Friday September 13, 2013
President Obama has encountered a series of roadblocks after deciding to use military force against Bashar Assad’s Syria for its use of chemical weapons against civilians. Many of those obstacles resulted from statements made by the President and prominent administration officials; a principal one was the failure to talk candidly and plainly to Congress and the American public about the likely scope of planned military attacks.
Repeatedly, Obama and other officials called the military actions as limited, tailored, surgical, and proportional, and they downplayed the level of violence.
The adjectives were unpersuasive because the administration contemplated sending in dozens of cruise missiles into Damascus, followed perhaps by aircraft bombings. Many lawmakers and their constituents found the administration’s over-optimistic and unrealistic word play to be deliberate efforts to mislead and deceive.