Strike a Go, But Obama Decides to Ask Congress

imageAfter the stunning defeat of the British measure which would have put Britain into war with Syria, president Obama today spoke from the White House on the situation following Russian president Vlad Putin  calling on the WH to show what evidence it has – any any that’s conclusive – to make the case that the nerve gas attack in Syria was carried out by forces loyal to Syrian president Assad.

In his remarks this afternoon, the president said he has decided to take military action against Syria, but again promised “no boots on the ground.” The actual date of the attack has not been set.

But the major deal point announced this afternoon is that the president noted that he’s the “President of the world’s oldest constitutional democracy” and he announced that authorization will be sought from Congress when Congress returns from  recess.

On the other hand, he basically blew off the UN weapon’s inspector’s report, nor does hye foresee a need for UN decisions.

He noted that “Our action will be stronger” if Congress votes on this action, although he reiterated his belief that the president has the to order the strike without consultation.

Make no mistake, this has implications beyond chemical warfare,” the president said. “An attack made with chemical weapons must not just be investigated: It must be confronted.”

It had earlier been reported that SecState Kerry and SecDef Hagel were on the phone this afternoon talking with key members of the senate democratic caucus and the republican conference.

The presidents remarks, which had been scheduled for 1:15 PM Eastern were delayed about 41-minutes from its announced time for reasons which are not clear, although  this is obviously a fluid situation.  If you had listened (and watched) the streaming from the White House there was what sounded like protesters chanting “Leave it alone, Syria” way off in the background.

“…And we lead with the belief that right makes might….not the other way around.”

“Today I’m asking Congress to send a message to the world…”

On a personal note, I think it’s a damn fine decision.

We now continue with your regularly scheduled holiday weekend…