The focus of President Barack Obama tends to be the focus of the media except when events over take both. Such has been the case over the last 3 weeks as evidence of the use of chemical weapons cleared up what the President meant by a “red line.” Mind you, the issue is not that the U.S. would step into the Syrian Civil War in favor of the rebels. No, the issue is when would the American President stop the Syrian President, some say dictator, from using the chemical weapons?
And there remains the question of the Syrian Civil War. Here is a listing of this and other issues facing the President.
1. Nearly forgotten is the reported 100,000 persons killed over the last two years in the Syrian civil war. Although the rebels have had moments in which the momentum looked as if it would swing their way, the fact is that President Bashar Al Assad, backed by Russian weaponry, is still firmly in control and getting stronger. In a recent interview on 60 Minutes, the second generation leader, claimed to still hold the support of “the people.” When questioned about the fact that his support stems from his control of the military, Assad was quick to assert that his soldiers are people of Syria.
2. The pursuit of stopping the use of chemical weapons in Syria is less a question of whether they were used, more so that who used them. President Assad has tentatively agreed to give up his chemical stockpile, but has not admitted using them. His Russian backers hint that it was the rebels who used these weapons to make it look as if Assad had done the deed. They, the Russians, have failed so far to explain just how the rebels would have gotten their hands on the chemicals. An estimated 14,000 persons have been injured or died as a direct result of their use.
A United Nations inspectors report is expected to substantiate their use, but not exactly who used them. One thing is certain: these acts of war were Syrian against Syrian.
3. Lost for a moment in the international intrigue is the looming budget battle that President Obama has faced since year one of his Presidency. His continuing enemy, members of the Republican Party and specifically, those House members sent to Washington to oppose anything Obamian, have found out that the once dreaded sequester is not so bad after all. Government programs are being cut, though not quite the ones they intended. Chief among the items on the chopping block is all items in the Defense Department, federal workers are taking furloughs, and infrastructure (federal, roads, bridges, and state projects dependent upon federal dollars.) But money will need to be found to supplant the billions of dollars that will be needed to bring back parts of Colorado after the present flood waters subside.
4. There will be no gun control legislation this year or next. There is no congressional stomach for it.
5. There will be no immigration bill. Again, House Republicans don’t have enough of a care about the Latino vote at this point to push or support any legislation. Freshman Senator Marco Rubio of Florida a second generation Cuban immigrant has abandoned his own legislation on the matter.
6. Well, at least Obama Care won’t be changed anytime soon. The same stonewalling tactics that Republican leadership has used to oppose everything else Obamian, has served as their undoing on this the most important legislation of his Presidency. The American people are beginning to like it.