Speaker Boehner Supports Obama On Syria
Speaker of the House John Boehner is on board Operation "don't make Obama look bad", increasing the likelihood that that congress will authorize a military strike on Syria.
Boehner, Congress' top Republican, emerged from a White House meeting with Obama and told reporters the U.S. must respond to Syrian President Bashar Assad's alleged use of chemical weapons. Boehner said only the United States has the capability and the capacity to stop Assad and warn others around the world that such actions will not be tolerated.
Obama's meeting with congressional leaders was part of his push to win over support for his request for authorization for limited military strikes against Assad. He indicated he is open to changing the language to address lawmakers' concerns, but urged them to hold a prompt vote.
Meanwhile, the UK Telegraph is reporting that the military strike being planned may be much more substantial than we've been led to believe:
General Jack Keane, a former vice chief of staff of the US Army, told BBC Radio 4 that he had spoken to senior Republican senators who had been briefed by the US president on Monday, and had been assured that Mr Obama planned to do significant damage to the forces of Bashar al-Assad.
The Obama administration has previously said that military strikes would not be aimed at toppling Assad's government nor altering the balance of the conflict. Instead, the White House has suggested, they would be intended to punish Assad for the alleged gas attack in Damascus on Aug 21 and to reinstate Washington's "red line" against the use of chemical weapons.
But Gen. Keane said he understood Mr Obama was planning a more substantial intervention in Syria than had previously been thought, with increased support for the opposition forces, including training from US troops.
He said the plans could involve "much more substance than we were led to believe".
I'm still not clear on what vital national security interests are threatened by Syria's civil war. And I'm not sure how this action protects Israel when Iran has promised to hit Israel in retaliation. Other American interests could be retaliated against as well.