In interviews with President Obama yesterday, the president revealed that he would accept Russian President Putin’s proposal to disarm Syria of their chemical weapons. Following a quip by Secretary of State John Kerry in which he said that strikes on Syria could be avoided if they handed over all their chemical weapons, Vladimir Putin proposed he take the lead in making a deal with President Assad of Syria to remove their chemical weapons arsenal. With seventy percent of Americans objecting to Obama’s desire to use the U.S. military to make a punitive strike on Syria to punish the besieged Assad because chemical weapons were used in the civil war, Obama eagerly accepted the Russian’s offer.
Since announcing two weeks ago that Syria crossed the red line in using chemical weapons, Obama has backed off of his rhetoric of a year ago and declared that his credibility is not on the line should he not stick to his guns. Declaring that Congress, Americans, and the world are at fault for not following his lead, the president sent Kerry and others to make his case. When questioned what other solutions might satisfy Obama besides using military force, Kerry retorted that the Syrian leader could surrender his chemical arsenal. Putin wasted no time taking the lead and making the proposal to Assad who has readily agreed.
Americans are heartened by the move as over 70% objected to using the U.S. military to police any dictator’s use of forbidden weapons rather than having the International Community at the U.N. do so. Despite the administration’s attempts to placate the people, none believed that any kind of strike would be effective, nor would it be without risk to U.S. personnel. Most people are in doubt as to whether the chemical weapons were used by the Assad regime or the Al-Qaeda rebels they are fighting.