Those of us who favored military action against the Assad regime are naturally disappointed by the apparent resolution of the matter of Assad’s use of chemical weapons. Assad will not be punished for using these weapons to kill more than 1,000 Syrians. And his stock of chemical weapons is unlikely to be diminished significantly, if at all.
Furthermore, the momentum of the Syrian civil war, currently running in favor of Assad, Hezbollah, and Iran, probably will not be stemmed. Russia, our partner in resolving this matter, will see to that. Indeed, Syria and Russia may condition any reduction of Assad’s chemical weapons stockpile on U.S. refusal to aid the Free Syrian Army.
But the most significant harm produced by Obama’s deal with Russia is loss of American credibility. The world sees the spectacle of (1) a “red line” drawn by the U.S. president being brazenly crossed without retribution and (2) America wantonly farming out its response to the crossing of the red line to Vladimir Putin, a sponsor of the regime we had vowed to punish.
I believe, however, that the most serious and enduring loss to American credibility stems not from President Obama’s actions or decisions, but from the unwillingness of Congress and the American people to support him when he proposed taking military action against Assad.
Whole thing here.