Obama Invites Congress To Hold Hands and Jump

Nobody wants this to happen, but it probably will.

The entire policy of the Obama Administration toward the Syria mess is if we wait and keep looking the other way, somebody else will fix this problem.

Nobody has.

This is not simply Obama’s fault, but repeatedly drawing lines and daring Assad to step over them and doing nothing when he does has only emboldened him to unleash chemical weapons against his own citizens.

There is no taste for the United States to get into yet another war in the Middle East. Been there, done that and got the flag-draped coffins and maimed soldiers to prove it.

Syrian president Bashar al-Assad‘s decision to use chemical weapons on over a thousand of his citizens finally has forced Obama to move from talking tough to threatening to launch missile strikes against the dictator.

The United Nations, Congress, no public outcry for intervention and other factors have served to make the president’s response confusing, vacillating, ineffective and at times enabling Assad to commit steadily escalating atrocities (though the rebels have been accused of their share of war crimes as well). But the buck still stops at the desk of the man in the Oval Office and now that Assad has made it apparent he is not only willing to step over Obama’s “lines”, he will do so with arrogant impunity, it is up to the president to deliver a clear, strong and unambiguous response.

The President is doing the politically smart move, and that’s inviting Congress to climb in the barrel and go over the edge with him. There hasn’t been a Congressional declaration of war since WWII. They’ll authorize retaliatory strikes or “military action” but presidents have had a lot of leeway to pretty much go ahead and drop bombs on anyone that pisses them off.

Obama’s Saddam?

Congress doesn’t return from vacation until September 9 and a lot can change between now and then. I don’t think Obama really wants to intercede in the Syrian civil war, but the chemical attacks on his own people by Assad puts him in the same category as Saddam Hussein gassing the Kurds. For the U.S. to sit back and do nothing will only show Assad he can do anything he wants to cling to power and he will act accordingly.

Whatever move Obama makes he’s going to get blasted for. The U.S. public doesn’t want us messing around in yet another Middle East shithole, but the warhawks like John McCain are going to keep going on Meet the Press and calling Obama a punk for talking tough and doing nothing. IF Obama chooses to sit this out without even making a token gesture of disapproval, that only emboldens Syria and shows Russia and China, two of Assad’s allies that the U.S. won’t walk it like they talk it.

Whatever the outcome, if you drive a car, you might not want to wait before filing up. Prices are gonna be going up, up , UP.

Sen. Bernie Sanders, probably the most liberal member of the upper chamber recognized the gravity of the situation the President is presenting to Congress. “The use of chemical weapons by the Assad dictatorship is inhumane and a violation of international law. However, at this point in time, I need to hear more from the president as to why he believes it is in the best interests of the United States to intervene in Syria’s bloody and complicated civil war. I look forward to the Senate debate that will be taking place in the very near future.”

It’s a smart play. Get Congress on the record for bombing Syria (there will be no ground troops–bet on that) or if these towers of jell-o, hem and haw and dither and dick around, Obama can still say, “Hey, I consulted Congress. Not my fault if they can’t come to a decision.”

More importantly, it buys TIME and time works in the favor of the president in this case. With the exception of McCain and a few other bloodthirsty war-mongers, there’s no taste for repeating in Syria the mistakes the Bush Administration made in Iraq. The U.S. needs to stay out of the world cop beat, but Assad killing a thousand of his own people with chemical weapons and getting away with mass murder is only inviting future atrocities.

Doing something may not deter Assad from further atrocities.   Doing nothing guarantees there will be more of them.   But whatever decision is made, we’ve all had enough of allowing Grandpa McCain’s tantrums to set this country’s foreign policy.

Obama could go it alone, but he wants Congress to co-sign.

9 thoughts on “Obama Invites Congress To Hold Hands and Jump

  1. Ah come on. Why the confusion? Look at the beautiful symmetry in this situation.

    Kerry = Colin Powell.
    Obama = Bush.

    They don’t give a rat’s behind about being consistent or moral or anything like that. The president got hit up for a favor he owes one of his sponsors. There needs to be a war, some people need to die, some land and oil pipeline contract rights need to change hands. This time it’s Obama and Kerry’s turn to deliver it. They will do their best to make us feel good about it, but it’s just business.


    • Cynical much?

      By the way, some people have already died. A lot of people, but as long as Assad killed them with bullets and artillery shells, that was okay. Now he’s crossed a line he probably shouldn’t have. Nobody I know wants this to go down this way, but dead kids gassed kind of demands some response and the U.N. is useless.


  2. yeah, we and our pals the Saudi’s and Quatari’s have been buying AK’s and RPG’s for rebel mujahadeen who we would’ve called Al Quaeda just a year or 2 ago. About 100,000 died from being shot, stabbed, burned, starved, and blown up with explosives, but it wasn’t worth going to war over. Now a 1000 died due to chemical weapons, with secret evidence indicating it might be Assad’s regime, even though it does not make a lick of sense (down the road from the UN inspectors within a day of their arrival?!). Eh.

    I guess there was the time the CIA helped Saddam gas tens of thousands of Iranians. That was all right though. Long time ago.

    Or like when we started a war that killed half a million Iraqi’s and it was it was totally fine. But then we torture a few hundred and everyone is suddenly outraged.

    Yeah I’m cynical. Thanks for reminding me, cynical turns people off. Got to smile.

    Anyways, I think these situations are an opportunity for us to wake up and see that what our leaders are doing is wrong. Which leads me to ask, how do we vote for better ones………. if they all do the same thing anyway? That’s what I’m about.



  3. This is a really interesting view. I think it is the right move because morally, we would want the same thing. However, killing is still killing, we killed millions of innocent people with drones and overdue landmines. Wars allow for justified murder. Murder is something that should never be justified. I think america should look at all it’s casualties , war crimes, and american casualties before calling other people immoral. Yet, war is a necessary evil at the moment. If there is ever a day where we as nations can talk ourselves out of a war , that would be amazing. I enjoyed the article.


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