By Mac Slavo
President Barack Obama has back-peddled on threats to strike Syria in response to a chemical attack reportedly initiated by Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad which killed hundreds of men, women and children last week.
In a speech this afternoon the President called for a vote in Congress to authorize war, but reserved the right to act without Congressional approval.
Obama says he has the authority to act on his own, but believes it is important for the country to have a debate.
Perhaps he hasn’t been paying attention, because fully 90% of Americans polled earlier this week were against any interference in Syria.
As noted in a previous report, the only reason for why Obama would refrain from striking Syria at this time would likely come as a result of Russia’s Vladimir Putin threatening large-scale retaliation. It seems this is exactly what may have taken place amid widespread reports that Russia was mobilizing forces in the region and that they would respond by striking targets in Saudi Arabia if the U.S. commenced their attack.
The last straw may have been Chinese and Russian officials walking out of a UN Security Council meeting in which Britain and the U.S. attempted to garner support for the strike.
By all indications, President Obama seems to have just gotten the geo-political crap kicked out of him.
“I will seek authorization for the use of force from the American people’s representatives in Congress.”
“For the last several days, we’ve heard from members of Congress who want their voices to be heard. I absolutely agree. So this morning I spoke with all four congressional leaders, and they’ve agreed to schedule a debate and then a vote as soon as Congress comes back into session. In the coming days, my administration stands ready to provide every member with the information they need to understand what happened in Syria and why it has such profound implications for America’s national security. And all of us should be accountable as we move forward, and that can only be accomplished with a vote.”
With an issue so pressing that it threatens the security of the United States and the world, we find it odd that the President is OK with waiting for Congress to come back in session for a vote on Syria.
If Assad’s actions in Syria have “profound implications for America’s national security” shouldn’t the President be calling for an emergency Congressional vote in the next 24 hours? Or would it be too much of an inconvenience for our Senators and Representatives who are on vacation right now?
According to Congressional schedules, Congress will not reconvene again until September 9th.
However, Obama did note that he can push the button anytime he feels like it, despite a Constitutional mandate that only the U.S. Congress can declare war:
The President made clear that “we are prepared to strike whenever we choose.”
Strikes would be “effective tomorrow or next week or one month from now,” Obama said, adding that he is “prepared to give that order.”
The American people have already spoken. If you were paying attention, Mr. President, you would have heard us.