US President Barack Obama addressed the nation and the world around 6:45pm BST Saturday. Some of what he said was as expected. He laboured the deaths and injuries of civilians in Syria reportedly at the hands of the regime; the suffering of the people of Syria and how he believes the security of US allies is under threat. Those allies he listed as Iraq, Israel, Turkey and Jordan.
What may have been a surprise was Obama's commitment to follow the UK's lead and consult with Congress before action against Syria is launched.
He informed the media that he has already consulted with congressional and senate leaders, offering them the information the government has before they decide.
Obama said that he will not however wait for the UN decision before launching military strikes. In other words he has decided on action as long as he gets support from US politicians. Those civilians in the USA who oppose action should now contact their political representatives if they want to change the decision. In the UK people lobbied their politicians and ultimately helped sway the vote in parliament.
Obama announced two certainties. One that the US must and will act against Syria and one that he will consult Congress.
He said he is only looking at a limited form of military action and there will be no boots on the ground. In plain terms he said that the miltary strikes would be a punishment and a warning to Assad not to use WMD again. Yes, WMDs will be used to stop the use of WMDs.
His brief speech ended with nationalism. A little flag waving and stirring words to gather support. There is no doubt that Cameron's lost vote in the House of Commons made a difference. President Obama looked isolated but resilient.
Now it will be up to others to decide.
Opinion: The rhetoric and spin was well chosen but it neither proves nor refutes who was responsible for the chemical weapons attacks in Syria. Preaching about a global commitment to preventing the use of chemical weapons is praiseworthy but what of other weapons. Drones, atom bombs, agent orange in Vietnam, and more have all been used, notably by the USA. The time must surely be here to halt the use of these weapons of mass destruction.
These modern weapons are just as lethal and to be feared.
As for a limited military strike on Syria, is that really possible?