No one questions whether President Barack Obama can give a good speech.
But at 8 p.m. Tuesday he will just about have to walk on water while trying to convince the nation and Congress to go along with his plan to take military action against Syria for using chemical weapons against that country’s population. Americans aren’t convinced that Syria’s use of such weaponry is a danger to this country, a McClatchy-Marist poll indicates.
Americans’ oppose U.S. airstrikes against Syria and Congress backing the president on such action. That is a shift from how the public felt 12 years ago after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and 2003 when President George W. Bush convinced the country that the U.S. had to invade Iraq to take out weapons of mass destruction, which were never found.
Obama can point to hundreds of casualties showing that Syria has chemical weapons and used them. But Americans have no more stomach for additional involvement in the Middle East.
Obama may be left with Russian President Vladimir Putin’s option of getting Syria to turnover its chemical weapons to prevent a U.S. air strike — as if Obama has the juice to convince the U.S. public and Congress to get that to happen. But trusting Putin is a bad choice.
The Russian president, after all, is the guy who globally embarrassed Obama by letting U.S. secrets leaker Edward Snowden stay in that former communist country out of the reach of U.S. prosecution. It has not been a good year for Obama, and it certainly doesn’t look as if it will end well.