I know the President feels that he has backed himself into a corner on Syria with his foolish “line in the sand” comment, but I hope his decision to go to Congress for “approval” of any planned strikes is a smart ploy to avoid needlessly being drawn in to attacking another Middle Eastern country.
The 100,000 casualties so far are heartbreaking, but if we have learned anything over the last decade, it’s that blindly picking sides among bad actors to support in conflicts we don’t understand just makes things worse. We don’t “have to do something” if we have no compelling national interest, and I see none here.
My main fear is that Congressional war hawks like John McCain will clamor for action and force Obama’s hand, knowing that they can claim credit if it works (it won’t) and the shit-smell will cling to Obama if it doesn’t. I don’t think Obama is a strong enough leader to resist. We’ll see.
I wish the President would just man up and say “There is nothing good that can be done by us now until the situation sorts itself out in Syria. And only Syria and its neighbors can do that.”
Please don’t be steamrolled, Mr. President.