President Obama made his case against the Syrian regime’s use of WMDs Saturday, Aug. 31, announcing that the U.S. could not sit by and do nothing in a 1:45 p.m. televised media release. The “talking heads” on major news stations like CNN immediately began to talk. However, judging from tweets on a popular social media site, the average American citizen is in complete agreement with the president’s decisions: to wait and see what the “peoples’ representatives” in Congress decide, while reminding us and the free world of our obligations to those helpless souls upon whom such inhumane acts have been committed by Assad’s regime.
Wolf Blitzer, on a special CNN’s Newsroom coverage of the president’s speech, Aug. 31 opined, “It’s a real dilemma, the president faces, Jim; on the one hand he wants to exhaust all peaceful means. There’s nothing more important for a commander-in-chief, for a president of the United States to do than launch U.S. military power, to use military force in a hostile environment. So, he wants to make sure that all options to avert that have been exhausted. On the other hand, if he delays and delays and delays, potentially, he sends a signal of weakness, especially since it was almost exactly one year ago when he said if the Syrians use chemical weapons, that is a red line which the U.S. will not accept.”
CNN’s senior White House correspondent, Jim Acosta, responded “That’s right, Wolf. And, you get the sense from the world, even from members of Congress, that it’s President Obama’s red line. He’s going to have to enforce it.”
The temperament of tweeters online is one of disagreement, for the most part. They do not feel that it’s President Obama’s decision to make. However, they're not overly confident that Congress will make this important decision, responsibly, any more than they feel Congress has done much of anything else since becoming Republican-led.
Yes. He Jiu jitsued the tea party, while inviting sane Republicans to the table. Will see if any Congressperson returns early
Glad for Obama's decision on Syria. A brilliant 3-level chess move. Denies Assad a win. I trust O's mind, his advisers &he has a good heart.
They are also not too impressed with media coverage and the manner in which the president’s messages to the country are commented upon. For example:
Never seen a President being slapped left & right..4 informing the public. Yet every media outlet tried 2 sell us Iraq war under false intel
Blitzer took first one position, then, another on “the president’s dilemma.” At a later point while awaiting the president’s appearance, Blitzer said, “He mentioned — Jim Acosta — the interview that the president, a little more than a week ago, gave our own Chris Cuomo, when he was in upstate New York. I have the transcript right here. He’s clearly a reluctant warrior, this president. And, he made that clear a week ago, when he said, ‘If the U.S. goes in and attacks another country without a U.N. mandate and without clear evidence that can be presented, then there are questions in terms of whether international law supports it. Do we have the coalition to make it work? And, you know, those are considerations that we have to take into account.’” Blitzer enumerated, “So, he doesn't have the U.N. mandate. He doesn't have much of a coalition — the British government is not even on board. And, he doesn't have formal authorization from the House of Representatives or the Senate. This is not something this president wanted to do when he was a candidate for president of the United States. This is something he doesn't believe in.”
Political pundit, journalist and columnist Gloria Borger, as CNN’s chief political analyst answered, “He must feel that he’s looking through the looking glass ... What they do believe they have is the evidence. You heard John Kerry ... They believe that, with certainty, they can establish a chain of custody to the Assad regime for the use of these chemical weapons. What we also have is a president who drew a red line, verbally. This is his red line. And, the complaints that he’s getting ... from members of Congress is ‘we don't want to do something because your credibility is on the line, we want to do what we believe we should do for this country.’” The “country” seems divided since there were a number of Americans protesting in the streets before the White House at that moment with signs asking the president not to attack Syria.
President Obama and Vice President Biden entered the Rose Garden together. The president began his address to America. “Ten days ago, the world watched in horror as men, women, and children were massacred in Syria in the worse chemical weapons attack of the 21st century. Yesterday the United States presented a powerful case that the Syrian government was responsible for this attack on its own people. Our intelligence shows the Assad regime and its forces were preparing to use chemical weapons, launching rockets into highly populated suburbs of Damascus, and acknowledging that a chemical weapons attack took place.
“And, all of this corroborates what the world can plainly see. Hospitals overflowing with victims, terrible images of the dead, all total well over 1000 people were murdered. Several hundred of them were children. Young girls and boys gassed to death by their own government. This attack was an assault on human dignity ... presents a serious danger to our national security. It risks making a mockery of the global prohibition on the use of chemical weapons. It endangers our friends and our partners along Syria’s borders, including Israel, Jordan, Turkey, Lebanon, and Iraq. It could lead to escalating use of chemical weapons or their proliferation to terrorist groups who would do our people harm.
“After deliberation, I have decided that the United States should take military action against Syrian regime targets. This would not be an open-ended intervention; we would not put boots on the ground ... our action would be designed to be limited in duration and scope ... [to] hold the Assad regime accountable for their use of chemical weapons, deter this kind of behavior, and degrade their capacity to carry it out.
“Having made my decision as commander-in-chief, based on what I am convinced is national security interests, I'm also mindful that I'm the president of the world’s oldest constitutional democracy. I've long believed that our power is rooted not just in our military might, but in our example as a government of the people, by the people, and for the people ... I will seek authorization for the use of force from the American people’s representatives in Congress.”
The president said he was allowing those in Congress the opportunity to do the right thing and make the right decision. He put several questions to those men and women in both the House and Senate: “What message will we send if a dictator can gas hundreds of children to death in plain sight and pay no price? What’s the purpose of the international system that we've built if a prohibition on the use of chemical weapons that has been agreed to by the governments of 98 percent of the world’s people and approved overwhelmingly by the Congress of the United States is not enforced?
President Obama made it clear what was at stake if we did not enforce our stances against those who broke the laws of man and humanity: “If we won't enforce accountability in the face of this heinous act, what does it say about our resolve to stand up to others who flaunt fundamental international rules?
“Just as I will take this case to Congress, I will also deliver this message to the world ... We will insist that an atrocity committed with chemical weapons is not simply investigated, it must be confronted ... I will ask those who care about the Rite of the international community to stand publicly behind our actions.”
The president then spoke directly to the people of the United States of America, “The American people have the good sense to know we cannot resolve the underlying conflict in Syria with our military ... we are not contemplating putting our troops in the middle of someone else’s war. Instead, we'll continue to support the Syrian people through our pressure on the Assad regime, our commitment to the opposition, our care for the displaced, and our pursuit of a political resolution that achieves a government that respects the dignity of its people.
“But, we are the United States of America. We cannot, and must not, turn a blind eye to what happened in Damascus ... We aren't perfect, but this nation, more than any other has been willing to meet those responsibilities.”