Tensions are really escalating in Syria, and yesterday President Obama dropped a bombshell news that cranks the urgency to deal with the situation over there up a few notches. Remember that attack last week that killed hundreds of Syrian children? It turns out the chemical that was used was sarin gas. Sarin is an odorless liquid nerve agent. It stops your muscles from working properly, namely your lungs, so that you suffocate to death. Just think of all those beautiful children, and over a thousand adults, suffocating to death. I'm sure Obama has, and is as horrified as the rest of us are, which is why yesterday he issued this statement:
Here’s my question for every member of Congress and every member of the global community: What message will we send if a dictator can gas hundreds of children to death in plain sight and pay no price? Make no mistake — this has implications beyond chemical warfare.
Exactly -- what kind of message does it send? That the rest of the world is a bunch of wimps for letting them get away with it, that's what. Why can't England take a stand first? Or any one of those other Arab countries around there? Of course, as always, it's falling to America to be the one to act first, like it always does. That way it's much more convenient for other high-and-mighty countries to criticize and blame us when something goes wrong. Because nothing in war ever goes right.
Obama's inclination to take action is right -- but his decision to let Congress decide if we do or don't is wrong. He's the president, if he feels we need to make a short-term strike, he should have the backbone to make that call and not pass the buck. Waiting till Sept. 9, when all Congresspeople return from the last of the their summer vacations at the beach with their families, is an eternity for all the Syrian people whose lives are at stake.
The extra time is exactly what Obama wants -- time to find allies and support around the world, because at this time, he's pretty much got nada. No one wants to get involved in another war, especially so soon after the mess of the last one. Even many Republicans and Democrats are divided. This could be one of the most defining points of Obama's career -- it could make or break his legacy -- and he an his administration well know that. So they are treading very carefully here.
The next couple of weeks are going to be very interesting for this president and for international relations around the world. I just hope as they do all their negotiating, political positioning and strategizing, they keep that video of all those children front of mind.
Do you think we should wait till Congress takes it's sweet ole time to decide whether to strike against Syria?
Image via Freedom House/Flickr