Obama’s Address on Syria: Students’ Reactions


MCT Campus

Some students watched Obama’s speech for social studies classes, while others tuned in to keep up with current events.

On Sept. 10 at 9:00 p.m., President Obama addressed the nation regarding his decisions on the Syrian chemical weapon issue.

He started off by stating that we cannot solve other nation’s problems by attacking them. Due to the barbaric history of chemical weapons and the almost universal agreement in banning their use, we must not allow the incident in Syria to go unpunished.

“If we fail to act, the Assad regime will see no reason to stop using chemical weapons,” said Obama.

He therefore decided that we must put our feet down, and make sure no other nation uses chemical weapons to kill innocent civilians in the future.

“We want to make it clear to the world that we will not tolerate [chemical weapon] use.”

While he is determined to act, he also shows a willingness to allow current diplomatic efforts to have their chance of success.

Obama delayed Congress’ vote on force until the diplomatic effort is exhausted.

This was an important decision that had to be made.

“I also think that we should stay diplomatic,” said Jessica Fields ‘14.

Russia, a Syrian ally, has come up with a plan to destroy Syria’s chemical weapons, and Obama said he would pursue other diplomatic efforts with our allies.

However, he made it clear that he believed if diplomatic efforts failed, it was our responsibility to act.

“What kind of world would we live in if we saw a dictator brazenly violate international law with poison gas and we choose to look the other way?” said Obama.

Students around Staples watched the speech both for their social studies classes or just to inform themselves about current events.

“It informed me on what the U.S. was going to do about the issues in Syria,” said Ben Rogers ’15. “It also cleared up many questions that just had to be answered.”

The actual delivery of Obama’s speech was also talked about.

“In regards to his speech I think he tried to play on the emotions of Americans,” said Fields ’14. “He mentioned gruesome details especially about the death of children so he could show Americans how serious this situation is.”

Overall, this speech marks an important event in history.

“He definitely made his current plans and intentions clear,” said Rachel Doran ’15.