On the eve of the date that holds solemn remembrances of two tragedies- the first in 2001 where almost three thousand Americans were killed as a result of godless terrorism- and the other in 2012 where four Americans – Glen Doherty, Tyrone Woods, US Ambassador Chris Stevens and Sean Smith- were killed in Benghazi, President Obama attempted a face-saving speech regarding the Syrian crisis. The crisis includes a number of complexities including an effective resolution to the calamity and whether that resolution should include American intervention.
Many here in America are against US involvement- not because Americans have minimized the atrocities committed by Assad’s factions and the so-called rebels at war against each other, but because the public isn’t convinced of the nobility of the rebels nor the virtue of their intentions.
More to the point, many Americans lack the faith and trust in the moral decision-making of president Obama’s leadership, particularly in the foreign theater. Americans still have questions regarding the Libyan debacle in which the president and his administration, intentionally lied- and have yet to come clean- to the American people.
Americans still question why the president didn’t support the “green revolution” of the Iranian people in 2009, protesting what they claimed was the fraudulent re-election of Ahmadinejad in lieu of a more secular replacement.
Lastly, Americans took note of how the president publicly called for the removal of Hosni Mubarak, Egypt’s former president and leader of America’s non-NATO ally in a shortsighted and thoroughly naïve attempt to usher in an “Arab Spring.” As a result, Egypt has seen a destabilized government, an increased presence of the Muslim Brotherhood and perpetual civil chaos- none of which can be legitimately characterized as “springtime.”
After trying to be on both sides of the issue using diplomacy and military intervention, at the same time, this speech will do very little to change the hearts and minds of Americans toward supporting military intervention in Syria, to change the politics of acting/not acting, or to change the perception of Obama as a credible leader on the world stage. Equally as important, it will not deter Bashar al-Assad from continuing his slaughter be it chemical weapons or conventional weaponry.
The American people don’t approve of US involvement and statistically, congressional leadership doesn’t approve either.
What remains to be seen- and may ultimately define the remainder of his presidency, is what the president says and does after the congressional delay, especially if it ends with Congress refusing to authorize action.
America should continue to pray for those suffering in Syria.
We should also pray for the president. He’s going to need it.