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September 11, 2013

Obama Holds Fire on Syria

President Obama told Americans he would "pursue a newly energized diplomatic course to try to resolve the standoff with Syria, but he insisted that the U.S. must conduct military strikes, if needed, in response to the Assad regime's alleged use of chemical weapons," the Wall Street Journal reports.

Ezra Klein: "The problem is that if the diplomatic path is going to work, Russia and Syria need to believe Obama's threat to use force is credible. That means Obama needs to win enough public and congressional support that his threats remain credible. The result was an odd speech: One that had to make the case for war the administration was seeking on Sunday even as it pivoted towards the diplomatic solution the administration lucked into on Monday."

Rod Dreher: "Was anybody's mind changed by that speech? I can't imagine it. It wasn't terrible, but it wasn't convincing either. It's about the best attempt one could imagine to sell an incoherent, bad policy."

Andrew Sullivan: "I'm tired of the eye-rolling and the easy nit-picking of the president's leadership on this over the last few weeks. The truth is: his threat of war galvanized the world and America, raised the profile of the issue of chemical weapons more powerfully than ever before, ensured that this atrocity would not be easily ignored and fostered a diplomatic initiative to resolve the issue without use of arms."


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