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View Diary: Why I support authorizing the President to use military force in Syria (186 comments)

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  •  "Obama can't win. Even if Congress approves... (1+ / 0-)
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    JVolvo

    the Syria adventure, the president still loses."  The Syrian situation is complex, with no easy solutions.  No matter what the US does or doesn't do, there will be consequences.  

    . Consider the possibilities:

    One: Congress votes against authorizing military action in Syria, so Obama decides not to move ahead with military action. But wait: Obama already informed the nation that as commander-in-chief, he has "decided that the United States should take military action against Syrian regime targets ...  If that's true -- and if Obama also believes he has the authority to act without congressional authorization -- how can he possibly refrain from military action merely because he can't get enough votes in a famously dysfunctional, do-nothing Congress?

    Two: Congress votes against authorizing military action in Syria, and Obama -- the one-time constitutional law professor -- goes ahead with airstrikes anyway, ignoring the clearly expressed will of Congress.

    Three: Congress votes in favor of authorizing military action in Syria, leaving Obama permanently beholden to congressional Republicans. This means the White House can kiss its domestic legislative agenda goodbye.

    "These are all rotten outcomes for Obama. And, lest I forget, U.S. military action in Syria is also a tragic outcome... The president proposed limited "punitive" air strikes aimed merely at destroying the Assad regime's chemical weapons capabilities, but these are probably pointless: They won't change the balance of power in Syria..."(as for more extensive strikes?): "But this, as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey warned last week, could easily "escalate and ... commit us decisively to the conflict..." (See: Iraq, 2003.)"

    Then there's how all this was (mis?) handled by the POTUS:  With his missteps on Syria, Obama has alienated just about everyone -- friends and frenemies alike.
    It's not easy to get yourself into the kind of predicament that the president of the United States finds himself in today...a political no man's land...

    ...To one substantial group of Americans, he is too hawkish, recklessly pushing America into another Middle East war. To another group, he is too dovish...

    ...In fact, centrists, moderates, and the world's other middle-of-the-roaders are also deeply unhappy with the president's position. Moderate Arab states feel the signals he's sent are so confusing that he has done damage to what common causes we do share...

    Even those closest to the president (including many of those out there on the hustings now defending his position and arguing powerfully that Congress should support him) are furious with the way this decision was handled. Even as they correctly acknowledge the complexities posed by the situation on the ground in Syria, they observe with palpable concern and disapproval that the president blind-sided his national security team -- essentially hanging his own secretary of state and vice president out to dry after asking them to make strong statements supporting immediate action and then privately, without consultation, reversing his position...

    •  Good points all. (1+ / 0-)
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      newinfluence

      This is truly a lose, lose, lose situation. But, after careful consideration, I think the least bad outcome is for the President to get the use of force authorization. However, I also believe that once force is used there will be plenty of evidence that can be pointed to to say it was the wrong choice.

      `You needn't go on making remarks like that, ... they're not sensible, and they put me out.'

      by seanwright on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 01:37:13 PM PDT

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      •  so you see this... (0+ / 0-)

        ...whole exercise as a political decision and how well it goes by how well it reflects on the President???

        We Glory in war, in the shedding of human blood. What fools we are.

        by delver rootnose on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 05:58:34 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I am honestly baffled by how you took (0+ / 0-)

          that away from my response. All I'm saying is that regardless of what the president does in this situation there is going to be enough bad shit happening in Syria that any fool can and will be able to make the case that he acted wrongly.

          `You needn't go on making remarks like that, ... they're not sensible, and they put me out.'

          by seanwright on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 08:27:56 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

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