Obama’s Syria Misadventure Will Not End Well

It’s baffling that Obama wants to stake his presidency on such an ill-advised endeavor.


Five words: it will not end well. 

Everyone knows that but Barack Obama, going it alone in the world community – and against public opinion at home – in his aim to strike Syria for its alleged use of chemical weapons.

In a sea change, the American people are not ready to go to war at the drop of a pin, and that's a good thing. Even the print and broadcast media, which so shamelessly cheered our Gulf War engagements, are holding back. They are not so quick to scramble into "embed" mode with the military. Even the Pentagon wants to study war no more. 

We as a nation are finally sobered up about the Middle East boiling cauldron; the lies government leaders tell about weapons; the trillions we spent senselessly on the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. 

[See a collection of political cartoons on Syria.]

President Obama may speak his heart out to the nation in a Tuesday address. For some unfathomable reason, he is staking his presidency on siding with the Syrian "rebels," extremists with savage firing lines of death. See how that plays in Motown – Detroit, formerly a great American city. See how that plays in any great American city, for that matter.

These "folks" are not our friends. To see the Obama White House mobilize a full court press on Congress, a rare effort, on their behalf is unseemly.

President Obama is a classy man of the word more than the deed. Indeed, he plays words like notes on a violin, a great political gift that led him into the White House. He got there before he was fully ready to govern a nation in turmoil.  Well into his fifth year, the nation is not listening the way we were before.

[See a collection of political cartoons on Afghanistan.]

The state of affairs resembles a slow-motion break-up after falling in love pretty hard. The worst part is when you parse sentences to get down to their true meaning and even then, you feel lofty promises won't come to pass.

I was in the Capitol Friday, on the Senate side, and found support for a military action in Syria tepid at best. On both sides now, lawmakers are wondering: Why do we want to dance with a beast? There may be just enough votes to squeak by in the Democratic Senate, but probably not in the Republican House.

Our ally, British prime minister David Cameron, received a surprising rebuke from Parliament on joining forces on a Syria operation. But Obama should not be surprised if the same happens here.

There's just not a lot of love – or friendship – lost between Obama and a skeptical Congress and public. All the words on the wall won't save the president from a fall while the world is watching.

  • Read Robert Schlesinger: Russian Ambassador to U.S. Says Syria Isn’t Triggering a New Cold War
  • Read Susan Milligan: Jennifer Lopez's Weak Apology After Singing for Turkmenistan's Dictator
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