Sponsored By
An organization or individual has paid for the creation of this work but did not approve or review it.



Locals react to Obama speech

Many Rochester area residents were relieved that a decision on a military strike on Syria was delayed Tuesday night to give diplomats time to pursue another solution.

"I think in light of past international endeavors of the U.S., the public is hesitant about military action in Syria for our own sake," said Jaclyn Holden, of Rochester. "I personally feel that military action in Syria would not be beneficial for the public in Syria. It won't end persecution; it will wreak more havoc for the people in Syria who are already suffering."

In a Tuesday night speech, President Barack Obama, faced with skepticism over foreign involvement, said he had asked congressional leaders to postpone a vote authorizing military action against Syria. Instead, he willpursue a Russian proposal for international monitors to take over and destroy Syria's arsenal of chemical weapons.

Many locals who watched the speech at the University of Minnesota Rochester or elsewhere Tuesday had been nervous about a military strike and were pleased with the new development.

"I think the Russians have done us all a favor by getting us out of a terrible bind. This gives everyone an 'out' if this diplomatic endeavor goes through," said Jim Colville, of Rochester.


Naomi Atrubin, also of Rochester, said Congress needs to tolerate ambiguity in this case because there are so many factors involved.

"I agree with President Obama that there should be some message sent to Syria that you cannot use chemical weapons on your people," Atrubin said. "The counter proposition by Assad seems like a good solution."

George Margellos, of Rochester, said he thinks Americans oppose the military strikes.

"Assad is not popular; he sees the writing on the wall. Bombing could kill innocent civilians," Margellos said. "We should probably stay out of it; it tends to be costly, and so many Americans got killed in Iraq. We can't go in alone."

Gary Lueck, of Rochester, said he found it disturbing that the Obama's "red line" comment regarding chemical weapons boxed in foreign policy,

"Historically, with the last administration, we deal with red lines with violence," Lueck said. "There are healthier alternatives to these problems other than violence. A monetary policy and working with bordering countries are better solutions. The U.N. needs to be given more importance in this discussion."

What To Read Next
Get Local