Does Obama really care about intervening in Syria? Well, if he did, he would have done so way before the death toll ticked over 100,000. At this point, Obama has to save face after he said chemical weapons would be a “red line,” and those responsible would be punished. I mean, it was an honest mistake. How was he supposed to know that a government willing to use machine guns, tanks and air strikes against its own people would use saran gas? It was completely unforeseeable.
Now I believe Obama is a smart man. After all, he went to Harvard. I trust he has the common sense to know that bombing the crap out of an authoritarian regime does not end in rainbows and sunshine, but instead blood and vengeance. Essentially, a military solution to the Syria crisis would cause further animosity toward the West. Russia, China and Iran are completely against any kind of military action in the region and would much rather see Assad stay in power.
When it comes to allies, not too many other powers are seriously willing to back us up. Britain — who with France helped to lift the European Union arms embargo to Syria — has recently backed out. Last month, parliament voted to not use military force on Syria by a vote of 272 to 285, despite British Primeminister David Cameron’s backing of military intervention.
The only country that seems willing to assist us is France. President François Hollande stated he is willing to support a U.S. led military intervention.
So with eroding allies, strong international opposition by two members of the UN Security Council — not to mention coming out of two wars in a similar region of the world — why should we send in troops?
In reality, this is Washington political football at its finest. The President could, if he really wanted to, order strikes through executive order. He has done so already in Libya and Pakistan. Why ask Congress now for permission to launch military strikes against a sovereign nation? It almost seems irresponsible to trust something of this caliber to a branch of government more fit to name post offices than declare war.
So now it’s up to Congress to act, taking some of the pressure off Obama. If Congress approves, then it will share some of the blame for the horrible aftermath. If it refuses to send military aid, then Obama could go around blaming Congress for not letting him send troops to end the conflict.
So right now it’s fourth and long for western intervention in Syria, and Obama just threw Congress a Hail Mary.