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Why the President backed down from war with Syria

Sep 19, 2013

It appears that the New York Times articles about Syria have been of great concern to President Obama lately. On August 29, Andy Rosenthal, the editorial pages editor, was called to the White House for a secret meeting with the president.



The meeting came amid the White House’s push for military intervention in Syria, one of the topics discussed that day. The Times editorial board hadn't explicitly come out for or against a strike on Syrian President Bashar Assad before the meeting, and soon after the paper still expressed concerns about the administration taking action without congressional approval and broad international support.

On Aug. 26, The Times editorial board had stressed that the White House should try exhausting diplomatic efforts before striking Syria. The paper noted that while “Assad’s use of chemical weapons surely requires a response of some kind, the arguments against deep American involvement remain as compelling as ever.”

Two days later, The Times editorial board wrote that more answers were needed from the administration on Syria. "Obama has yet to spell out how that response would effectively deter further use of chemical weapons," the paper said.

The result of this meeting? Obama called on Congress to declare war on Syria. In that way, it appears that the Times editors won their case, even though the president insisted that he really did not need their approval. After all, like all other "conflicts" since WW2, this was not really a "war."

The Times also noted that Obama's “approach on Syria now seems wholly at odds with the strong position” he took as a candidate in 2007....

On the evening of Aug. 30, Obama reportedly decided to seek congressional approval for a strike during a talk with chief of staff Denis McDonough. He announced his decision publicly the following day.

I think this shows just how divided the mainstream media is today. Some support the Babylonian war effort, while others do not. Or at least, they are questioning it, which makes it difficult for the chicken hawks to make their case to the public.

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Category: In The News

Dr. Stephen Jones

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