WASHINGTON (WAVY) - Recent developments in Washington about the crisis in Syria make it clear the White House isn't sure how long it will take for a possible diplomatic end.
In his remarks to the nation Tuesday night, President Obama said he postponed the Senate vote on a U.S. military strike for diplomatic reasons. He said the Administration wants to give the Assad Regime the chance to demonstrate its seriousness about turning over its stockpile of chemical weapons to international control.
However, some republican members of the House, like 4th District Congressman Randy Forbes, say the Administration delayed the vote because they knew they didn't have the support needed on either side of the isle.
"I think if the vote were taken today, possibly even next week, I think the President would have gotten an overwhelming thumping of this issue -- they knew that,” Forbes told WAVY.com Wednesday.
If 3rd district Congressman Bobby Scott's reservations about a military strike are any indication of how his democratic colleagues in the Senate feel, politics may very well be just as big a factor as diplomacy affecting the timing of a vote.
"I think it’s problematic if we attack another nation without provocation …,” he said. "The vote in Congress has been put off indefinitely, and it is, in my judgment, unlikely that we'll ever get to vote on the question,” Scott said.
"There's gonna be a vote in the Senate when Senator Reid thinks he has the votes to pass it,” 2nd District Congressman Scott Rigell told WAVY.com
After meeting with the president Tuesday afternoon, Virginia Senator Tim Kaine told 10 On Your Side all of the Administration's options remain on the table.
"No one should question our resolve…,” Kaine said.
Secretary of State John Kerry is scheduled to meet with Russia Thursday. On the agenda: a plan for how Syria will hand over its chemical weapons. But this isn't the only diplomatic discussion taking place.
10 On your Side's Art Kohn has been in D.C., talking to Virginia’s local leaders on capitol hill, and there is a new initiative that appears to have bipartisan support.
Congressman Rigell has co-sponsored an amendment to propose a U.N. resolution that would require Syrian President Bashir al Assad to face an international tribunal for war crimes in response to the alleged chemical attack on August 21.
“This resolution advocates for a United Nations War Crimes Tribunal to hold the Assad regime accountable for these crimes. It is an appropriate non-lethal, diplomatic next step in the world’s response to Assad’s heinous actions,” said Rigell. “Assad should spend every day for the rest of his life paying for the crimes he has committed against humanity,”
Rigell’s democratic colleague in the house, Congressman Bobby Scott, told told WAVY.com Wednesday that pursuit of a legal solution to the crisis is the proper course of action.
"As I understand, the chemical weapons convention requires going to the U.N. and then to the International Criminal Court as a sanction for violating the convention,” he said.
"That's where justice is served,” said Rigell. “It's holding Assad personally accountable for what took place.”
However, Rigell admits it will be difficult to bring Assad to justice.
"Well, I don't think that he'll show up for that willingly. Now a lot has to take place. Our principle focus here is where the Administration is and that is to see if the Russian alternative has a credible basis and has real traction."
But the efforts in the U.N. already appear to be on a slippery slope, with both Russia and Syria showing little sign of cooperating with the U.N.'s efforts.
Protestor Tighe Barry thinks there’s little chance the U.N. will be able to get Assad to turn over his weapons. He’s also against a U.S. strike on Syria because he thinks the move would be viewed as hypocrisy by the international community.
"The United States is the world's largest stock-piler of chemical and biological weapons,” Barry said.
And it’s very likely Russia and Iran may make a similar argument to the U.N. Security Council.
Charges have been made in a domestic abuse investigation involving a 74-year-old woman in Elizabeth City.
Witnesses tell WAVY.com the attack of a shopper was the cause of a heavy police presence at the Ross department store at Military Circle in Norfolk Wednesday night.
Drivers traveling between Hatteras Island and the mainland were forced to use an emergency ferry Wednesday, following the sudden closure of the Bonner Bridge Tuesday.