Heavy Pressure Led To Decision By Obama on Syrian Arms -- New York Times
WASHINGTON — For two years, President Obama has resisted being drawn deeper into the civil war in Syria. It was a miserable problem, he told aides, and not one he thought he could solve. At most, it could be managed. And besides, he wanted to be remembered for getting out of Middle East wars, not embarking on new ones.
So when Mr. Obama agreed this week for the first time to send small arms and ammunition to Syrian rebel forces, he had to be almost dragged into the decision at a time when critics, some advisers and even Bill Clinton were pressing for more action. Coming so late into the conflict, Mr. Obama expressed no confidence it would change the outcome, but privately expressed hope it might buy time to bring about a negotiated settlement.
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My Comment: The New York Times .... one of President Obama's staunchest supporters in the media .... is trying to defend and explain the indefensible and unexplainable. The reason why President Obama has not come out publicly to state that the U.S. is becoming involved in the Syrian civil war is that this fits into his leadership/political style .... do not be seen as being personally responsible for a policy position that may end up as a disaster .... and President Obama knows that this could end up as a disaster. His non-media allies are also confused with this policy (i.e. Zbigniew Brzezinski) who are "baffled" by this decision. Well .... they should be. There is no end game strategy .... there is no plan on how and who to arm .... there is no debate .... there is no public support .... and more to the point .... with the exception of a few neocons (Sen. McCain) and liberal interventionists .... no political will. And as to the hope that this would spur diplomatic negotiations for a political solution .... dream on. No one is interested in negotiating right now .... this is a war to the finish. So what's my take on why this decision was made .... it was made to save the image and credibility of the White House .... they had to respond after their "red lines" had been crossed, and to satisfy/pacify their liberal interventionist base who were complaining that nothing was being done (i.e. Bill Clinton).
Update: Decision to arm Syrian rebels was reached weeks ago, U.S. officials say -- Washington Post
Update #2: Obama's Syria Policy a Mess -- Lee Smith, Weekly Standard