Secretary of State John Kerry said that after U.S. strikes against Syria, dictator Bashar al-Assad will be able to "stand up and, no doubt, he'll try to claim that somehow this is, you know, something positive for him."
President Obama has some work to do if he wants congressional authority to bomb Syria. Already some of his liberal allies are questioning the evidence which is supposed to show that Syrian strongman Bashar al-Assad used chemical weapons on his own people.
The president has decided to ask Congress to authorize the use of force against the Assad regime. As we editorialized this week, "It may be that the president believes he ought to get congressional approval before acting against Assad. There is merit to this view. The solution is to ask Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Harry Reid to call the House and Senate back to Washington as soon as possible. A full debate in Congress would be appropriate and desirable. It would focus the American people on what is at stake, instead of leaving the public a bystander watching media commentary on the administration’s rhetorical zigs and political zags. We suspect at the end of the day Congress would pass legislation authorizing the use of military force against the Assad regime."
Mugged by Middle East reality, President Obama and Secretary Kerry seem finally to have awakened to the necessity to act—unilaterally and un-apologetically. That's heartening. Still, do they understand that the American action has to be decisive? After all, as the late Mike Scully put it, liberals sometimes get mugged by reality—but then fail to press charges. Will Obama press charges? And pressing the appropriate charges in this case means removing Assad.
The debate over what, if anything, the United States should do regarding Syria, and the crossing of the "red line," continues. Some of the support for action is coming from some surprising places. Nancy Pelosi, for instance, stated that: