If you only caught his conclusion, you’d never know that Obama has spent the last few weeks loudly war-mongering on Syria, seeking unilaterally to plunge America into a new war that over 60% of Americans oppose.
Obama started out his speech with a lot of “Oh! Won’t somebody please think of the children!” But he offered only a series of assertions (no evidence) on a crucial point: whether Syria’s President Assad is responsible for the chemical weapons attacks. (The intelligence is still weak; since the rebels are some nasty people, it’s still worth considering whether they did the attacks as a ‘false flag’ operation to draw the U.S. in, or if it was perhaps a rogue Syrian general.)
Obama then offered a thin connection to U.S. security interests:
As the ban against these weapons erodes…tyrants will have no reason to think twice about acquiring poison gas and using them. Over time, our troops would again face the prospect of chemical warfare on the battlefield, and it could be easier for terrorist organizations to obtain these weapons…
This, from a president who has done basically nothing about North Korea’s and Iran’s nuclear weapons programs. He seems unaware that terrorists can already obtain or create chemical weapons, and that U.S. forces already prepare for the threat.
But it leads to his major point:
This is not a world we should accept…And that is why, after careful deliberation, I determined that it is in the national security interests of the United States to respond to the Assad regime’s use of chemical weapons through a targeted military strike.
So, the strike is on, right? Nope:
That’s my judgment as commander-in-chief, but…over the last few days, we’ve seen some…constructive talks that I had with [Russia’s] President Putin…I have therefore asked the leaders of Congress to postpone…
But we still might strike, Obama indicates, so don’t you think about these things too hard, people! Go back to Youtube videos; keep yourself worked up about The Children!
To my friends on the left, I ask you to reconcile your belief in freedom and dignity for all people with those images of children writhing in pain…Indeed, I’d ask every member of Congress and those of you watching at home tonight to view those videos of the attack…
I’ll wait for the U.N. inspectors’ reports, thank you. Just as Bush/America did, with Saddam Hussein’s use of chemical weapons on his own people in Iraq.