The current occupant of the White House thinks we need to respond militarily to the Syrian government’s supposed use (the administration offers no evidence to prove it; other accounts indicate it was the Syrian rebels who actually used them against their own people) of chemical weapons against its civilian population. He’s not bothered yet to get any go-ahead from Congress – who needs those guys when you’re the imperial president? Apparently, though, any military response should not be too big of a deal: we don’t want Iran or Russia to get riled up about it. So, says an unnamed official, the attack should be “just muscular enough not to get mocked.” Making that statement sets up Wile E. Obama’s administration for just that.
White House officials cautioned that Obama was still considering the options, but the administration appeared positioned to act quickly once he chooses a course. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said during a visit to Brunei that the Pentagon was prepared to strike targets in Syria and hinted that such a move could come within days.
Some experts said U.S. warships and submarines in the eastern Mediterranean could fire cruise missiles at Syrian targets as early as Thursday night, beginning a campaign that could last two or three nights. Obama leaves next Tuesday for a four day trip to Sweden and Russia, which strongly supports Assad’s government, for the G-20 economic summit.
One U.S. official who has been briefed on the options on Syria said he believed the White House would seek a level of intensity “just muscular enough not to get mocked” but not so devastating that it would prompt a response from Syrian allies Iran and Russia.”
They are looking at what is just enough to mean something, just enough to be more than symbolic,” he said.
Obama and his top aides have shared intelligence with key members of Congress. But White House aides made it clear Tuesday that Obama would not wait for Congress to return from its monthlong recess on Sept. 9, and House and Senate leaders signaled no plans to call members back for an emergency session.