President Obama delivered a speech lasting approximately 15 minutes, to address the concerns of the people on the issue of entering into another war with Syria. Much of the information that was offered this evening has been offered to the public over the past 72 hours by various news sources, such as the desire of the administration to engage in a focused attack, that would not involve "boots on the ground." Obama also clarified a previous statement by Secretary of State John Kerry, characterizing any attack on Syria by the U.S. as "unbelievably small," by pointing out that there is no such thing as a "pin prick" attack against Syria.
While the primary theme for the beginning of the speech was putting pressure on Bashar al Assad, the justification for the attack was offered on questionable grounds. Obama mentioned international conventions on the use of chemical weapons, pointing out that the U.S. was party to an agreement that encompasses 98% of the world's population - he did not mention that Syria was until today a part of the 2% remainder. Technically, Syria still is, however Assad has expressed interest in entering into that international agreement forbidding the use of chemical weapons.
Obama also touched on the possible diplomatic route out of the issue that was presented by Russia, and was apparently accepted by Syria. What wasn't mentioned was that this diplomatic solution would require that the U.S. take military attacks against Syria off the table. If that is done, apparently Assad is willing to allow UN inspectors into his country, and will turn over all of his chemical weapons.
Near the end of tonight's speech, Obama made a plea to both sides of the aisle in Congress, calling on the higher ideals of each party respectively, on the issue that is currently under consideration on the Hill, although stalled for moment, because of the negotiations between Russia and Syria. As of the time of the speech, there is bipartisan lack of support for entering the U.S. in yet another conflict in that region. The Washington Post offers a full transcript of the speech.