By John Ruberry
The clearest example of President Obama’s pusillanimous presidency is his approach to the continuing crisis in Syria.
Three years ago Obama warned Syria’s dictator, Bashar al-Assad, that if chemical weapons were used by the brute’s forces in his nation’s civil war, it would cross “a red line.”
Assad’s thugs responded by using chemical weapons in fatal attacks–and Obama did nothing.
A year earlier Obama declared, “The time has come for President Assad to step aside.”
Assad is still in office and it appears likely that the despot will still head Syria’s government after Obama returns to Chicago in sixteen months.
In 2013 France was within hours of leading a military strike against Syria–but Obama backed off when he told his French counterpart that he wanted to get congressional approval before permitting American participation. Obama knew what he was doing–no president can get authorization from Congress for a military attack in a few hours unless there is an amphibious assault on our eastern seaboard.
Oddly enough Obama did not request approval from Congress for American forces to participate in multi-national attack on Muammar Gaddafi’s Libya.
Where are we three years after Assad crossed Obama’s red line?
At least 300,000 Syrians have been killed in the civil war and over four million refugees have left Syria. Over 12 million Syrians need humanitarian help and over seven million Syrians have been uprooted but remain in that unhappy nation. These are huge numbers–and keep in mind that there are only 17 million Syrians.
The Syrian crisis has spread beyond the Middle East. Scenes of Syrians camping out in Hungary and Austria are a prelude of what will soon be common throughout the European Union. The ultimate goal of many Syrian refugees is not Muslim Turkey or Arabic Jordan or Lebanon, but the social welfare benefits of the most generous EU states such as Sweden and Germany.
Will the Syrian influx snap the European Union safety net?
We will find out–but by then Obama won’t be president and that red line might have arrived on America’s shores.
John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.