The president who first drew a red line in the sand a year ago, now says he didn’t, but the audio tapes quickly show he did in fact say that. Barack Obama’s inaction on the Syrian issue begs the question of what really is our national security interest that would justify our bombing of Syria. The administration has not fully answered that question but instead points to the chemical attack of Aug. 21 as the reason we must act. If it is such a humanitarian issue, why has the killing of 100,000 Syrians not been a humanitarian issue for the last two years? Many women and children have been killed, and tell me the difference between dying from a rocket attack or artillery shells, dying in bombed buildings, dying of grave wounds while unable to be brought to safety or any of a dozen ways that the men, women and children of Syria are dying and being subject to an alleged chemical attack. Death is the final result in all cases. The president stated he didn’t need the OK of the Congress, and then as he is prone to do, he changes direction and wants Congress to approve of a military strike against Bashar al-Assad.
He also, however, said that he will act even if Congress does not grant him authority to act. He wants it every which way except the right way. He denies he set the red line and blames the world community for inaction and then he blames the Congress, the very group he is seeking support from. It is no wonder with such a schizophrenic policy that members of his own party are not jumping on board to cast a vote of support. This was the man who was going to re-establish our relations with the rest of the world and he can’t even get England to support him in this action. But what exactly is the action, when nobody knows what the action is going to be? First Obama said it would be a limited attack, not a regime change. And it will be of a short duration. Then we heard that B-1 bombers and other heavy bombers will be used as part of a campaign to degrade Assad’s military capability. Then Russia’s Vladimir Putin got into the act and the U.S. attack is on hold. There is no simple solution to this dilemma, and I hope the president can find a way out that does not explode the Middle East. This dilemma, however, is of his making because of inaction and a failed policy in the region, but I do wish him well. Len Tria is a former Hernando County commissioner.