- President Obama poised to grant clemency to nonviolent drug offenders: report
- Teen OK after riding in wheel well of Hawaii jet
- Kraft recalls 96K pounds of Oscar Mayer hot dogs over cheese error
- Boy Scouts boots church as host after gay leadership dispute
- Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s new book raises 2016 presidential speculation
- America is an oligarchy, not a democracy or republic, university study finds
- Rep. Marsha Blackburn: Hillary Clinton won’t be first female president
- French president accuses Syria’s Assad of gassing his own citizens
- Jimmy Carter’s grandson makes gains in governor’s race in Georgia
- Yemen: Airstrike targets al Qaeda training camps
Obama already missed chance on Syria: Analysts
As President Obama weighs a military response to Syria’s purported use of chemical weapons, some observers say the administration’s best chance for effective intervention has already passed.
The president consulted with the leaders of Britain and France over the weekend, and a senior administration official said there was “very little doubt” that Syrian government forces had killed civilians with chemical weapons last week.
Mr. Obama is “evaluating the appropriate response” but has not made a decision on military action, White House press secretary Jay Carney said.
“This violation has to be taken very seriously,” Mr. Carney said. “The president is consulting with his national security team.”
But as the international chorus grows louder for a military strike, some Middle East specialists believe such action would be too late to weaken the position of Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad.
“Even if the U.S. does intervene militarily, the time window for its best option has already passed,” said Anthony Cordesman, an analyst at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington. “Every option today comes up against the reality that Assad is now far stronger, the country is increasingly being split into Assad and rebel-controlled sections, the rebels are fractured and rebel forces have strong Sunni Islamist extremist elements, and the nation is increasingly polarizing.”
Mr. Obama has resisted for two years taking direct military action in Syria, even after reports surfaced in the spring that chemical weapons likely had been used in the civil war. The president has long warned that the use of weapons of mass destruction would cross a “red line” requiring a harsher U.S. response.
The president has all but ruled out sending in ground troops, and he also has resisted calls to establish a “no-fly zone” over Syria. Among the remaining options are missile strikes against such potential targets as chemical-weapons stockpiles or other military installations.
Lawmakers in Congress increasingly are asking the administration that they be apprised of any planned military moves.
Sen. Ted Cruz, Texas Republican, said on his Twitter account Monday: “Pres. Obama considers waiting on UN for permission to intervene in #Syria, but will he wait on the U.S. Congress?”
An aide to Speaker John A. Boehner, Ohio Republican, said Mr. Obama needs to explain to Congress and the public “clearly and resolutely” before taking any military action.
“The options facing the president are complicated, have far-reaching ramifications, and may require significant resources,” said Boehner spokesman Brendan Buck. “More than just to Congress, the president has an obligation to the American people to explain the rationale for the course of action he chooses; why it’s critical to our national security; and what the broader strategy is to achieve stability.”
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Dave Boyer is a White House correspondent for The Washington Times. A native of Allentown, Pa., Boyer worked for the Philadelphia Inquirer from 2002 to 2011 and also has covered Congress for the Times. He is a graduate of Penn State University. Boyer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Skeptics on all sides take aim of John Kerry's tentative deal on Ukraine
- Obama commutes drug dealer's sentence because of clerical error
- U.S. military on high alert as Ukraine troops trade gunfire with pro-Russian militants
- Obama calls for prayer on anniversary of Boston Marathon bombing
- Obama urges Putin to defuse Russian separatism in Ukraine
Latest Blog Entries
- Obama and Boehner congratulate U.S. men's hockey on win over Russia
- Americans say income gap will shrink if government butts out, poll shows
- WH spokesman Jay Carney recognizes beard's 'insufficiency,' shaves it off
- Obama misses deadline again on budget
- Biden burns rubber in driveway, laments road restrictions
TWT Video Picks
Women losing coverage under Obamacare, too
- Tactical advantage: Russian military shows off impressive new gear
- Former Ranger breaks silence on Pat Tillman death: I may have killed him
- Scalia to students on high taxes: At a certain point, 'perhaps you should revolt'
- USAID documents cite Hillary Clinton in chaos of Afghan aid
- Special Forces' suicide rates hit record levels casualties of 'hard combat'
- CURL: Shelly O first lady Michelle Obama comes in last
- Inside China: Marine's comment on islands draws sharp Chinese response
- Building a D.C. memorial for an endless war bumps into regulations
- Army goes to war with National Guard, seizes Apache attack helicopters
- No rush: Bob Goodlatte waits for heads to cool on heated legislation
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.