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Iraq Flashback: Obama Refuses Assad Offer to Allow UN Inspectors into WMD Sites

Posted By Daniel Greenfield On August 25, 2013 @ 3:41 pm In The Point | 4 Comments

Wait this sounds familiar. Eerily familiar. Where did we see these stories before?

(Reuters) – A U.S. military response to alleged chemical weapons attacks in Syria appeared more likely on Sunday after Washington dismissed the Syrian government’s offer to allow U.N. inspection of the sites as “too late to be credible.”

A senior official of the U.S. administration said there was little doubt the Syrian government had used chemical weapons against civilians in suburbs of Damascus last week and that President Barack Obama was weighing how to respond.

U.S. lawmakers from both political parties urged a limited American military response, such as cruise missile strikes, but a senior Democrat, Senator Jack Reed, cautioned that any move by Washington should not be unilateral.

Americans strongly oppose U.S. intervention in Syria’s civil war and believe Washington should stay out of the conflict even if the reports are true that the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad used chemical weapons, a Reuters/Ipsos poll says.

About 60 percent of those surveyed in the poll said the United States should not intervene, meaning Obama would have to make a convincing case to the American public for any action that he would decide to take.

Sure 60 percent of Americans oppose it, but who cares about them anyway? No one in Washington.

Senator Bob Corker, the top Republican on the Foreign Relations Committee, said he had discussed the issue with the administration in the past week and believed Obama would ask Congress for authorization for intervention once Congress returns from its recess on September9.

“I think we will respond in a surgical way and I hope the president as soon as we get back to Washington will ask for authorization from Congress to do something in a very surgical and proportional way,” he told Fox News Sunday.

Bob is rather optimistic. Obama didn’t ask for permission to invade Libya. The only reason for him to ask Congress for permission to attack Syria is to spread the blame for an unpopular course of action.

Luckily for him there will be plenty of Republicans eager to welcome their imperial prodigal son back and offer to take a share of the blame.

The Syrian Foreign Ministry said on Sunday it had agreed to allow U.N. inspectors access to sites in suburbs of Damascus where the alleged chemical attacks are said to have occurred last week.

The senior U.S. official made clear the Syrian government’s move was inadequate, saying that if the Syrians had nothing to hide they would have let the inspectors in five days ago after the attack was first reported.

Didn’t liberals spend the run-up to the Iraq War insisting that we have to give the UN inspectors more time to work? Months and years were not enough time for the UN inspectors with Saddam. But five days is too much for Assad.

Bring on the peace prizes.


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