Obama should start tradition of making sense

Taylor Cooper

I’m not a huge fan of President Obama. He hasn’t been the best at keeping his word or with keeping a consistent message for his administration. Then again, what administration ever has? Every president has certainly had his share of flip-flops and platform changes. What I’m referring to now, though, is Syria.

As many of you know, there’s a terribly bloody and objectively horrifying civil war going on in Syria right now.  The most recent atrocity that has claimed the world’s attention: alleged chemical weapons use on civilians. I say alleged because our government won’t let anyone see the proof they have and the U.N.’s investigation results have yet to be released.

Our president wants to launch a unilateral military strike to punish the Syrian government for the alleged use of chemical weapons. A unilateral strike, for those of you that don’t know, means that the U.S. alone would strike Syria without the approval of anyone else. This includes U.N. or NATO members or even our own Congress. The president is seeking their approval, but his administration has said that lack of approval won’t affect their decision to perform the strike.

The bones I have to pick with the president are numerous, but this one is on the top of the pile. During his election campaign in both 2007 and 2012, President Obama said that he believed George W. Bush’s unilateral strikes were a misuse of executive power, and that we could expect him to seek Congress and our allies’ approval before launching major foreign military offensives.

I’d understand if he’d simply admit to changing his mind on the subject, or that this is a unique situation that requires a different approach than the one he advocated during his campaigns. Humans are, by default, rational beings. But, like the majority of politicians, Obama has made a decision that doesn’t fit with what he told the public he stood for and has not explained his reason for doing it. I believe that we would sympathize with our politicians much more if we understood their reasons for doing what they do, and I had hoped that our president would be the one introduce a new tradition of doing so since he has done so on smaller issues. I’m still hoping he will, and I’ll support him if he does. Otherwise, I’m out.