I guess there needs to be someone to point the finger at if it turns out wrong.
Obama has made it very clear what he thinks we should do regarding Syria. Now it's time for Congress to put up or shut up. I respect the fact that this president isn't racing into war just to protect his own image. Besides, the Republicans would have attempted to impeach him if he'd not sought their approval.
To be the contrarian here, I'm wondering if Obama WANTS Congress to say no, just like Parliament said no to PM Cameron? He might realize he's between a rock and a hard place, yet he needs to save face.
The President's move to take this to congress is smarter than his drawing a "red line" which boxed the US into a difficult place. The world community must stand up to Syria and Assad. A dictator who gasses his own people can not be permitted to keep sucking air.
I don't think that's the motive behind his calling for a vote but we may not know for years.
It looks like it's going to be a long, hard slog though he hasn't said he is bound by the Congressional vote. On your last point, I suspect you are absolutely correct.
That's an interesting point. I just don't know.
You're proposing a much more serious action than Obama's surgical strike. Aren't you?
When President Obama decided to take the Syrian business to your Congress, I did wonder whether he was seeking a way out, as Lowandslow suggests. On balance I would rather see President Assad brought before the World Court and indicted for the recent chemical attack on his people. Let's have a proper trial, rather than relying on politicians' judgement. Don't let us make a martyr of Assad.There is another point I would like to raise, and it's this. If we are not careful in the Western world, we are in danger of seeing the current situation in terms of past European situations, and to a degree North American situations, where clear political borders are drawn. In the Middle East, those boundaries were drawn by Britain, France and the USA, but primarily by the two former countries, based on spheres of influence. It does not seem, at least to me, that such political boundaries are of such overriding importance to many peoples of the Middle East. What seems to be of paramount importance, regardless of where you live, is whether you are Shia or Sunni, whether you have this tribal allegiance or that. The very last thing the West needs is an involvement in a religious war that could quickly become global.
Tom, as always you have thought this through and have made two excellent points.I shall now (try to) refrain from entering this debate any more.
Bruce, please don't apologise for the debate. I've found it helpful and informative on a complex issue, balanced, polite and open and generally free from the kind of opinionated, partisan, or abstract noise that often makes such things opaque and depressing. Thanks, to you and your commenters, (and please forgive the string of adjectives!)
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