Saturday, September 14, 2013
Obama's Finger Remains on the Trigger - Ready to Fire
"While we have made important progress, much more work remains to be done," said Obama.
Obama has been bombarded with criticism for his handling of Syria and a muddled message. First, he took U.S. forces to the brink of a military strike over an August 21 poison gas attack in Syria that Washington blames on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. He then asked Congress to authorize the strike, but less than a week later requested lawmakers hold off on a vote to allow diplomacy more time.
He now faces questions about how the Syrian diplomatic deal will be enforced. Senior administration officials said on Friday the United States will not insist that the use of military force be included among the consequences Syria would face in a U.N. Security Council resolution being negotiated, in order to avoid a Russian veto.
Obama, in his statement, insisted that the United States "remains prepared to act" should diplomatic efforts fail.
But Republican Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham, who have sharply criticized Obama's handling of Syria, said the deal is meaningless unless backed up with the threat of military force.
"It requires a willful suspension of disbelief to see this agreement as anything other than the start of a diplomatic blind alley," they said.