DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) — Just two hours prior to President Obama’s speech on Syria, members of the Syrian American Council gathered in downtown Dallas to call for action.

“We’re not asking for the US to invade Syria like Afghanistan or Iraq. We want something very, very simple,” said Dr. Salem Akkad. “Something that sends a message to the Syrian dictator that we don’t just say stuff — we do stuff.”

The group is now calling on Congress to support the President’s proposal for military action against the Assad government in Syria.

“America is the leader of the free world and we need to stand up for our value and stop this killing machine,” said Ranya Sabagh.

Just yesterday, there was a different message being voiced in Dallas.

A demonstration in front of the Dallas Federal Building adamantly called for the U.S. to stay out of Syria, saying military action would escalate the war.

“We don’t want war,” said Ghada Mukdad. “We don’t want to complete the unfinished business of Assad against his people.”

While Senator John Cornyn didn’t indicate if he would support an attack, he does believe that Congress — and the people — should be involved.

“This is not something the President should be deciding by himself without listening to Congress and consulting with the American people,” said Cornyn.

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz agreed.

“Like the President, I welcome this debate and I agree this is an issue of the highest seriousness that transcends partisan politics.”

The Senate reconvenes from recess on Sept. 9.

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