Sept. 11 - Americans express mixed sentiments about Syrian action in the wake of President Obama's announcement that he is pursuing a diplomatic response to Syria even as he attempted to rally support for the option of military action. Deborah Gembara reports.
President's Obama's pledge to pursue a diplomatic response to Syria, even as he urged Americans to support the option of military force, is yielding similarly muddled responses on the streets of Washington. SOUNDBITE: Gwen Williamson, Washington, D.C. Resident saying: "I think a strike is necessary. However, when you do not have the American public behind you it makes it very difficult to support this idea." Few seemed to doubt the President's claims about the Syrian government's use of chemical weapons. What role the U.S. should play is less clear. SOUNDBITE:Washington D.C. area resident Michelle Whilen saying: "I think one of the concerns of the American people is what are the after effects of going into Syria even if there are no boots on the ground. I've been to the Holocaust museum, you can't just let that stand and do nothing, but America is in a spot right now where we want our country to improve --- jobs --- everybody wants no war, but at what cost to humans." SOUNDBITE: Unidentified Man saying: "Well, at first I was kind of, you know, kind of skeptical about going into Syria, but after watching his speech I kind of realized that, you know, we've got to put a stop to this because if this country can have gas (Syria) then the next country feel that they can have gas, and the next country, and then the whole thing about the gas and chemicals will just be off the table. Then every country will just be willy-nilly with the gas." The President has asked Congress to delay a vote on authorizing military action while Washington explores a Russian proposal for Syria to place its chemical weapons under international control. SOUNDBITE: Jerome Robinson, Washington, D.C. resident saying: "His (Obama's) hands were tied, but he did the right thing by going to Congress and bringing the American people in and bringing Congress in to make a decision on that." Forced to back down amid polls showing little American support for a strike on Syria, the President pointed to what he says were "encouraging signs" in response to the threat of military action.