Syria: Obama must persuade Americans as well as Congress

Syria: Obama must persuade Americans as well as Congress

PanARMENIAN.Net - A key Senate panel backed President Barack Obama's request to strike Syria, while the Pentagon prepared to employ greater firepower to reach a shifting array of military targets.

At present, 22 Senators and 19 Congressmen support the Obama resolution on use of force in Syria, with 12 having voted against, 10 leaning towards a negative decision, 56 undecided and 22 favoring military action. In the House of Representatives, 83 voted against military action, 93 are leaning towards a negative decision, 103 are undecided and 19 favor a strike.

At least 59 percent of Americans still oppose launching military strikes against Syria while the Obama administration is trying hard to secure lawmakers' support, according to an ABC News-Washington Post poll.

The latest poll found that 59 percent of Americans are against a missile strike in Syria in light of the U.S. government's determination that the Syrian government had used chemical weapons against its own people. Only 36 percent of Americans support the military action.

According to the poll, Americans would express more support for the military actions if Britain and France were to participate, with the support for missile strikes in Syria rising by 10 percentage points to 46 percent. But the prospect has become less likely after the British parliament voted down a proposal for military intervention in Syria last week.

The poll was conducted Aug. 28 through Sept. 1, before Obama and his supporters made new statements in favor of a military strike.

If added to the Nobel Peace laureate’s disastrous foreign policy, the unconsoling data above proves Obama is leading both himself and the U.S. to a deadlock. One must note that none of the U.S. Presidents turned for a Congress support before unleashing a war.

Clearly, Obama seeks to share political responsibility for the Syria invasion with Congress, the outcome of the move to be known in 4 days. There is, however, an eerie symbolism to the whole story: the strike may be administered on September 11, with the current President thus “marking” the 12th anniversary of the World Trade Center demolition.

Meanwhile, the international community that Obama is referring to is more prone to a political settlement of the conflict, urging to convene Geneva 2 peace conference as soon as possible. But that's exactly what the rebels have no need for, with a rash decision on Syria the surest way to play into their hands. And the statements that Syrian leader Bashar Assad had no gain in using a chemical weapon are breaking against the “rigorous logic” of Obama who refuses to listen to reason. In principle, the U.S. President needs no Congress approval in his determination to bomb Syria. The one thing that could stop Obama would be a fear of a nuke strike on the U.S. which could be a possibility, should the militants seize the nuke material from a Damascus reactor, plunging the whole world into the chaos of a thermonuclear war. True, it's an extreme scenario, but a possible one nevertheless.

Karine Ter-Sahakyan
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