With public opinion firmly against a U.S. attack on Syria, the planned Congressional vote was sure to deliver President Obama with a crushing defeat.
To avoid a huge embarrassment early in his second term, Obama seized on an offer by Russia to help facilitate the transfer of chemical weapons from Syria to international hands.
Fox News Reports:
President Obama on Monday took a sharp turn away from his “red line” threat to Syria on the eve of taking his case to the American people, saying in an interview with Fox News that he’s open to negotiations on an alternative plan that could avert a military strike.
The president was responding to a proposal, formally put forward by the Russians, to have the Assad regime turn over its chemical weapons to international control.
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“We will pursue this diplomatic track,” Obama told Fox News. “I fervently hope that this can be resolved in a non-military way.”
According to The Hill.com, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) decided to hold off on the vote to approve the attack on Syria that was set for Wednesday.
While it’s highly unlikely Syria will hand over its chemical weapons, the current offer buys Obama time and provides him a way out of the red-line corner he painted himself in.
Obama’s Syrian blunder exposes the president as an amateur on the world’s stage and his incompetence will only embolden our enemies that might want to take advantage of a weak leader.