a powerful case that the Syrian government was responsible for this attack on its own people.
"Our intelligence shows the Assad regime and its forces preparing to
use chemical weapons, launching rockets in the highly populated suburbs
of Damascus, and acknowledging that a chemical weapons attack took
place. And all of this corroborates what the world can plainly see --
hospitals overflowing with victims; terrible images of the dead. All
told, well over 1,000 people were murdered. Several hundred of them
were children -- young girls and boys gassed to death by their own
"[W]hile I believe I have the authority to carry out this military action without specific congressional authorization, I know that the country will be stronger if we take this course, and our actions will be even more effective. [...]
"Here's my question for every member of Congress and every member of the global community: What message will we send if a dictator can gas hundreds of children to death in plain sight and pay no price? What's the purpose of the international system that we've built if a prohibition on the use of chemical weapons that has been agreed to by the governments of 98 percent of the world's people and approved overwhelmingly by the Congress of the United States is not enforced? "
Here's what your two U.S. Senators and your congressman say about the decision:
U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy agreed that Congress should be consulted about whether to bomb Syria, but he was skeptical that the ideas for bombing coming from the Obama administration would help matters.
"Assad has clearly violated an international norm in the use of chemical weapons and the question now is not whether he did it and whether or not it's unacceptable, the question is how we stop him from doing it?" Murphy said on Sunday, according to a Hartford Courant article.
The article also quoted Murphy saying: "And in a very violate, very complex region, a military strike, though it may send a partial deterrent message to Assad, could spill the region into something much more deadly in the short term or the long run… It's a very complicated question. That's why the president is right to come to Congress and have the debate."
Murphy, a member of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said in a news release on Tuesday:
"In the short-term, however, there is little chance that targeted air strikes would destroy Syria’s chemical weapons stockpiles, making the strikes little more than a slap on the wrist. Moreover, those air strikes would prompt a reaction from Assad as well as the countries that finance his murderous regime. Before engaging in a military strike against Assad’s forces, the United States must understand that this action will likely draw us into a much wider and much longer-term conflict that could mean an even greater loss of life within Syria."
Himes on Saturday released this statement:
“I am pleased that the President will seek Congressional approval for any United States military action in Syria, as I believe is required by law. I urge the Speaker to call Congress into session immediately to consider the President's request.
"We must be very clear on the specific objectives and possible consequences of any military action we may pursue. The Syrian civil war is complex and unpredictable, with meaningful risk of regional expansion.
"I intend to return to Washington tomorrow to attend a classified briefing for Members of Congress and will gather input from my constituents in the days that follow. I will closely consider that input as well as evidence and proposed actions with great care before casting my vote.”
On Saturday, Blumenthal released this statement, according to The Day newspaper in New London:
What do you think? Is a military strike the right move? If so, what kind of strike should it be? Should Obama have sought Congressional approval? Should he still order an attack if he doesn't get that approval? Tell us in the comments!