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1300 Gassed in Syria: What is Obama's Response?
We all know that President Obama drew the redline last year regarding Syria's use of chemical weapons. Obama promised a military response if it was crossed.
Syria's Assad avoided it all by using chemical weapons, such as sarin, in small doses and dropped by bombs or artillery shells. Some gas shells have Iranian markings on them. Because the amounts were small, casualties were light and hard to trace. Large scale use of the gas was Obama's redline, so, Assad never had to worry about a U.S. response. Now, the large scale use of sarin gas has a result of his brother, the commander of the 4th Division in Damascus, ordering the use of the gas on suspected rebel enclaves in the city suburbs. It is hard to believe that the president of Syria did not know about this. Intercepted transmissions indicate this was the case and few believe the rebel factions have the know-how to use chemical weapons or the means to deliver them.
As a result, 1300 died. Obama's redline had been crossed. Now, the problem seems to be the "will" to use the promised military cruise missiles to punish Assad. President Obama is being hampered by indecision, fear of the unknown, members of Congress demanding they approve any actions, senators and others stating that something non-militarily be done so America avoids another quagmire. Obama is also pursing some sort of agreement with Putin, to weaken the military strike to minimize damage for Russia's support in forcing Syria to go to the peace table.
What America needs is a president with conviction, to act alone if other countries are too afraid to act, to be the leader again. President Obama is not this. He likes consensus before he acts and all this takes excessive time, to the point, it all becomes a joke and America's reputation is laughed at. International law was violated, delaying a punitive strike only emboldens foes to act, thinking America is weak.
The Syrians are not worried. They have had so much warning now, that any targets Obama selects will have almost zero impact except in punitive nature. Of course, Syria and Iran threaten to respond. That is where the fear factor comes in and why Obama is now backing away.
Obama is in a very tough spot. If he does nothing after all this, America and himself will be the joke of the world. If a strike does occur and there is little impact, it will give an excuse for the foes to attack also and Obama is still a joke. Assad may do it again just for spite, it could fire anti-ship missiles at US ships, send rockets into Israel etc.
It seems that Obama's response must now be even more serious to convince others America means business. This would mean target over 50 sites for hits and Assad himself over a few days. If a punitive strike is going to trigger something worse, then, a more robust attack would be no different.
The most stupid thing Obama did was to tell Assad that he was not a target of the attack, even though Obama has stated that he must go. No wonder more and more nations laugh at America. We should not be afraid to use force for good, even if others will not help us.
But we are that paper tiger and Obama is making it worse.