The President’s Confuses The Nation

By Dustin Wlodkowski 9-11-13


President Obama is sending mixed messages about Syria.

Last night’s address from the White House was meant to clear up any confusion about where he stands on the issue.  However, the President delivered two messages that seem to contradict each other.

One was that he would continue to push Congress to authorize him to use force to strike Syria in response to the use of chemical weapons.

The other was that he would explore the seriousness of a Russian-Syrian backed plan to allow Syria to turn over all of its chemical weapons to the international community to be destroyed.

To make time for that to happen, the President is requesting that Congress hold off a vote giving him approval to strike Syria.

“I have, therefore, asked the leaders of Congress to postpone a vote to authorize the use of force while we pursue this diplomatic path,” he said. “I’m sending Secretary of State John Kerry to meet his Russian counterpart on Thursday, and I will continue my own discussions with President Putin.”

But, Mr. Obama also noted that he would not be taking the pressure off Syria so quickly.

“ I’ve ordered our military to maintain their current posture to keep the pressure on Assad, and to be in a position to respond if diplomacy fails”, he added.

The President also echoed many of the key phrases and concepts that he and Secretary of State Kerry have been using to drum up support for a strike.

He mentioned that not acting could cause fighting “beyond Syria’s borders” and that “[chemical] weapons could threaten allies like Turkey, Jordan, and Israel.”

He also iterated that the scope of the operation would be limited and would not involve soldiers fighting in Syria.

“I will not put American boots on the ground in Syria,” he said.  “I will not pursue an open-ended action like Iraq or Afghanistan. I will not pursue a prolonged air campaign like Libya or Kosovo. This would be a targeted strike to achieve a clear objective: deterring the use of chemical weapons, and degrading Assad’s capabilities.”

Still the President faces an uphill battle convincing the American public that striking Syria is the correct response.

Numerous polls conducted by major media outlets show the majority of Americans are clearly against the U.S. becoming involved there.

But the President must also convince Congress the U.S. should take action.

He will have the chance to do that when his administration conducts more classified briefings on Syria for legislators over the next several days.