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Obama is far from building convincing case for war with Syria

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Between Democratic loyalists and Republican hawks, it’s looking more likely today than it did last Saturday that President Obama will get the approval of Congress for military strikes on Syria.

Good thing for him, too. He’s betting the prestige of the office on it.

Republican House leaders John Boehner and Eric Cantor fell in line with the president this week, as have other high-profile Republicans.

Georgia’s two Republican U.S. senators, Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson, also support a strike.

It’s a good bet many otherwise dovish Democrats will back Obama, too, in order to avoid having the president be “shamed and humiliated on the national stage,” as nonvoting District of Columbia congressional delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton put it.

It’s a little late for that, given the fact that the mere delay until Congress returns in full next week has led the country’s enemies to crow about Obama’s weakness and vacillation.

The president’s equivocation in his Saturday announcement that he’ll seek congressional approval for military action also stood in stark contrast to Secretary of State John Kerry’s impassioned rallying cry for action just a day before.

It’s interesting that some are willing to support a Syrian strike with what appears to be less evidence than was obtained against Saddam Hussein. And we all know how that turned out.

We also agree with folks such as Isakson and Chambliss that if the president was going to ask for Congress’ marching orders, he should’ve called it into session this week rather than wait until the next.

Most of that will be quickly forgotten, however, should Congress go along with him and the real shooting starts. Moreover, the delay may be changing the outcome: It’s possible Congress would’ve given the Syrian strike a thumbs-down if asked this week; the intervening days give the Obama administration the opportunity to build the case.

Building the case – with Congress, with our allies and with the American people – should’ve preceded all of this. And Mr. Obama should never have bandied about talk of Syria crossing “red lines” by using chemical weapons unless he was quietly assembling an army of supporters. He has mismanaged this crisis horribly from the get-go.

South Carolina Rep. Jeff Duncan speaks for many of us.

“I’m canceling my meetings tomorrow to head back to D.C. to participate in hearings on the president’s request for the use of military force in Syria,” he wrote earlier this week on his Facebook page. “I’ve yet to see how military intervention in Syria is in our national interest, nor have I heard a good argument for why we should aid the al-Qaida-backed Syrian opposition.”

But again, Congress may end up bailing out the president.

If so, we hope they are in possession of compelling information they can’t disclose to the rest of us, because on its face a strike on Syria looks like a potentially catastrophic mistake – a joining in, and an escalation of, a war in which our national interests are either nonexistent or non-negotiable. It seems no-win to us.

We don’t deny the horror of chemical weapons or the need to crack down on their use. But why should the U.S. go it alone, or nearly so – particularly when the former president was excoriated by the current one for supposed unilateralism?

And, as one California Democrat wondered aloud, have we really exhausted all possible peaceful means of upbraiding the Syrian regime?

We look forward to the president making a case for war. Right now, he’s nowhere close.

Comments (125)

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dahreese
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dahreese 09/05/13 - 02:56 pm
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"Are you saying that there is

Unpublished

"Are you saying that there is "paranoia" amongst us?"

Now, would I say that?!

I was called down yesterday for using the term "pointy head", but when I put it in quotes from the editorial that I was responding to, my remark was removed.

And today, unless there is something wrong with my computer, I can't even find the editorial itself - online.

Maybe "our editorial staff" isn't supposed to use that term, either?

dahreese
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dahreese 09/05/13 - 03:02 pm
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"Dahreese. I just doubt your

Unpublished

"Dahreese. I just doubt your sincerity, based on EVERY post you have posted,"

No, dear heart. I also said "I concede", but then that wouldn't give you anything to argue about.

You are a typical conservative.

Humble Angela
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Humble Angela 09/05/13 - 03:03 pm
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You don't think it was the

Unpublished

You don't think it was the insulting use of the word "redneck" and not the use of "pointy head" that got you pulled?

I'm sure they hid it from you....or is that paranoia?

Humble Angela
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Humble Angela 09/05/13 - 03:04 pm
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"You are a typical

Unpublished

"You are a typical conservative."

Thank you.

myfather15
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myfather15 09/05/13 - 03:06 pm
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Corgimom

"Um, you mean the President of the US has the right to order a surprise attack on another country whenever he feels like it, when nobody in that country has done anything to the US, without anyone's approval?

Are you SURE that's the position you want to take, Dee Stafford?"

You mean EXACTLY what he did in Libya? What you just described in YOUR WORDS; is exactly what he did in Libya!!

Kadafi was WINNING against the rebels, with the use of HIS military, just as Assad was WINNING this Civil War. Obama decided to bomb Libya ON HIS OWN. Weakening Kadafi to the point he couldn't defend himself; then we witnessed him dragged into the streets and killed.

Again; Assad was WINNING this Civil War, hands down!! WHY, WHY, WHY would be use chemical weapons and bring the thunder down on him?

t3bledsoe
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t3bledsoe 09/05/13 - 03:08 pm
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dahreese @ 2:56

I HEAR YOU!! I thought newspapers and news outlets; in general; were supposed to try their best to remain neutral! Even though my wife buys the AC, I find "BEING NEUTRAL" is a fact of their imagination!!

myfather15
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myfather15 09/05/13 - 03:10 pm
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t3bledsoe

"As for changing the majority of Americans' attitude, perhaps if the bomb strikes creat a positive outcome, than it will be a win-win situation."

Win-win? Really? For Whom? The Syrian government (Assad) has said if WE attack, he will set Jerusalem on Fire!!

If we attack and knock him out; Syria will soon be exactly like Egypt and Libya, where the Muslim Brotherhood and Al Qaeda have control and go around murdering Christians and burning their Churches.

Can you please tell me exactly where ANY win is? Please, honestly please tell me.

myfather15
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myfather15 09/05/13 - 03:13 pm
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Rhetor

"If President Obama really wanted to get rid of the Republicans, which he doesn't, all he would have to do would be to write an executive order forbidding them from jumping off bridges,"

Not a good sign!! When you've got no substance to you argument; start bringing in childish rhetoric!!

ColdBeerBoiledPeanuts
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ColdBeerBoiledPeanuts 09/05/13 - 03:14 pm
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myfather

There will be no winner, everyone will be a loser!

KSL
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KSL 09/05/13 - 03:17 pm
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Bledsoe, do you see the word

Bledsoe, do you see the word "OPINION" up above? Click on it and it will take you to the editorials, letters to the editor, cartoons, and guest columns. It is clearly labelled OPINION.

myfather15
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myfather15 09/05/13 - 03:20 pm
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"There is more evidence

"There is more evidence against Syria than there was Iraq."

Really? This attack killed 1400. Saddam's attacks with gas in 1988 killed 5000 at one time. THIS was very evident!! I guess it was 20 years ago so it shouldn't count!! Although Saddam continued killing thousands, until 2003.

"Whether it's a U.S.drone or Syrian gas, it doesn't matter to the innocent dead."

Innocent dead? Really? Are we now in the business of calling Al Qaeda "innocent"? Yes, women and children were killed, as always happens with chemical weapons; but the TARGET was Al Qaeda rebels!!

myfather15
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myfather15 09/05/13 - 03:23 pm
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t3bledsoe

"Are you refering to the "GUILTY" Americans that were most probably enemy combatants?"

Amazing, liberals call us hypocrits for not supporting Obama and then say stuff like this. When BUSH used drones to strike American traders, he was attack viciously, even called a murderer; for not giving an American citizen a trial.

But now that their Messiah is in control, there is no limits!! To hades with civil rights!!

Humble Angela
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Humble Angela 09/05/13 - 03:26 pm
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Attention? No... I just find

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Attention? No... I just find it a compliment to be called conservative, given the alternative.

dahreese
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dahreese 09/05/13 - 03:36 pm
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"I HEAR YOU!! I thought

Unpublished

"I HEAR YOU!! I thought newspapers and news outlets; in general; were supposed to try their best to remain neutral! Even though my wife buys the AC, I find "BEING NEUTRAL" is a fact of their imagination!!"

My Augusta kin folks find it the same way.

I think the local coverage is quite good.

The editorials are a joke.

KSL
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KSL 09/05/13 - 03:37 pm
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And bledsoe

Are you sure you want Al Qaeda to possibly get (split infinitive) their hands on chemical weapons?

dahreese
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dahreese 09/05/13 - 03:38 pm
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"Attention? No... I just find

Unpublished

"Attention? No... I just find it a compliment to be called conservative, given the alternative."

Having once been a conservative, I wouldn't call that a compliment.

KSL
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KSL 09/05/13 - 03:39 pm
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The editorials are opinion.

The editorials are opinion. Obviously those opinions are not yours. Find a newspaper more to your liking or start one yourself.

t3bledsoe
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t3bledsoe 09/05/13 - 03:46 pm
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dahreese @ 2:50

"Actually, Kennedy was trying to get out of Vietnam when he was killed"

This may very well add yet another theory to The Kennedy assassination. Perhaps the filthy rich armaments industry wanted the money to keep flowing from WW2 and Korea!! I know it sounds like I am trying to be a smart-a**, BUT people have been killed for MUCH LESS MONEY and reasons!!

chascushman
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chascushman 09/05/13 - 03:50 pm
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2

"The real issue is that Obama

Unpublished

"The real issue is that Obama is a Muslim."
rather, I don't know if the lying, racist communist is a Muslim but I do know that he hates everything this country was based on and believes the USA became rich by stealing from poor countries of color. He is working hard to bring the USA to its knees and having 'Social Justice'.

chascushman
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chascushman 09/05/13 - 03:54 pm
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"Having once been a

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"Having once been a conservative"
dahreese, I have some ocean front land in AZ for sale.

Humble Angela
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Humble Angela 09/05/13 - 03:56 pm
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Yeah, chascushman...he has a

Unpublished

Yeah, chascushman...he has a real credibility issue there.

lovingthesouth72
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lovingthesouth72 09/05/13 - 03:59 pm
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mess

Right now he is just making a MESS!!

t3bledsoe
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t3bledsoe 09/05/13 - 03:59 pm
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myfather15 @ 3:06

"Again; Assad was WINNING this Civil War, hands down!! WHY, WHY, WHY would be use chemical weapons and bring the thunder down on him"

So, are you saying that you believe this rediculous theory that the rebels are the ones that used the chemical weapons??

t3bledsoe
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t3bledsoe 09/05/13 - 04:09 pm
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myfather15 @ 3:10

"If we attack and knock him out; Syria will soon be exactly like Egypt and Libya, where the Muslim Brotherhood and Al Qaeda have control and go around murdering Christians and burning their Churches.

Can you please tell me exactly where ANY win is? Please, honestly please tell me"

OK, Let's blame Egypt and Libya on Obama, BUT let's blame Iraq and Afghanistan on BUSH where THOUSANDS of good American Troops have been killed or maimed for life!! As far as The US is concerned, "In which two countries has The US lost more in??!!"

KSL
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KSL 09/05/13 - 04:23 pm
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So your answer is to go in,

So your answer is to go in, take a few token missile shots, further deplete our weapons, rile up Russia and Iran, create aggression toward Israel because maybe Assad used chemical weapons on the rebels. We are supposed to be enraged at the use of chemical weapons, but not so much rape, torture, decapitation, and other brutalities perpetrated.

I got it, except why can't or won't the UN take action? They were with us when we went into Iraq.

myfather15
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myfather15 09/05/13 - 04:35 pm
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t3bledsoe

If you can see past you're racial glasses for a moment; stop with the BLAME GAME!!! I haven't blame anyone for Egypt, nor have I "Blamed" Libya on Obama. I've merely stated that he (Obama) DID bomb Kadafi, without congressional approval. This bombing caused Kadafi to LOSE!! He was WINNING prior to that. BUT, I haven't blamed Obama!! What I'm saying is that we LEARNED afterwards that Al Qaeda gained control of Libya and then did the attacks in Benghazi!!

Are we (including Obama) not to LEARN from our mistakes? Shouldn't we ask WHY Assad would gas the rebels; when he was already beating them badly? Do you NOT believe that Al Qaeda is capable of obtaining chemical weapons? If I told you my beliefs in what is really going on; you would go beserk with calling me a conspiracy theorist!!

To my knowledge, Assad has denied using Sarin gas numerous times. Not that I would believe HIM; but I don't believe the "rebels" (Al Qaeda) either!!! Do you?

Kadafi=Winning Civil War=Bombed by America=Lost Civil War=DEAD!!

Assad=Winning Civil War=America won't intervene=Uses Sarin Gas on people=America bombs him=Assad loses war=Assad dead!!

Whose goal will truly be reached? Who benefited the MOST from the use of Sarin gas? Ask yourself this question!!! The rebel opposition is running around AK-47's and a few rocket launchers and mortars. Assad has a military with Tanks, Air force, etc; same as Kadafi had. We bombed Kadafi's airports and bases, destroying his air force and tanks. Shortly after this, he lost!!

We will not bomb Assad's Air Force and tanks; then he will lose!! WHO benefits the most from this? Certainly NOT Assad!!

t3bledsoe
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t3bledsoe 09/05/13 - 04:35 pm
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KSL @ 3:17

"Bledsoe, do you see the word "OPINION" up above? Click on it and it will take you to the editorials, letters to the editor, cartoons, and guest columns. It is clearly labelled OPINION"

If certain conservatives would treat these comments like opinions; INSTEAD OF ""FACTS AND PROOF"" LIKE WRITING A RESEARCH PAPER; perhaps it would be a lot more enjoyable FOR EVERYBODY!!

myfather15
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myfather15 09/05/13 - 04:36 pm
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t3bledsoe

"So, are you saying that you believe this rediculous theory that the rebels are the ones that used the chemical weapons??"

Can you answer the question, without a question?

dahreese
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dahreese 09/05/13 - 04:38 pm
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5

"If certain conservatives

Unpublished

"If certain conservatives would treat these comments like opinions; INSTEAD OF ""FACTS AND PROOF"...."

Thank you.

myfather15
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myfather15 09/05/13 - 04:38 pm
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1

t3bledsoe

"OK, Let's blame Egypt and Libya on Obama, BUT let's blame Iraq and Afghanistan on BUSH where THOUSANDS of good American Troops have been killed or maimed for life!! As far as The US is concerned, "In which two countries has The US lost more in??!!"["]

THIS, is your answer to a serious question of where the win is? To play partisan politics with a simple, but honest question? So I'll ask again; please tell me specifically where the "win-win" is.

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