Can Obama make the case for military action?
On Monday night, President Obama will make his case to the media for military action in Syria. The President will sit down for interviews with six major news networks, and call on Congress to approve the military strike. His task is complicated by strong opposition from members of Congress, and a vast majority of the American public. And, his case for war is being challenged further by new reports from the German press – reports that conflict much of the so-called evidence that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is behind the chemical weapons attacks.
According to the Guardian Newspaper, press reports in Germany allege that Assad did not order the attacks, and, in fact, blocked requests from his commanders to use chemical weapons against rebel forces. However, the Guardian states that these German intelligence findings actually support the Obama Administration claims “that elements of the Assad regime, and not renegade rebel groups, were responsible for the attack.” These new reports strengthen international suspicions that President Assad is no longer in full control of the Syrian military, but they also make President Obama's case for war even more difficult to prove.
Conflicting intelligence reports call into question the information being presented to Congress, who will start debating a military strike this week. Intelligence reports given to U.S. lawmakers could be inaccurate, or, at the very least, incomplete. And, according to a New York Times op-ed by Congressman Alan Grayson, our lawmakers aren't even permitted to verify the case for war that they're being given. President Obama faces an uphill battle to gain the support of our elected leaders, and our fellow Americans, for military action in Syria. And, with this new information contradicting American intelligence, the President's climb for congressional approval just became a lot steeper.