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When it comes to acts of war, it’s amazing what a difference who the President is makes:
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi pressed top administration officials Thursday night to take military action to punish Syrian President Bashar Assad in response to reports that he used chemical weapons in his nation’s ongoing civil war.
“It is clear that the American people are weary of war. However, Assad gassing his own people is an issue of our national security, regional stability and global security,” Pelosi said in a statement after the 90-minute conference call with members of the National Security Council and 26 high-ranking lawmakers.
The White House organized the conference call — which was unclassified because of a lack of secure phone lines — at a time when congressional demands for more information on both the intelligence regarding the alleged chemical weapons attack and President Barack Obama’s plans for a military response are growing.
House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) was more measured than Pelosi in his approach, according to Democratic sources familiar with the call. Boehner, along with Pelosi and other lawmakers from both sides of the aisle, emphasized the need for administration officials to continue consulting with Congress —essentially saying Obama would be better served by working harder to win over Congress before launching military strikes.
But then, according to another source, Pelosi shifted gears. Pelosi “said we should do something,” the second source said, adding that Pelosi was advocating “for action.”
This is an especially fascinating turnaround for Pelosi not just on the “need for war” front, but on the Assad front, considering her fawning visit to meet with the Syrian “leader” personally in April 2007, a visit that was widely criticized by conservatives at the time as detrimental to the interests of the United States – criticism that was met with the typical “oh, you just oppose her visit because she’s a woman” garbage from The Usual Suspects. What’s changed? Who the President is, that’s what. Imagine if this was a Republican President pushing for action?
That being said, I’m not going to deny that the pictures and stories coming out of Syria right now are horrific and that some type of action (not necessarily military) needs to be taken, but Americans are extremely war weary after Afghanistan and Iraq, and not even our staunchest ally Britain is willing to join us in whatever action the POTUS ultimately decides to take. What we’d be putting ourselves in the middle of is a brutal civil war that likely would not end after our involvement started … and eventually stopped. The President and his fellow new hawks on the left, should they decide launching cruise missile and drone strikes is an appropriate and necessary response, better be prepared to have an iron-clad case for doing so because the “threat to our national security” assertion made by newfound hawk Pelosi and others simply does not cut it.
As they say, stay tuned …. and pray.