“The use of these weapons has to be responded to and only the United States has the capability and capacity to stop Assad and to warn others around the world that this type of behavior is not going to be tolerated,” Boehner told reporters. “This is something that the United States as a country needs to do. I’m going to support the president’s call for action. I believe my colleagues should support this call for action. We have enemies around the world that need to understand that we’re not going to tolerate this type of behavior. We also have allies around the world and allies in the region who also need to know that America will be there and stand up whether it is necessary.”
Last year, President Obama made an off-the-cuff remark that the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government would constitute the crossing of a “red-line” that would necessitate a US response. The Syria government is alleged to have used chemical weapons against its citizens on August 21st.
For over a week, the Obama Administration openly made preparations for a military strike, deploying military assets to the region and conferring with allies. Most observers expected Obama to order a military strike this past weekend. Obama, however, reversed course and announced he would seek Congressional approval first.
The reversal was mocked by Syria and her allies.
Now Congress must decide whether America has a national interest in Syria and, if so, what kind of strike would have anything more than a symbolic effect.
Obama’s “smart diplomacy” has steered America into a situation with no good outcomes.