OFFICIAL WHITE HOUSE PHOTO BY PETE SOUZA
VOA: Former Obama Officials Respond to Criticism of Inaction on Syria
Officials of former U.S. President Barack Obama's administration are responding to criticism of Obama for not retaliating against Syria for a previous chemical weapons attack.
The officials maintain Obama proposed strikes in 2013 against Syria similar to those ordered Friday by Republican President Donald Trump but were thwarted by a Republican-controlled Congress that refused to agree with Obama's plan.
The push-back to the criticism came after Trump ordered the missile strikes against Syria for another chemical weapons attack without getting congressional approval.
Syria's latest chemical attack occurred Tuesday on the town of Khan Sheikhoun, killing 87 people, including 31 children.
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WNU Editor: These former Obama officials are still smarting over this .... Susan Rice, Obama colleagues take heat for past claims on Syria chemical weapons purge (FOX News), and being reminded of clips like this one .... President Obama Address To The Nation On Syria.
President Obama could have easily avoided Congress in the same manner that President Trump decided to avoid Congress this week .... only notifying them after the airstrikes had been made. But he chose not to .... and he is still paying for it politically. But it should be noted that not all former Obama officials are critical .... President Not-Obama: How Trump’s Syria strike got even some key Obama advisers cheering (Politico) .... including former Secretary of State John Kerry .... Kerry 'absolutely supportive' of Trump's Syria strike: report (The Hill). As to what's my take .... when President Obama issued his red-line on Syria's use of chemical weapons .... and then refused to follow through on it .... I said in this blog that it was a mistake. But I was also glad that he had made the decision to not follow through on his threat. America's strategic interests were not at risk. The Syrian rebel movement was too fragmented with too many radical elements within it to receive U.S. support. And more importantly .... there was no U.S. public support for another major U.S. military intervention in the Middle East. And while Syrian President Assad is a bad actor who deserves to be hauled in front of a war crimes court .... President Obama did appreciate that the options that were on the table for him would not change the dynamics on was happening on the ground unless a major U.S. deployment was undertaken .... and that was a road that (at the time) he choose not to make. What changed everything? The rise of the Islamic State and its siege of the Kurdish town of Kobane and the takeover of Mosul .... these events changed President Obama's opinion on what was needed .... and he then acted properly. His putting together a coalition of allies and local groups in the region (backed by U.S. air support) as the main military force to defeat ISIS is a sound strategy .... it minimises U.S. casualties, and it forces the people in the region to fight for their own goals and future. President Trump has now taken this strategy and he has accelerated the timetable .... or so it seems. But he has chosen to confront Syrian President Assad directly .... and I am worried about the future. There is going to be blow-back from Thursday's missile strikes .... and it will damage/hinder U.S. efforts to defeat the Islamic State. And while I know that the Russians are not going to do anything stupid .... the Iranians/Hezbollah/the Syrians are operating from a different playbook .... and our number one concern right now should be on what are they planning now.
More News On Former Obama Officials Blaming The U.S. Congress On Why President Obama Did Not Retaliate Against Syria For A Previous Chemical Attack
Obama Aides Push Back Against Criticism of Inaction on Syria (AP)
Obama aides say the same Republicans who are praising Trump for bombing Syria BLOCKED their boss from doing the same -- Daily Mail
Trump’s Syria Strike Altered Perceptions of His Presidency — and Highlighted the Failures of Obama’s -- Jonathan Tobin, NRO
Trump’s Strike On Syria Shows How Obama’s Policy Failed -- Brian Adam Jones, Task & Purpose