Is the gun cocked?
It is hard to image President Obama as a cool Dirty Harry, saying to Syrian President Bashar Assad, “Go ahead, Assad, make my day!” Yet, that is exactly the message that that President Obama wants Assad to get by preparing to fire cruise missiles at strategic military targets in Syria.
He has asked the Congress for their agreement, while maintaining that he has the authorization to act without their concurrence. The problem with this approach is that it (1) diminishes his image as a tough Commander-in-chief and (2) will be a though sell to convince the war-weary American public to support the “warning shot” even with the promise of no-boots-on-the-ground.
Tonight, President Obama will give a nationally televised address from the White House on the use of military force — a proposed strike against Syria. Polls and news media indicate that there is scant backing for a Syria strike. It will be interesting to see if there is a significant shift in opinion after the speech.
The Russian Proposal
One positive result of all the saber rattling is that that Russia has proposed having the Syrian chemical weapons placed under international monitors. The proposal sounds attractive as an alternative to military action; however, as usual, “the devil is in the details.” It is possibly just a diversionary tactic to further delay any action by the U.S. and its allies. China apparently backs the Russian proposal.
A Win-Win Compromise
If the purpose of the strike is to give President Assad a warning that the use of chemical weapons is unacceptable, there is an alternative that is less costly and risky that can accomplish the same objective. If instead of Congress agreeing to a military strike NOW, they could instead agree to give their authorization for an immediate response the NEXT time we have “undeniable proof” that he or anyone else uses chemical weapons. This would serve as a warning to the future perpetrators that the U.S. is willing and able to prevent any further use of chemical weapons. If the U.S. could respond within hours of the next attack with NO further warning, the guilty party would not have time to move their troops and equipment like they have already done in this crisis. Just a thought, from your friendly folks at ArtParodies.com!
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