Obama was trapped by his own Red Line on the use of chemical weapons in Syria…I note he now says action will only be taken if there are significant casualties resulting from the use of chemical weapons…..so presumably that is designed to give him a bit of leeway in not having to respond to attacks resulting in relatively few casualties.
Obama is now seeking a vote in Congress to get the go ahead for any strike on Syria.
It might seem that Obama is running for cover and sees a vote, as per the UK’s, as a way out with ”honour’….able to blame Congress should the vote go against intervention….‘I wanted to go to save the Syrian people but…..’
Mardell disagrees….he thinks Obama will probably win a vote but….this is democracy in action he says…a ‘canny, democratic move’. Whilst Cameron was given a drubbing by the BBC for having lost the vote with many a dire consequence predicted, Obama, should he lose the vote, looks like he will be praised for adopting a consensual approach….if he wins Congress can be blamed if the strikes go pear shaped and Obama can avoid the full blame.
Mardell is providing us with a some positive spin here for Obama whilst, as I said, Cameron was given a rough ride…..only yesterday the BBC was suggesting that the ‘special relationship’ was over….but as Obama is following Cameron’s lead perhaps the BBC got that wrong….perhaps all that chatter about Britain’s place in the world being diminished, a dramatic change in foreign policy, damage to Cameron’s authority, profound constitutional change, might be seen as so much BBC wishful thinking and rushed, ill judged comment from our eminent broadcaster.
The BBC had it both ways with the vote in the UK…Cameron loses and it is a disaster for him…but if he had won the BBC could have gone on the attack about Britain trying to be the ‘world’s policeman.’ ….no such qualms about being the ‘world’s charity’, handing out billions in world aid….or indeed the £300 million already spent by the UK to help the refugees from Syria which helps Assad stay in power and may feed those refugees but comes nowhere near to providing a real solution to their problems…an end to the war.
It will be interesting to see the BBC reaction and their analysis of the consequences for Obama should he lose the vote and just how that compares with how Cameron was hung, drawn and quartered by them.
Indeed, it will be interesting to see how they react to Obama winning the vote…and how they perceive US strikes will effect his standing in the world and the likely effectiveness of such strikes.