Tuesday, September 3, 2013

No Easy Solution

Just since this morning, we've seen movement(s) on Syria. Congressional leaders now seem to be forming a united front behind President Obama. Even House Speaker John Boehner (R) announced his support after meeting with the President.

So it's a go? Not so fast.

Pew and ABC-Washington Post released new polls today showing large opposition to any military action against Syria. And these follow earlier polls showing mostly similar numbers. This is probably what Code Pink's Medea Benjamin was referring to when she and other Code Pink protesters briefly disrupted the Senate Foreign Relations Committee's hearing on Syria.

This is probably also why the fate of military authorization is still very much up in the air on Capitol Hill. Many members (including some from here) are still far from making up their minds. The horrors of the Assad Regime are certainly front and center... Along with many memories of the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars.

So far, Congress is pretty fractured on Syria... And it goes beyond the usual party lines. Can the President's foreign policy team break through this? Or are enough Members of Congress so "war weary" that they'll even say no to what's supposed to be a "limited strike" on Syria?

There doesn't seem to be any "appealing option" when it comes to Syria. Do we want to risk lives by ordering a military strike? Or do we want to risk lives by letting Bashar al-Assad (who may be using chemical weapons, if we're to believe White House declarations) hang around for a while longer? Is there another way to handle this?

Ultimately, everyone will have to meet at the negotiating table. So how do we get the warring factions in Syria there? And what are we willing to do to help put an end to this gruesome civil war? These are among the many questions we keep asking about the Syria crisis. There's no easy solution, but we have to decide on something.

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