everything. "nightly news" begins now.
good evening. the next moving pieces on
appear to be in place tonight and the story changed again today after the
witnessed a rare event last night -- a primetime address to the nation by the president that wasn't what he intended to say originally. it was originally designed to make his case to attack
. that appears to be on hold. so is the vote in congress. now we see in if diplomacy works while the president is making it clear he believes the use of
cannot stand, the question tonight is how to secure them all. prior to departing with secretary of state
for talks in geneva, our chief foreign the affairs correspondent
starts us off tonight.
tough words from the president.
let me make something clear. the
united states military
doesn't do pinpricks.
unusual for a presidential address to the nation, no call for action.
i have asked the leaders of congress to postpone a vote to authorize the
use of force
while we pursue this diplomatic path.
's proposal to put
under international control and destroy them. but even if an agreement is reached at the u.n., can it work? the syrian chemical arsenal is scattered. this satellite shows a suspected depot, bunkers ring the periphery.
it is a
at the moment. a very bitter, difficult
is happening. to do this sort of thing of destroying
in place is going to be hugely difficult.
the president is sending secretary of state
to geneva tonight to test whether russia is serious.
this cannot oh be a process of delay, of avoidance. it has to be real.
what's in it for
? protect ing russia's
in syrian territory. keeping the
in place s like chechnya. keeping assad in power. critics say the president's zig zags have given the u.s. a weak hand.
i think we'll have a crippled negotiating team walking into the room where
holds the cards on getting rid of
is already flexing muscles at the u.n. where
members met after a blocked resolution supported by the u.s., france and great britain to preserve the military option if the assad regime doesn't comply. and there is the challenge at home. most americans like these of the skokie, illinois,
want to avoid
we continue have these wars, another war after another.
we need to spend the money in the
and forget the
i don't want to hear emotional arguments. i think it is to manipulate us.
the question the president has not answered, what will he do if diplomacy fails?
, nbc news, washington.