President Obama is considering a "limited" two-day military strike against Syria using cruise missiles or possibly long-range bombers to punish that country for using chemical weapons, the Washington Post reported Monday.
According to the Post, the strike would focus on military targets not directly related to Syria’s chemical weapons arsenal and would be dependent on three factors: completion of an intelligence report assessing Syrian government culpability in last week’s alleged attack; ongoing consultation with allies and Congress; and determination of a justification under international law.
“We’re actively looking at the various legal angles that would inform a decision,” one official said.
Newsmax reported Tuesday that experts were finally able to cross the front lines on Monday to see survivors despite being shot at by snipers. A second visit has been put off until Wednesday.
U.S. officials say Obama has little doubt that Assad is to blame for the attack, but others have a different opinion.
The Syrian government, Newsmax said, denies using chemical weapons and vowed to continue its offensive against rebels around the capital city.
Secretary of State John Kerry, however, said the use of chemical weapons against rebel strongholds on the outskirts of Damascus is now “undeniable.”
According to Kerry, videos and statements by witnesses and relief organizations like as Doctors Without Borders proves that a chemical attack occurred.
Meanwhile, generals from the United States and European and Middle Eastern countries are gathering for what has been described as a "council of war" in Jordan.
"Our forces are making contingency plans," said a spokesman for British Prime Minister David Cameron.
Former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton warned that the U.S. could end up worse off than if it did nothing, even if it used a large military force.
But Bolton said that military intervention at this point is "almost unavoidable," and advised the president to act quickly and decisively.
"Every day that he waits, every day that he dithers, every day that he looks for some amorphous international approval, gives the Assad regime the chance to move those chemical weapons and hide them," he said.
According to Bolton, Obama "has a real credibility problem in his own mind if he doesn't do something."
Bolton also said that if Obama acts, he should destroy Syria's chemical weapons and kill Assad.
Russia’s foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, also warned that an attack on Syria would create more problems in the region and cause more bloodshed.
- Poll: Only 17 percent see President Obama as a strong military leader
- Ted Cruz: Will Obama do background checks before giving arms to Syrian rebels?
- President Obama fiddles as the world burns
- Reporter to WH: 'Doesn't there come a point where you have to make a decision?'
- UK paper asks: Is Barack Obama the weakest President in history?
For hard-hitting conservative commentary, please visit Joe's blog, the Conservative Firing Line. You can also find Joe's articles at Right News Now, Tea Party Tribune, Newsbusters, Liberty Unyielding and PolitiCollision.
Be sure to listen to "Grit and Grace" every Thursday from 6-8 p.m. Pacific Time on Blog Talk Radio, where you can hear Joe discuss current events.