News accounts would seem to indicate the Obama Administration is going to take some unilateral military action against Syria for its use of chemical weapons, probably in the next few days. It seems that killing your own citizens by toxic mist is worse than killing them with artillery.
All of this is in flux, of course. It may not happen as the entire foreign policy of the government has looked like it is being run by the Key Stone Cops. It has been a show of muddled leaks, telling the opposition the nature of the strike, declarations stating the attack will not have any real impact other than erasing some idiotic red line in the sand. I am a frequent critic of the government but this kind of action is not only embarrassing but also dangerous.
However, the most distressing and telling event is the lack of support by other countries. No one is lining up behind Mr. Obama and it demonstrates how the influence of the United States has fallen. Sure, we got lots of missiles and big guns but no stroke. Even our closest ally-Great Britain-would not join our side. Let me say that again, the oldest ally of this country, bound by language, commerce and history, has dumped the U.S. on the side of the road. It left Mr. Obama holding the bag, waiting on the side of the road.
Yesterday the British Parliament rejected a motion supported by its conservative Prime Minister David Cameron urging an international response to the chemical weapons attacks blamed on the Syrian government by a vote of 272 to 285 against the government. Disaster and embarrassing for Mr. Cameron and disastrous for Mr. Obama, reflecting the miscalculation at almost every step of the Administration
With Britain out of the operation, Mr. Obama faces the prospect of going into Syria almost literally alone. There is no support from the United Nations, no NATO action, no authority granted by the U, S. Congress. The most disturbing aspect of the Syria episode is the cumulative refusal of other sovereigns to go along with his red line salvation, no Republicans to point fingers at here.
I find the action of the UK astonishing that it has come down to that. No stoke, no influence, no support. I am not sure how Mr. Obama recovers from all of this. He has put himself in an untenable situation no matter what he does now and he has put himself and all of us out there alone.