Who has the best lights in town? Vote now for your favorite in our holiday lights contest.
Obama and Congress owe the American people clarity on their goals in the Middle East.
Wednesday, September 4, 2013
Polls showing deep divisions over whether to take military action in Syria only hint at the mixed feelings harbored by many Americans.
The nation is financially and emotionally exhausted from more than a decade of war in the Middle East, yet photographs of men, women and children killed in a chemical attack wrench at our collective conscience.
President Obama’s decision to seek congressional authorization for a strike against Syria is at least in part a result of his mishandling of the matter thus far. Nevertheless, it is the right decision.
The president owes Americans a clear explanation of the evidence he possesses that points the finger at Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for the Aug. 21 atrocity, which U.S. officials estimate killed 1,400 people. Obama also owes his constituents a clearer explanation of his goal in launching an attack, and how that goal furthers national interests, whether it be the obliteration of weapon delivery systems or a larger effort to move the embattled country toward a negotiated resolution. Finally, and most difficult of all, he must offer some clarity on how he intends to achieve that goal without the United States becoming ensnarled in many more years of hostilities in the region.
Likewise, members of Congress owe their constituents a measured and honorable debate, free of partisanship, on Obama’s request, as well as a thorough consideration of all alternatives, including sanctions.
Hazards lie ahead, even if the decision is to do nothing. It is difficult to predict the long-term effect of various strategies on the balance of power, not just within Syria, but for the entire region, including allies like Israel, Turkey and Jordan as well as belligerents like Iran.
Obama has not been a forceful leader on U.S. policy toward Syria. Likewise, members of Congress have been happy to sit back and complain that they are shut out of decision-making while enjoying the ability to criticize without shouldering some of the responsibility for missteps.
Red-line ultimatums and mouthing off must be replaced with a serious plan, one capable of winning domestic and international support.
Weather JournalStorm track isn't very snowy for us