President Obama said last year that the use of chemical weapons in Syria was a "red line". It wasn’t one that he rushed to enforce, but that’s what he called it. Yesterday, President Obama made headlines by saying that the red line wasn’t really his, but the whole world’s, and that “Congress’s credibility is on the line” now that he has punted a decision to lawmakers.
The following is my analysis of Obama's situation: On August 13, Obama declared that, "It is not in the national security interests of the United States to
ignore clear violations of the international norm
banning the use of chemical weapons." This statement carries a veiled threat, after which more definitive threats of "cruise missile strikes" against the Syria's Bashar Assad regime.
There is virtually no international support for any direct action against Syria. The UN won't support it, our friends in the UK won't support. (Apparently they recognize a weak, spineless, wannabe dictator when they see one.) Why? Because there is some confusion over who is gassing whom, and because it's NONE OF OUR BUSINESS! There's a political concept called a "false flag operation". Say that person/party/country "A" is engaged in hostilities with person/party/country "C". Country "A" takes some (generally considered outrageously aggressive) action against "B". The key to the success of false flag operation is dependent upon country "A" being able to generate convincing evidence that indicates the action was taken by country "C", thereby causing "B" to redirect some of it's efforts towards the new "threat", and reducing the amount of effort "B" can focus upon "A". To simplify the concept, YOU did something bad to the neighbor on your left, and then convinced him that it wasn't you, but the neighbor across the street that did it.
There is the possibility that either Assad's government forces - or the al Queada-backed rebels - could have orchestrated a false flag attack. Until that is determined beyond a shadow of a doubt we should take no action. Once it has been determined... we should still TAKE NO ACTION! It's not of our concern! The countries of the middle east and Africa have been engaged in tribal and secular warfare since the beginning of recorded history. Any action that an outside country may take will result in a temporary lull in the hostilities at best. Why waste the manpower, the time and the expense of fighting a war simply to interrupt their demonstration of, what for them, is historically "normal behavior"?
The bottom line is this - Obama made a threat which he must either act upon or default upon. He has created - FOR HIMSELF - a lose-lose situation. He cannot blame Bush, or the Republicans, or the TEA Party! So what does he do? He tosses that hot-potato to Congress, in the hope that they will withhold their approval! That would give Obama the international face-saving "out" that he so desperately desires - "It's not my fault! Blame the U.S. Congress for not approving my request to attack Syria!" Isn't it odd that THIS is the FIRST time Obama has gone - hat in hand - to Congress asking them to approve anything (without the threat of invoking an Executive Order to do it anyway)?
“Congress’s credibility is on the line”?? No, it is Obama's credibility that is on the line. He doesn't have much of that to begin with, and any loss will put him in the deficit column for credibility!