Despite reports and rumours emerging that throw fresh doubts on the authorship of the chemical incidents in Syria that have so stirred America and its allies, President Barack Obama has spoken to the American people to tell them he has made two decisions.
Obama said he could have acted alone, but democratic choices were stronger, so any eventual military action would be subject to congressional approval.
“After careful deliberation I have decided that the United States should take military action against Syrian regime targets. Moreover the chairman has indicated to me that our capacity to execute this mission is not time-sensitive. It will be effective tomorrow, or next week, or one month from now.
I’ve made a second decision. I will seek authorisation for the use of force from the American people’s representatives in Congress.
Now’s the time to show the world that America keeps our commitments,. We do what we say, and we lead with the belief that right makes might, and not the other way around.”
Obama seems to have no doubt about who bears the guilt for this tragedy, but his second decision does leave one big doubt hanging in the air.
“Will you forego the strikes if Congress disapproves?” asked one journalist.
Obama was not taking questions, and did not answer.