During interviews on CNN and Fox News, President Obama’s plan to destroy Syria’s chemical weapons without launching a single missile became obvious, as he is outsmarting the media and his Republican critics.
Video clip of Obama’s CNN interview:
When asked by Wolf Blitzer if the proposal for Syria to turn over their chemicals weapons to the international community for monitoring was a way to possibly avoid a military strike, the president said:
It’s possible if it’s real, and I think it’s certainly a positive development when the Russians and the Syrians both make gestures towards dealing with these chemicals weapons. This is what we have been asking for not just over the last week, or the last month, but for the last couple of years, because these chemical weapons pose a serious threat to all nations, and to the United States in particular. That’s why 98% of humanity said we don’t use these. That protects our troops and it protects children like the ones that we saw on those videos inside of Syria, so it is a potentially positive development.
I have to say it’s unlikely that we would have arrived at that point where there were even public statements like that without a credible military threat to deal with the chemicals weapons use inside of Syria, but we’re going to run this to ground, and John Kerry and the rest of my national security team will engage with the Russians and the international community to see can we arrive at something that is enforceable and serious.
One reason why this may have a chance at success is that even Syria’s allies like Iran detest chemical weapons. Iran unfortunately was the target of chemicals weapons at the hands of Saddam Hussein during the Iran/Iraq War. And so we may be able to arrive at a consensus that doesn’t solve the underlying problems of a civil war in Syria, but it does solve the problem that I’m trying to focus on right now which is making sure that you don’t have over 400 children gassed indiscriminately by these chemical weapons.
Meanwhile, the president was telling Fox News that he expects the debate in Congress to take weeks, not days. The president said, “I am going to make sure that this is not going to change the calendar of debate in Congress, but there was no expectation that Congress would be finished with its deliberations over the next week or so.” Obama said that the American people aren’t persuaded and convinced. He added that he fervently hoped that this could be solved in a diplomatic way.
Video of Obama on Fox News:
President Obama admitted that he had been discussing the international option on Syria with Putin since last year.
It turns out that all of the people on the left and right who were fooled by the pundits and hosts on cable news into believing that war was just around the corner were absolutely, completely, totally, utterly wrong. War is not around the corner. In fact, President Obama had a strategy to get Syria to the table. That strategy was to get the United States talking about striking Syria by asking Congress for authorization.
If President Obama wanted to strike Syria, he could have done so at any time. He didn’t, because military action in Syria was not what he wanted. The president wanted Syria to surrender their chemical weapons to the international community, and the best way to get Russia to listen was to turn up the heat by letting Congress debate a potential military strike on Syria.
Obama is going to keep the pressure on Assad by letting the congressional debate take center stage for the next several weeks. The best way for Congress to avoid military strikes in Syria, while keeping Assad at the table would be to seriously consider authorizing the strikes. If Congress really wants to scare the pants off of Assad, they’ll authorize the strikes.
If you don’t think the strikes will have an impact, ask yourself why is Assad trying to sway the Congress and American public opinion away from them? The reality is that Assad knows that strikes will do major damage to his forces. This is why wants nothing more than to keep the rest of the world out of Syria.
President Obama may end up getting exactly what he wanted without firing a single missile, and he may very well get Syria’s chemical weapons destroyed. Obama has no interest in getting the country involved in a civil war in Syria, but the president will not stand by and let chemical weapons be used on civilians.
Barack Obama came up with a brilliant strategy. He may end up outsmarting everyone without risking a single American life, or another dollar on military action.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor, who is White House Press Pool, and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association