By Paul E. Gable
There is no question that President Barack Obama is thinking about what his legacy will be when he leaves the Oval Office at the end of his second term.
However, is he doing so by playing games and making threats against Syria and jeopardizing U.S. foreign policy?
Is President Obama thinking about his legacy at the cost of alienating America’s biggest ally in the region – Israel – and our biggest ally in the world – Britain?
President Obama has already said that if Syrian President Bashar-al-Assad used poison gas on the rebels, America would act. After all, there was a “red line in the sand,” which Obama had drawn.
However, what if the rebels were the ones who used the poison gas?
We may never know who launched the poisonous gas that killed so many Syrians.
Regardless, I can’t help but think the conflict in Syria is much like that of Iraq under George W. Bush.
There was all this “evidence and knowledge” that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, and we invaded Iraq without two things – an exit strategy and proof as to where the weapons of mass destruction were.
Can we seriously invade Syria because our president feels like he has to be tough on Syria after appearing timid and weak in the past?
Can we seriously invade Syria after the “red line in the sand” may or may not have been drawn?
And, perhaps, the best question, can we seriously get ourselves into our fourth conflict in the Middle East during the last 12 years?
I, like many Americans, huddled around a television over the weekend to listen to the president address the nation from the Rose Garden about the situation in Syria.
I, like many Americans, scratched my head asking, “What is the imminent threat to America’s safety?” as far as Syria is concerned.
Now, don’t get me wrong – any chemical attack is horrible and horrendous, and something should be done.
Just not with the United States stepping in with our arms and might.
If you want to know how bad of an idea this is, look no further than the United Kingdom’s parliament, who voted last week to reject a military attack on Syria. Prime Minister David Cameron thumbed his nose at the administration, pledging to respect parliament’s decision.
President Obama finds himself in a bit of a crisis, as there is no U.N. Security Council resolution, there is no support from the Arab League, no Arab nation is in support of striking Syria and NATO even thinks it is a bad idea.
On top of that 60 percent of Americans think it is a bad idea.
Now, I have to be honest, I was shocked to hear that President Obama is going to ask Congress for permission to strike.
I just hope Congress is smart enough to say no to this plan.
I would ask that President Obama quit worrying about what his legacy will be and making plans on the backs of our men and women in combat and start addressing the issues that really matter here on the home front.
Syria is not one of them.
Paul E. Gable is the editor of The Shelbyville News, Shelbyville, Indiana.