President Barack Obama said diplomacy has "the potential to remove the threat of chemical weapons" in Syria without the use of force.
But in a televised speech to the nation Tuesday, Obama said the U.S. military will be ready to strike. The president plans to keep the pressure on Syrian President Bashar Assad so that he will comply with a Russian plan and turn over chemical weapons.
Syrian Americans said they were not convinced that a military strike would solve the problems in their homeland. They are also not sure who is to blame for the use of deadly chemicals on entire neighborhoods.
Simon Safar, of Santa Barbara, said his family near Damascus believes the enemy is not the regime, but the extremists fighting against them in a civil war.
He said the people of Syria don't want the U.S. to use force.
Many people walking around Santa Barbara after the speech said they didn't watch or listen to the speech, but they had strong opinions.
They don't believe that the president can promise there will no boots on the ground once action is taken.
Many favor the President's willingness to try alternatives before using force.
Congress won't vote on the matter right away.
The delay could change the debate.