Syria allegedly attacked rebels using chemical weapons more than a week ago. Obama is still dragging his feet over actually responding to Syria. He claimed in remarks in the East Room that he wants a “shot across the bow,” whatever that means. What one can gather from his remarks is about what’s already been leaked. Obama is looking at a very minimal bombing campaign. What we also know is that it’s unlikely that Obama will speak to the American people from the Oval Office in primetime. In Obama’s world it’s “old fashioned” and “passe” to speak directly to the American people.
The same can be said for consulting Congress and getting a resolution from the only branch of government capable of declaring war under the Constitution. Fearful of not getting a resolution passed, Obama won’t be consulting them. His refusal to seek a resolution is at least bothering a few Democrats, to their credit. For all the attacks Obama has made against President Bush and his handling of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, in the least Bush sought Congressional approval for both wars. Obama, it appears, won’t even be bothering to ask Congress to approve of his bombing campaign in Syria. Obama is playing the dictatorial role he always wanted, free from consulting the public or our representatives in Congress.
A bigger question remains in this whole Syria matter, did Assad even use chemical weapons. The AP reports that the case isn’t exactly a “slam dunk.” Obama has followed the intelligence provided by the CIA, he said the American government has concluded that Assad is responsible for a chemical weapons attack. There is evidence out there that Assad may not have chemical weapons and did not use them against the rebels. Obviously the President has to weigh the evidence before him, just like Bush had to weigh the evidence before him concerning Iraq. Obama attacked Bush mercilessly for declaring Saddam Hussein had WMD’s when it appears he did not. Bush relied on evidence provided by the CIA, just like Obama is doing in Syria. What if the CIA is wrong again?
Maybe this is why Obama is avoiding speaking to the American people. The public is war weary and distrustful of claims made by the CIA. We went to war once over information about chemical weapons that turned out to be false, the public likely doesn’t want to go into another war over largely the same issue. Obama doesn’t want to face the question “what if this limited action draws us into a wider conflict?” Obama is hoping that if that happens the limited action he’s going through will have created sufficient outrage that in turn creates support for a wider war. Does that really justify not consulting the public?
Obama has lead one of the most secretive, lawless administrations in American history. He ignores the law on a regular basis in Obamacare, he threatens journalists and whistleblowers, his Justice Department looks the other way when political opponents are attacked by the IRS. Now he’s leading us into war with Syria without Congressional approval and without even taking a few moments to talk to the American people in primetime about his decision. Hopefully he reverses course and speaks to us tonight. The public deserves to be spoken to by our President when he wants to put our soldiers in harms way. We deserve to be told why we’re paying for this action and what it intends to accomplish.