Yahoo asked Americans to react to President Barack Obama's address on Syria on Tuesday evening. Here's one perspective.
COMMENTARY | During his address to the nation regarding Syria, President Obama said: "The situation profoundly changed, though, on August 21," referring to the use of chemical weapons. I am unconvinced that the use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime represents a larger affront to humanity than what had previously unfolded during the last two brutal years of civil war.
The president's larger point in this speech is that the use of chemical weapons anywhere in the world without repercussions is a threat to the United States' national security and armed forces.
"When dictators commit atrocities, they depend upon the world to look the other way," he said.
This is the more compelling argument for the use of a targeted strike against Assad, but unfortunately President Obama continuously evoked the horrific imagery of civilian death by sarin gas as though it was worse than the hundreds of thousands of deaths by conventional weaponry. To me, this was ineffective and disingenuous.
I live in midtown Tucson, Ariz., represented by House Democrat Ron Barber and Republican senators Jeff Flake and John McCain. There is not currently a consensus position from my three national representatives.
Rep. Barber is publicly undecided on how best to proceed in Syria. Sen. Flake is on record saying that the Syrian regime must "face the consequences" of a chemical weapons attack, but he did not go further. Sen. McCain is a staunch supporter of military intervention in Syria, suggesting that any action must be "part of a broader strategy to change the momentum on the battlefield in Syria." McCain's position, particularly, is likely at odds with many of his constituents.
Tonight, President Obama asked Congress to delay their decision on authorization to allow for a diplomatic solution. He did not provide hard deadlines, something I was hoping for. I personally think a strike in Syria would be a humanitarian and strategic catastrophe, so the only optimism I can draw from tonight's speech is that we haven't yet gone to war, and there is a chance that it will be avoided entirely.
- Politics & Government
- Unrest, Conflicts & War
- Barack Obama