President Obama (to his credit) showed incredible restraint when he decided to seek congressional support before ordering punitive limited air strikes/missile strikes against the Assad regime in Syria. While as the Commander-In-Chief, he had the authority to strike Syria without the approval of congress, he chose what turned out to be a diplomatic solution to Syria's use of chemical weapons. Of course the president's pundits now claim he showed poor leadership by waiting, the vast majority of Americans approve of the direction the Syrian situation is headed.
What is undeniable is the fact that no diplomatic solution would have been possible without the threat by President Obama to strike Syria militarily.
Before America's threats there was no incentive for Russia to intercede in the situation. Now Putin is in the unfamiliar position of peace maker which is a first for the former head of the KJB. At the time, Secretary of State John Kerry made the off-hand remark that, "The only way Syria can avoid an attack by the United States would be turning over all their chemical weapons to the international community and unlimited access to U.N inspectors."
Putin would jump on a diplomatic solution. By Putin stepping up in this way, this is the first time in recent memory that Russia and the United States have worked together in peace to solve a crisis in another warring country. It is the hope of many folks world-wide that this cooperation will facilitate future co-operation between the two Super powers.
There are those folks that say America handed Russia and Putin an opportunity to gain an undeserved spotlight for peacefully settling the chemical weapons crisis in Syria. There are those that feel that Syria is in essence receiving a free pass for an atrocity committed against humanity. But folks in the know realize that if the mandates put on Syria are complied with, this is a win/win for Obama, America, Russia, Putin, the international community and most importantly the Syrian people.
If Syria turns over all of their chemical weapons to be destroyed, America will have accomplished more than we could have by limited strikes by our military. In any military operation against Syria by the United States, there would have been at least some chemical weapons remaining. This diplomatic solution is a chance to get all of the chemical weapon stockpiles in Assad's arsenal. Assad has already signed the International Chemical Weapons Ban and this can be directly correlated to Obama's initial threat of military strikes.
As it turns out, President Obama did exactly the right thing in this situation. Had there been a congressional vote to use military force I doubt very much that congress would have supported such action. Had the president attacked Syria without congressional approval I think the majority of Americans would have blamed the president for acting contrary to the will of the majority of the people.
Page 2 of 2 - All-in- all I say that the president did exactly the right thing given the circumstances. Whether by design or accident the results will be better for the Syrian people. I hope Putin of Russia will enjoy his new persona of peace maker and we may have turned a corner with our relations with Russia. I must also admit I was dead wrong when I called for immediate missile strikes against Syria. Thank goodness Obama is president and I am not.