President Obama is now in the worst of all positions:
1) no popular support in the US;
2) no congressional resolution or debate to fall back on; and,
3) a little uncertainty about that coalition of allies. The Democrats and the left are learning that building coalitions was a lot easier in the campaign trail than in the real world.
Here at home, the public is opposed to another Middle East war. My guess is that these polls reflect a president on “mute mode” about national security rather than the “war weary” conventional wisdom.
Does anyone recall a recent speech about our strategy in the Middle East? He speaks about Treyvon Martin, distribution of wealth, birth control pills, student loans but not Afghanistan, the collapsing situation in Iraq, the mess in Egypt and now Syria.
The US public will never support a president who does not explain international threats. We remind you that President Bush spoke to the nation about Iraq before and after the invasion. He delivered updates often!
Bush was always very clear about his words or intentions. Obama is not.
President Obama will not go to Congress. My guess is that he is afraid of losing the vote. He should go to Congress, explain the threat and get a resolution, like Bush 43 and Bush 41 did in Iraq and Afghanistan. He will be standing on stronger ground with Congress than without it.
I agree with the Washington Post:
“Under the circumstances, the president would be wise to seek the maximum feasible congressional involvement. This is only partly a judgment about what’s constitutionally and legally sound; it’s also a judgment about what’s politically optimal. The more Congress shares in the burden of decision-making, consistent with the operational necessities of the prospective mission, the more legitimate the ultimate decision will be.”
Over in Europe, where he was welcomed like a rock star in the summer of 2008 and given a Nobel Peace Prize for being the anti-Bush, we are seeing a case of “second thoughts” about military action.
The UK, our best ally and the only one who can bring real military assets to the effort, just “voted no” in parliament.
France, who was ready to invade Syria a few days ago, is a bit more restrained now.
By the way, many of our allies are mired in serious economic recessions with large numbers of unemployed young people. I don’t think that they are in mood to go into Syria or anywhere else.
European concern is also rooted on doubts about the chemical attack. In other words, it’s not clear that it was the government of Syria who used the weapons.
Who is advising President Obama? I hope that it’s not Valerie Jarret and all of those young aides invested in the “Obama personality cult”!