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Obama: Diplomatic Solution In Syria Is 'Overwhelmingly My Preference'

After much diplomatic wrangling, President Obama on Monday left open the possibility of a diplomatic solution in Syria, saying a proposal allowing Syria to give up its chemical weapons was a "potentially positive development."

In interviews with six television network anchors, Obama said his administration would "run to ground" a Russian proposal that would avoid an international military confrontation by putting Syria's chemical weapons in international hands. As we reported, Secretary of State John Kerry first floated the possibility during a press conference in England this morning. The proposal was then picked up by the Russians and Syria's foreign minister said the country welcomed the overture.

In an interview with PBS, President Obama said if there is a diplomatic path to stop the use of chemical weapons in Syria it would be "overwhelmingly my preference."

Obama also added that he and Russian President Vladimir Putin had talked about the plan now on the table both during the recent G-20 meeting in Russia and during another meeting last year in Mexico.

In other words, the proposal is a true diplomatic breakthrough long in the making.

Obama said his administration will work with Russia to see if Syria is serious about the proposal and to see if they can reach a deal that is "enforceable and serious."

However, Obama said that he will ask Congress to move forward with a debate on whether to approve military action against Syria.

Now, Obama said, is not the time to let up on the pressure.

"We would not be at this point if there were not a credible military threat standing behind the norm against the use of chemical weapons," Obama said.

We updated this post as we worked our way through the six interviews. Keep reading if you want highlights from all of them:

Update at 7:12 p.m. ET. Hasn't Decided On Moving Without Congress:

Over the past few days, much has been made about what Obama would do if Congress rejects Obama's plan to attack Syria.

On NBC News, Obama said he had not yet decided if he would move forward with the strikes, even if Congress rejected the proposal. Obama also admitted that he was not confident that the proposal would pass both the House and Senate.

In fact, as those interviews were airing, the AP reported that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Democrat from Nevada, announced he was delaying a test vote on a measure authorizing military force in Syria.

Update at 6:22 p.m. ET. Something 'Enforceable And Serious':

In an interview with CNN, President Obama said a proposal to have Syria give up its chemical weapons was a "potentially positive development."

But Obama cautioned that it could be a stall tactic by the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad.

Echoing the words he used on other networks Obama told CNN: "We're going to run this to ground," working with Russia to "to see if we can arrive at something that is enforceable and serious."

Update at 6:35 p.m. ET. High Stakes But Not Immediate:

"This is one of those situations where the stakes are high, but they're not immediate," Obama told ABC News. "There will be time for the Russians and Syrians to work with us."

That means that Obama is not expecting a vote in Congress this week, but that "now is not the time to let up on that" pressure.

Obama said that his intention all along was to stop Assad from using chemical weapons again and if that can be accomplished diplomatically, that is his preference.

But Obama said he still moving forward with a Congressional vote on limited strikes against Syria.

On NBC News, Obama said he is taking the vote in Congress and the opinion of the American people "very seriously."

"I knew by bringing this to Congress there was a risk that the American people just could not arrive at a consensus even around a limited strike," he told NBC.

"It's my belief that for me, the president, to act without consensus in a situation where there's not a direct, imminent threat to the homeland or our interests around the world, that that's not the kind of precedent I want to set," Obama added.

Update at 6:12 p.m. Diplomatic Solution Is Obama's Preference:

In an interview with PBS, President Obama said if there is a diplomatic path to stop the use of chemical weapons in Syria it would be "overwhelmingly my preference."

But Obama said the threat of military action is important.

"We would not be at this point if there were not a credible military threat standing behind the norm against the use of chemical weapons," Obama said.

Obama also added that he and Russian President Vladimir Putin had talked about the plan now on the table both during the recent G-20 meeting in Russia and during another meeting last year in Mexico.

In other words, this is a true diplomatic breakthrough, not a plan that was born from a flippant reference by Secretary of State John Kerry.

Update at 6:05 p.m. ET. Welcome Russian Plan:

In an interview with Fox News, President Obama said he "welcomed" a plan that would have Syria give up its chemical weapons.

He said they would "run [that option] to the ground"over the coming days.

Obama said he welcomed the possibility of a diplomatic solution and that his administration would "exhaust all avenues of a diplomatic resolution."

Obama also said that it was important to keep up the pressure on Syria.

Update at 5:32 p.m. ET. The Anchors Wait:

Pat Shevlin, the executive producer of CBS Evening News, tweeted this photograph of the network anchors waiting for their turn to interview Obama:
Md Jahan's profile photoAJ Marcel's profile photoLuis Narváez's profile photoDavid Brandt's profile photo
Marv V
That's what you should have done from the beginning +Barack Obama instead of drawing a Red line.
Ok, I'm convinced he's crazy, certifiable.
God bless President Obama. Many thought his second term would be a cakewalk - can you imagine what he must be going through? He got Saddam, helped take out Gaddafi, next up is Assad. He needs all our support. UNITED WE STAND
If you cannot beat them then join right I mean the Al-Qaeda right which are now miraculously working with rebels in Syria ironically according to news reports. Go figure that one out, now I think this group was around when Bush Jr was in the Oval Office.  
Scott you damn Republican must be have an on the spot news cast set-up in Syria to get instant messages globally. So are you guys playing both side of the issues here?
Marv V
Don't forget how helpful he's been in Egypt too.
+Lorin Stoll
Uhmmmm.  Bush got Saddam.  I think you mean Bin Laden, and all we have is his word on that one. 
No one with any common sense thought that any presidential term is a cake walk.

Next, how are those Libyan and Egyptian things working out?  Well, if you add a bunch of human pesticides to Egypt and Libya combined... that is what Syria will look like if it destabilizes much further.

Finally, he needs our support?  If he had our support, he would have already let the rockets fly when all he had to do was simply ask nicely for Assad to give up his weapons.  Why didn't Mr Nobel Peace Prize try a bit of diplomacy before shooting his mouth off and doing his best to rush the US to war... AGAIN!??!  Sorry, but President Obama looks like an amateur with no clue as to what he is doing and no plan as to how to do it.  It is blatantly obvious that the world, especially Putin has lost all respect for Obama and the country as a whole.  This was especially evident at the G8 Summit when this happened:
“We compared notes on President Putin’s expertise in judo and my declining skills in basketball,” he said, “and we both agreed that as you get older it takes more time to recover.” But rather than play along, Putin kept a straight face, saying, “The president wants to relax me with his statement of age.”
Speaking of Putin, he has placed the US in check every time Obama tries to make a move.  It's embarrassing.
can I have a copies of the GOP Scripts for the opposition to Syria and Egypt here? you gut manage to flood special interest money into cash strapped media outlets to rid polls and sway support for the GOP twisted sense of justice and peace for the global world
+Demeatrus Robinson Sr, M.A.
We gave the President the benefit of doubt on both Syria and Egypt, although there were a few questions asked like, "Isn't the Egyptian government our ally?", "How do we know that Egypt is not going to be taken over by some group of radical Muslims?" and "What is out plan to make sure Libya doesn't turn into a lawless version of 1990's Afghanistan with oil?"
The president wanted to strike, so we obliged and rallied behind him as we would expect Democrats to do if a Republican wanted to invade Iraq or something.
Maybe Byran, that's why he received the novel Prize because he is a man of peace forced into a difficult position to act or remain peaceful. So are you saying his military generals are incompetent to carry out war efforts here after all he is the commander-in-chief relying on them to debrief him on military strategy and action. Watch your mouth Bryan!  
Egypt was out of control due to infighting beyond the President control, He listening to both side and acted rational to the will of the people before and after the elections were decided and supported both the Muslim government and Hosni Mubarak before that. So the point is the middle east has always been unstable and unpredictable at no fault of America and their allies. 
First, +Demeatrus Robinson Sr, M.A.  , it's the Nobel Peace Prize, named after Alfred Nobel, the guy who invented dynamite and made weapons, ironically enough.

What would Republicans had done?  Nothing!  That's right, we had no reason to encourage a revolution in the country that was one of our best allies in the region and it didn't serve America's interests in the least.  We also would not have aided a civil war in another country led a foe, but one that we had under control and who had just given up his WMD program.

What do generals think?  Well, nothing since Obama never asked them.  Remember, we decided to "lead from behind"?  Obama put American forces under European control so the best our generals could say was "do what he says".  Also, I don't think the Air Force had much to do in Libya as it was a Naval operation and the Navy doesn't have Generals.

Finally, Obama doesn't care what our generals think.  He has never served in the military and has no respect for military members.  If he gave half a damn about our service members, he would have declared the Ft. Hood shooting an act of terrorism so that the victims of that attack could receive Purple Heart benefits.  Instead, he chose the political correct label of "Act of Workplace Violence", as if it was some sort of scuffle next to the water cooler.
+Demeatrus Robinson Sr, M.A.
So, just like Democrats, you are more interested in keeping power than doing what's best for the country.

Aren't you embarrassed that the coolest heads in the whole thing are Assad and Putin?  A ruthless thug and former KGB member known for being a ruthless killer are the ones who have to find a diplomatic solution and talk Obama off the launch button.

We are are coming up with the fifth year of Amateur hour in Washington. 

I'm out.  The Texans are on and I'm screwing around with people who only like war if the president's name ends with a (D).
Well  I know that if your are not or the other outside of being an independent and those spot are reserved for Jewish decent American, then you are not even in the discussion and your words does not hold water in Washington DC.  
+Polly Ann
Wow!  Do you actually believe that tripe?  Obama already told Assad months ago that we'd be watching.  What did he do?  He used chemical weapons again!
Here is a video of him saying it:
US President Barack Obama in 'red line' warning to Syria over chemical weapons
So what's his response when they use chemical weapons?  Obama says this:
"First of all, I didn't set a red line.  The world set a red line.

So first he sets a red line and then when Assad calls his bluff, he denies ever saying it!  When he tried to use the "world set a red line" garbage, he lied.  Watch the video again.  He said a "red line for us" and "that would change my calculus". 

Next, Russia and Iran don't care if Assad uses chemical weapons.  They'll gladly provide them if they can get them there.

And finally, three points:
1)  Obama didn't do the "right thing".  Mr. Peace Prize never tried a diplomatic path.  He didn't try to pass any sanctions or even get so much as a nasty UN Condemnation Letter.  Remember what you Democrats called a "rush to war"?  That "rush" was after 17 UN resolutions were passed and violated by Iraq.  Obama hasn't so much as asked for a single UN resolution.  Turns out, all he had to do was just ask Assad to hand his weapons over.  Did Obama even bother to do that?  No!  PUTIN asked Assad and Assad gladly agreed.
2)  We don't know who used the chemical weapons.  Assad denies it.  The Russians believe that the rebels were responsible and they even have proof!  (  Even Democrats who have seen the evidence don't believe it!
3)  Finally, who are the people that Obama wants to help in this thing?  Go ahead, look the up.  See the videos of them eating the hearts of dead Syrian soldiers.  Read the stories about Christians told the convert to Islam or have their heads cut off.  Read about their links to Al Qaeda and the Al Qaeda within their ranks.

And you still that Obama "did the right thing"?  It's one thing to be ignorant and support the president when you don't know all the facts, but this is not a new thing and you've been given the facts.  The sad part is that you actually believe what you say.  You have tried so incredibly hard to twist the facts in your mind to the point where you can no longer use basic logic or even common sense.  If Obama launched cruise missiles into Oregon, you'd find some way to make yourself believe that Obama had done "the right thing". 
More Obama lies, it's about regime change by America... Again 
Brain I support the preisdent no matter what as a Democratic Leader, is that clear enough Bryan to the ends of the earth to hell and back. this life and the next. I'm committed 
+Brian Rohan
Yes, Brian, but change the regime to what?  We've had Assad for years.  Sure, he's not a nice guy, but like Kadaffi, he's under control.  What's going to happen when Al Qaeda take over?
I don't like the wasps nest in my back yard, but the leave me alone.  Why would I go whack it with a stick?
+Demeatrus Robinson Sr, M.A.
Your post sounds disturbingly like some of the Nazi oaths:
The Wehrmacht Oath of Loyalty to Adolf Hitler, 2 August 1934
"I swear by God this sacred oath that to the Leader of the German empire and people, Adolf Hitler, supreme commander of the armed forces, I shall render unconditional obedience and that as a brave soldier I shall at all times be prepared to give my life for this oath."
It makes sense to me if you will to stand for something then you will surly die by something. Secret service, Soldiers, gang followers, Mobsters do nay of these saying ring a bell. Biblical principles "giving one life for their neighbor earn them eternal life". 
Point you are tying to make? But he is in the way of NWO so we do not need him to invade but rather step down or step aside.
You stand for your country, your family or your god. Not a man. That is
the difference.
Look here my family, God ,Allah, Jesus, Hindus, Buddhas, or man all the same. I stand for something and refuse to die for nothing  
You're kidding right? He needs prayer alright, pray he'll wake up too!
If you had to stay in the middle east say 3 years ago syria was the most peaceful - there was freedom of religion and diverse groups got along.
This is what the oil cowboys want to destroy by making the country like Iraq - total war and chaos - then it can be controlled and its assets raped and the citizens droned whenever it suits the yankie war machine.
About 1.5 million Iraqis have died since america introduced "democracy"
There has been bombs tortures ,beheadings, rapes - the same thing is now happening in Libya  and  Egypt.    If you can watch the three christians being beheaded by the Syrian "freedomfighters" who partied with joy as it happened - these are the terrorists you support ???
Law and order was the rule in Syria - this has to be since the middle east is full of different terrorist factions - so it needs strong leadership.
Obama just drones innocent people anywhere he wants - is this not terrorism ??      Has Assad killed 1.5 million ?
If the west get their way millions will be killed in Syria which will descend into chaos - this is what the west wants.
Polly I hope you mean in political terms like defeat at the polls during 2014 election day.
Assad would have been foolish to gas his own people in front of UN inspectors - it was a plot by the terrorist rebels which worked very well - the CIA plot was hatched a long time ago - false flags are normal war strategy - don't be naive . Do you want Syria to be like Iraq ?
There are Christian churches that have been there for over a thousand years untouched - does this not tell you that many diverse peoples lived together in peace.  Now rebels are offering beheadings or conversions to Islam.
Why not research what pro government Syrians are saying - there are plenty of articles - eg youtube on Syrian woman with John McCain.
Look at what General Clark says about the planned takedown of Iraq , Libya , Egypt , Syria and then Iran
It does not matter whether the republicans or democrats are in power - the syria takedown is run by the NWO oil cartel and bankers - it is to do with oil and gas (eg from qatar) - it is not about Obama's or Kerry's suddenly awakened consciences .  Follow the money in any war and you can't go wrong - you need to study the other side to get balance.
It's truly amazing how many don't understand the concept of strategy .
No America's power elite are the tyrants who bombed 1.5 million into oblivion in Iraq and left the country in a ruin - same with Vietnam - hiroshima , nagasaki etc.   Libya is still losing thousands of lives and afganistan is where the CIA uses american soldiers to protect the opium crop.  Innocent farmers, their wives and children get droned in pakistan and afganistan   - this "war on terror" got much of its impetus from the inside job of 9/11 where 3000 american lives were sacrificed in order for the bush skull and bonesman to start his wars - it is about power and greed - and you have fallen for the guff on the elites controlled news.

You have the tiny minded explanation.
It's about Exxon contracting with Qatar to fill the void left in the EU oil and gas market when Syria is taken down.  This was probably just further down Cheney's to-do list put together at his secret energy commission.
Polly  Ann a fan of the peaceful warmonger obama ?
Overwhelmingly his preference, and yet will freely participate in brinkmanship. 
Polly the truth :-
The Russian government has given evidence to the UN that conclusively proves that the al-Nusra, al-Qaeda affiliated invaders are responsible for the attack. There is also conclusive proof that the “rebels” have chemical weapons. In addition, a highly regarded journalist has reported, using direct quotes and the names of al-Nusra fighters, that the chemical weapons were given to al-Nusra by Saudi Arabia without proper handling instructions, and that an accidental explosion occurred before al-Nusra could use the Saudi-supplied weapons to frame-up the Assad government.
President Putin is a sage, serious, stalwart statesman. Obama is a dithering, distracted dilettante. Thank god for Putin
+Demeatrus Robinson Sr, M.A. You guessed wrong Demeatrus. I am not a party affiliate. You should have heard me bashing Bush. No, Obama caught me by surprise with his reaction to Syria. I never believed his BS, but his reaction to Syria was like someone had his family hostage at gun point. His administration took me by surprise on this one.
The gas false flag was planned long ago - Obama's response is not his own but his controllers in the illuminati.  Obama was groomed by the power elite when he was a boy - same as Clinton - use alternative press -all the usual news has been taken over long ago by the Devil's disciples.
These people mainly don't believe in God but some worship lucifer ie satan
at the Molech abomination at Bohemian grove.    So they can lie and distort - kill millions but no thought of their own judgement ever enters their mind.

Go back to ancient greece and rome and you will see the same thing but now power is concentrated in much fewer hands and the weapons more dangerous.   Plus in history some great men had idealism of sorts - even - though not perfect , so this held back Satan's plans.
For those who trust in the King of Kings - Jesus - Satans plan is defunct since Jesus has total power over the kingdoms of darkness which are allowed by Him  to rule the earth for period - shortly to come to a head in order to test us as He was.

The only armour we have against the NWO is prayer, bible study and doing good - this defeats evil more than taking up arms against this sea of troubles.
However we got there - the diplomatic solution of dismantling the chemical weapons program in  Syria is the right move.  Obama is pretty lucky this solution fell into his lap.  An option they no doubt considered, but were not pursuing.  As soon as it was off-handedly offerred, it was immediately accepted.  One thing is for certain, Assad had no incentive to use chemical weapons and was quick to give them up.  There are multiple fractions fighting in Syria and they fall into three camps: Assad regime, local resistance and foreign rebels.  It has been an ungl civil war that has been raging for 2.5 years.  There is plenty of blame for the 100,000+ death toll it has taken.  Think about it - if we were not supporting radical rebels, Assad would have won by now.  He'd have a stable country - a dictatorship - but none the less stable.  Isn't stability what we really want?
Yes certainly.   But the NWO did not want a peaceful solution like this - it was a gaffe by Kerry.  Obama probably breathed an inward sigh of relief since the bombing of Syria and the lies were not being accepted as easily as the Bush/Blair ones for Iraq .  The NWO are frantically thinking up another Reichstag or Pearl Harbour incident.
+Polly Ann 
you said:
We have to protect the country and the President and if we have to kill republicans to do it, so be it.

Isn't that exactly what Assad is doing?  You are no different that him.
Typical Democrat!
Korin M
+Bryan May Typical Democrat?  Hardly.  Try not to judge entire arbitrary groups of people by occasional crazies that claim the name but don't represent the ideas.
+Korin Metz 
Fair enough, but you have to admit that Democrats are full of dichotomies.  For example:
Pro free speech... unless you are a TEA Party member
Anti 'The Man"... unless you are an IRS agent processing a conservative's application or taxes
Pro Bill of Rights... except for the Second and Tenth and the religious part of the First and more Free Speech.
Pro Free Speech... unless you are speaking out against something they like, like gay marriage, abortion, unions and so on.
Pro Open Governments... unless a Democrat is in office.
Anti corruption... unless it's a Democrat that is corrupt
Pro Government oversight to ensure compliance with the law... except for voting.
Anti Death penalty... as long as the person has been born.
Pro personal rights... unless you are smoking a cigarette... or eating meat... or drinking a soda... or shooting a gun
Smokers should be banned... but pot is OK.
Pro woman's rights... unless she chooses to be a house wife and/or stay at home mom.
Pro sex... but you must receive written consent from the female half, if heterosexual sex.
Anti descrimination... unless you are white, male or Christian.

And so on.
Korin M
+Bryan May Um... nope... you seem to be confusing "Democrat" with a WHOLE mess of other things including Libertarians, extremist Feminism, Reproductive rights, antitheism, and more!
So basically, you're still doing it, and then some...
+Korin Metz 
All of those groups you listed fit under the Democrat Party banner, with the exception of Libertarians, which is actually a separate party altogether. 
But the main point stands.  While not all Democrats want to kill Republicans, the "typical" Democrat would be extremely happy if all Republicans would simply disappear.  How it happens is not important (although, to add to the dichotomy, they hate Ayn Rand who suggested such a thing).
Korin M
+Bryan May Dude... drop the meaningless labels that you're using to justify your bigotry and catch up with the real world.  Those labels aren't Russian nesting dolls, no matter how much you want them to be.  You're just clumping people because it's easier for you to view the world that way, but it's inaccurate and rude.
+Korin Metz 
Molly claims that she's willing to kill all Republicans to defend Obama and I'm the bigot?  Your actions are very typical of a Democrat.  You may have had some credibility if you had called Molly out on her stance, but when you attack me for calling her out, you proved my point.  Don't worry.  You are not alone.  No other Democrats here called her out either.  Like I said, TYPICAL DEMOCRAT!

I'm out.  The projection here is getting to be a bit much.  Next I'll be called a freeloader who loves Obama more than my country.  Muting...
Korin M
LOL see, that's you, trying to put things in to boxes.  1: I'm not a Democrat  2: I called you out on your grouping people innacurately, which is unrelated to what Molly said, however bad that may have been.  3: Assuming that you quoted Molly's comment correctly, as I haven't seen it, she was grouping people as well, so your behavior is just as bad as hers.  4: You are being bigoted, because you're using arbitrary labels to justify hating people.
Korin M
+Bryan May Btw... the Nobel Peace Prize is not named after Alfred Nobel. It is founded by Alfred Nobel, because he was horrified at how his invention was used.  So he put the profits from it toward promoting peace efforts.  No irony there!
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