. . . Assad has capability “relative to children,” the president told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, but “he doesn’t have a credible means to threaten the United States.” Assad had previously said that if the U.S. attacks Syria, the U.S. should “expect anything” in retaliation, from the Syrian government and its allies.

From tonight’s address:

BARACK OBAMA: The question now is what the United States of America and the international community is prepared to do about it, because what happened to those people — to those children — is not only a violation of international law, it’s also a danger to our security. Let me explain why.

If we fail to act, the Assad regime will see no reason to stop using chemical weapons. As the ban against these weapons erodes, other tyrants will have no reason to think twice about acquiring poison gas and using them. Over time, our troops would again face the prospect of chemical warfare on the battlefield, and it could be easier for terrorist organizations to obtain these weapons and to use them to attack civilians. […]

Our ideals and principles, as well as our national security, are at stake in Syria, along with our leadership of a world where we seek to ensure that the worst weapons will never be used.

So which one is it, Barack?