Kerry emphasized that, given the evidence, the international community has a moral responsibility to take action against the Assad regime.
Reps. Steven Palazzo (R-Miss.), Alan Grayson (D-Fla.) and Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.) immediately rejected Kerry's arguments in their tweets.
Under no circumstance should POTUS use military force in Syria before consulting Congress. Share your thoughts here: http://t.co/otyXTlX3UZ— Cong. Steven Palazzo (@CongPalazzo) August 30, 2013
Attacking Syria is the wrong course of action. We need prevention right now, not punishment. http://t.co/tJjVyAXxWr— Raul M. Grijalva (@RepRaulGrijalva) August 30, 2013
“The American intelligence community has high confidence — high confidence. This is common sense. This is evidence. These are facts,” Kerry said. “So the primary question is really no longer what do we know? The question is, what are we — we collectively in the world — going to do about it?”
Rep. Buck McKeon (R-Calif.), the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, said that questions remain, despite the release of the White House's assessment of Syrian chemical weapons use.
2 things we did not hear from Secretary Kerry. (1) What is our military objective? (2) What legal justification is the Administration using?— Buck McKeon (@BuckMcKeon) August 30, 2013
And Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.) echoed Palazzo's call for Congress to have a vote before any U.S. military action.
American involvement in Syria means articulating America’s security interests. POTUS has failed to do so. Need approval from Congress.— Tom Price (@RepTomPrice) August 30, 2013
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) also tweeted his skepticism of whether a military strike would significantly change the momentum of the country's civil war.
Sec Kerry makes compelling case. Question is, will response be cosmetic or change the momentum in #Syria?— John McCain (@SenJohnMcCain) August 30, 2013
Journalist Matt Yglesias linked the situation in Syria with the war in Iraq.
Strange how invading Iraq didn’t give us enough “credibility” to out-bluff Assad. It’s almost as if that’s not how the world works.— Matt Yglesias (@mattyglesias) August 30, 2013
Blogger Erik Erickson corrected Kerry on one aspect of his speech in a snarky tweet.
Dear Secretary of State Kerry: the Dutch, not the French, are technically our oldest ally.— Erick Erickson (@EWErickson) August 30, 2013
Arianna Huffington criticized the debate over a hypothetical strike in Syria when the United States is already engaged in military strikes against other nations.
Interesting, amount of debate over potential strikes in Syria vs. that over the actual strikes we're doing in Pak/Afghan/Yemen— Arianna Huffington (@ariannahuff) August 30, 2013
Meanwhile, columnist David Rohde slammed Obama for not delivering the address himself.
Kerry gave the speech Obama should have delivered. http://t.co/wQkMrsWqF4— David Rohde (@RohdeD) August 30, 2013
--Megan Wilson and Rebecca Shabad contributed to this report.
--This report was updated at 4:00 p.m.