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Though alone, Obama plods ahead on Syria

Saturday, September 7, 2013 - 12:01 am

Barack Obama promised a new atmosphere in Washington and a new kind of politics? Think he meant he would stand alone with almost everybody in the world against him?

The American people are overwhelmingly against President Obama’s announced intention to hit Syrian targets with missile strikes because that country allegedly “crossed a red line” by using chemical weapons against its own people. The president’s proposal might squeak through the Senate, but it would likely lose big in the House. Obama tried to get support at the G-20 Summit in Russia this week, but only France said it would be supportive. There will be no “coalition of the willing.”

Some on the left are against the strikes because they never want to use force. Some on the right are opposed simply because they don’t trust Obama. Some think the evidence needs to be better (and some even suspect the Syrian opposition might have used the chemical weapons to gin up support for their fight against President Bashar al-Assad). Some doubt the U.S. has a strategic goal since Obama has said altering the momentum of the war is not an objective. Some worry about the possible consequences in the Mideast of a strike.

Still, Obama plods on. There was even speculation that the strikes might have to be wider than originally intended because the delay to “consult Congress” allowed Syria to hide the possible missile targets in new locations. We might not even know where some of them are.

If we end up not striking Syria, the U.S. will lose whatever credibility it has left in the world. And no other world leader will ever know for sure again in Obama really speaks for this country. That’s the best reason some people can come up for going ahead with the strikes. It has come to this.