Syria Opinion: Obama is mulling the least bad option
August 30th, 2013
10:35 AM ET

Syria Opinion: Obama is mulling the least bad option

Aaron David Miller, vice president and distinguished scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, says Obama apparently has chosen the middle option on Syria (between doing nothing and the McCain option of pushing for regime change). The result is one of the most widely telegraphed military assaults ever by Washington and a situation in which the president seems to be in a corner, forced to take action or risk being considered ineffective. It’s the least bad option, Miller says.

FULL STORY

Filed under: Assad • Barack Obama • Security Brief • Syria • White House
soundoff (51 Responses)
  1. Ed Bickert

    This so called leader, has divided our country. And he shows he has divided the world. United we stand divided we fall.

    September 3, 2013 at 1:17 pm | Reply
  2. Dan

    During this presidency, our credibility in the world is ZERO, our national debt has increased by staggering amounts since 2008, our economy sucks, millions have lost their jobs, work hours and benefits have been reduced, Obamacare has been rammed down our throats and the racial divide in this country has increased by two fold since Obama was elected. Any Questions?

    September 2, 2013 at 9:27 pm | Reply
  3. lance

    when is this clown obama going to work on the american economy and national debt, always sidetracking on B.S. that has nothing to do with the american publics concern. voted in office to fix unemployment and all this idiot can do is burn through tax dollars and create more debt.

    September 1, 2013 at 1:09 pm | Reply
    • Osbert Haro

      Lance you serious are in trouble. Find peace, this is a bipartisan issue at the face of the salvation of democracy and true believers.

      September 1, 2013 at 3:40 pm | Reply
      • StanCalif

        Syrians, Iraqis, Egyptians, Afghans . . . none of these people know one thing about "democracy" and want nothing to do with it! They simply want to kill each other! Sure, they get the internet today and dream about living free of dictators. But they have no idea what this means!!! All they really want is freedom to kill! If we stick our nose into their business, again, we just become the first targets!
        We celebrated the end of the Cold War with Russia. We and the Russians had misguided expectations of "freedom and democracy". What is Russia today? Just another dictatorship! Putin rules. Any potential political opponents somehow disappear. This is "democracy"? Syria is Russia's friend, not ours. Russia should be taking care of this!

        September 1, 2013 at 4:37 pm |
  4. john smith

    America is the root of all terror. America has invaded sixty countries since world war 2.
    In 1953 America overthrow Iran's democratic government Mohammad Mosaddegh and installed a brutal dictator Shah. America helped Shah of Iran to establish secret police and killed thousands of Iranian people.
    During Iran-Iraq war evil America supported Suddam Hossain and killed millions of Iranian people. In 1989, America, is the only country ever, shot down Iran's civilian air plane, killing 290 people.
    In 2003,America invaded Iraq and killed 1,000,000+ innocent Iraqi people and 4,000,000+ Iraqi people were displaced..
    Now America is a failed state with huge debt. Its debt will be 22 trillion by 2015.

    September 1, 2013 at 12:04 pm | Reply
  5. USAPeasant

    A pretty good article, but I strongly disagree with the author's conclusion. The option of avoiding this mess is the best option. Obviousyl full force option is not a good idea. However the "muddle through it" option is the worst option. The "muddle through it" option is essentialyl going to war, but fighting a bullcrap war which as we have seen will cause even more problems as one must be fulyl committed if they are to wage a successful campaign. I find it funny the main justification is that Obama will lose face. The elites should know that Obama and much Congress lost their faces a while ago. If anything every congressman that votes to strike syria will give us an excellent guide of who needs voted out of office.

    There is another option though. I elieve Assad used weapons. I believe the US has compelling proof of that (as if the proof on video and publicly known info on syria's chemical weapons weren't enough.) Obama could save some face by instead of going to direct strike on Syria, instead taking this compelling proof to the UN or ICC to get Assad labelled on war criminal status, thus isolating him from Russia, China and a few of his other allies. Sort of like how we diplomatically isolated Omar Bashir in Sudan. This could either help make Assad's war more costly for him and/or allow America to build a legit international coalition and give it unquestionable justification for action if Assad were to launch another chemical attack, which whether we hit him now or not he is likey to do again.

    September 1, 2013 at 3:55 am | Reply
    • StanCalif

      Good post! CNN's sensors block my replies. How can we carry on a meaningful discussion?

      September 1, 2013 at 7:52 am | Reply
      • USAPeasant

        Thanks Stan. As for our beloved CNN censors, I find that about half of all my posts get moderated out lol. That's okay just be persistent and try re-wording it. I understand how censorship is frustrating, but I try to see the silver lining in things, so I look at it as a way of building my vocabulary lol Simply, reword, rewrite, and repost lol. Most of the moderation is doen via keywords, so sometimes using some creative slang helps to bypass them as well.

        September 2, 2013 at 3:50 am |
      • Gerald O'Hare

        On the other hand Stan, there is either one person or people posting here who sorely need to be censored but are not! I'm talking about that psychopath who keeps on stealing other peoples' names and the jerk who posting his senseless yea long comments here without saying anything. I wonder whether or not if it's the same creep doing the whole thing. Either way, this has been going for too long and CNN needs to stop it but won't!!!!!

        September 2, 2013 at 7:08 am |
  6. timothyvenece

    it is translated to English on this website http://www.awsatnews.net

    August 31, 2013 at 3:55 pm | Reply
  7. CNN-POST.

    GENOCIDE NOVEL.

    PATHOLOGY POLICIES.

    DOES IT, INFORMATION NORMAL?.

    CNN INFO – DENOUNCE.

    GENOCIDE BY DESTELOMERIZATION. NEURAL HAMMER EXPLOTION IS NOT TAC PATOLOGY.

    WHY THE VATICAN SAY WE ARE GOOD WHEN PAY FOR HUMAN RACE STUDIES.

    IRRADIATION FROM SATELITES WITH NANO COMPUTERS VEMEZUELA.

    HUMAN SELL IN VENEZUELA.

    MINISTER OF CHINA COREA

    HOW MANIPULATE HUMANS WITH VOLTAGES TENSION, NANO TESLAS BOBINES.

    VENEZUELANS IRRADIATED 12 HRS AT DAY.

    BRAIN DESTRUCTION CASES, HIPOTALAMUS, ORGANS, LATINO AMERICA.

    HUNDRED OF CASES MENTAL TORTURE.

    NICOLAS SELLYNG NEURAL PATRONS TO OTHER COUNTRYES.

    TRYNG TO ROB ECONOMIC MODELS LIKE PERFECTIBLE BANK.

    http://www.mudpgi.blog.com

    http://www.mudpgi.blog.com

    http://www.mudpgi.blog.com

    http://www.mudpgi.blog.com

    http://www.mudpgi.blog.com

    http://www.mudpgi.blog.com

    http://www.mudpgi.blog.com

    http://www.mudpgi.blog.com

    http://www.mudpgi.blog.com

    http://www.mudpgi.blog.com

    http://www.mudpgi.blog.com

    WRITE A TEXT UNDER IRRADIATION, HACKING.
    hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

    August 31, 2013 at 2:05 pm | Reply
  8. oldtigger

    It's easier to stay out than to get out...if we have learned anything at all we have at least learned that!

    August 31, 2013 at 11:08 am | Reply
    • George patton

      Try telling that to the right-wing thugs in Washington, oldtrigger. We have absolutely no right to take over Syria or any other country for that matter!!!

      August 31, 2013 at 12:25 pm | Reply
  9. StanCalif

    Obama needs to stay out of this mess in Syria! Syria is no friend of the USA, their best friends are Russia and Iran. Why aren't Russia and Iran doing anything to calm this problem?
    We, the USA, need to be very cautious of Israeli influence. Israel would be overjoyed to see us bomb Syria. If we attack Syria, Iran comes into play. For years now. Israel has been trying to get us to bomb Iran. Fortunately we have a president that doesn't trust Israel! Israel has their own agenda which is not in our interest!

    August 31, 2013 at 8:06 am | Reply
    • caonabo35

      People should help people not because of status, nationality, race, gender, credo, religion, or personal beliefs, but because they're also human being who think and feel and have families, lives, friends, and have the right to live. That's why we need to be in Syria.

      August 31, 2013 at 11:46 am | Reply
      • George patton

        Thank you, Phunnie boy. I see that you're using the name of caonabo35 this time. Your ignorance gives you away!!!

        August 31, 2013 at 12:27 pm |
  10. dewmanna

    I am willing to bet 10 million dollars on Obama.... I bet Obama does order the Armed Forces to attack Syria, are there any takers??

    August 31, 2013 at 5:57 am | Reply
    • caonabo35

      I can only give you my agreement!

      August 31, 2013 at 11:48 am | Reply
    • Fernando

      I find myself temporarily embarrassed, but what with the holiday bank closure, I can only cover half that bet at this moment, but if you'd be so civil as to spot me the other $5 million until Tuesday, I would gladly take you up on that wager.

      August 31, 2013 at 4:59 pm | Reply
  11. Khgds Gkjht

    Maybe: I-s-r-a-e-l has a coup in egypt & needs to trangulate away from America not calling it a Coup. In comes Assad who is to Iran what the US is to I-S-R-A-E-L Assad gasses his citizens who he is crushing because that is what Assads' do then goes to Iran for some chuckles to watch the US take their eye of the ball (what ever that means) durring the 2013. 911 season.

    August 31, 2013 at 12:04 am | Reply
  12. john smith

    America is the root of all terror. America has invaded sixty countries since world war 2.
    In 1953 America overthrow Iran's democratic government Mohammad Mosaddegh and installed a brutal dictator Shah. America helped Shah of Iran to establish secret police and killed thousands of Iranian people.
    During Iran-Iraq war evil America supported Suddam Hossain and killed millions of Iranian people. In 1989, America, is the only country ever, shot down Iran's civilian air plane, killing 290 people.
    In 2003,America invaded Iraq and killed 1,000,000+ innocent Iraqi people and 4,000,000+ Iraqi people were displaced.
    Now America is a failed state with huge debt. Its debt will be 22 trillion by 2015.

    August 30, 2013 at 11:59 pm | Reply
    • For America

      Unfortunately this has happened. However, I don't think we should get involved without having several countries joining in to stop the madness. Why are we (U.S.A.) the ones that always step up when chaos appears in this world? It's like pulling teeth to get other countries to join in to stop the ruthless killings of innocent people. I want to take care of the U.S.A. We've been in war for years, which has destroyed our economy amongst other things. We've tried to end tyrant rule in other countries killing innocent people, only to see our service men and women dying daily. Their deaths are NOT in vain because they were fighting to keep America free, which is what this country was built on, but enough is enough. We've tried to do the right thing, but when you're up against insane and uneducated people that don't understand or don't care about the value of life, then you need to just let it go. I don't care if Russia or any other country are supplying weapons that created this sickening event. All I know is that over 1,400 innocent people have recently died do to insane actions along with thousands of others prior. This world that we live in now.......makes me sick! Too many radicals think they need power to be satisfied. Bomb Syria, Russia, Iran, Iraq.....etc....with simple education!

      August 31, 2013 at 1:25 am | Reply
      • jmleko

        America is alone because leaders often do the unpopular thing for those that are unsure and weak. Others do not have the power, wisdom, or influence on the world. We lead, others will see that this behavior will not be tolerated and they will follow in future endeavors. It's time to be a leader Mr. President and Congress.

        September 1, 2013 at 1:34 pm |
  13. StanCalif

    I repeat my comments,
    Syria is Russia's problem child, just like NK is China's problem. Why is this any of our business?

    August 30, 2013 at 11:55 pm | Reply
  14. Khgds Gkjht

    .

    August 30, 2013 at 11:45 pm | Reply
  15. California

    Without congressional approval this will be an illegal war. When you bomb another country I'd say that's war.

    August 30, 2013 at 11:33 pm | Reply
  16. candace99

    Aree with StanCalif. this isn't our problem, it will only cause uncertainty and oil prices to go up because of Middle East anxiety. We are not the "worlds sheriff" anymore. We don't have the money. Our checkbook is dry (we will hit the debt limit at the end of Sept, 2013). I could lead to a bigger war, involving Iraq and an excuse for Hezbollah to launch retailiation against our ally Israel. We need to cut off all money and sanction them but, not an air strike which wont' do anything to improve the situation. This is their civil war, not ours. Dont stick our nose where it doesn't belong...we can't afford it...

    August 30, 2013 at 9:36 pm | Reply
    • StanCalif

      One problem for us is that Israel would just be overjoyed if we attack Syria! This would bring Iran into play. Then we would be obligated to attack Iran, which Israel has been begging us to do for years! Don't make any decisions based on "intelligence" coming out of Israel! Israel has their own agenda, and Obama has not been very trusting of them! Good for him, good for the USA!

      August 31, 2013 at 12:08 am | Reply
      • mr. Deeds

        Iran gave us the go ahead but use prudence. Get other news sources no disrespect

        August 31, 2013 at 9:12 am |
  17. STEVE RAMSEY

    WE MUST ATTACK SYRIA AND HIZBOALLAH THOSE EVIL HELPING IRAN TO BRING DANGEROUS WEAPON TO PREPARE ATTACK ON ISRAEL.....REMEMBER HITLER...WE CANT STAY SILENT

    August 30, 2013 at 4:26 pm | Reply
    • Lyndsie Graham

      Well put, Steve. I agree

      August 30, 2013 at 8:04 pm | Reply
  18. timothyvenece

    guys,I am syrian.the assad regime did not do it, they are not stupid.BINDER BEN SULTAN THE SUADI HEAD OF INTEL. DID IT.
    he send it the weapons to the rebels. he of course did not know how to use them. neither did the dump asses terrorists
    visit the oppositions syrian news on line called http://www.sysriatruth.org. they just posted it. the rebels did it ???

    August 30, 2013 at 4:16 pm | Reply
    • mr. Deeds

      That is curious. Im an American and there is a lot of unanswered Bullcrap going on. This is one I haven't heard about. Im totally against involvement at the moment because I don't know what the truth is.

      August 30, 2013 at 6:50 pm | Reply
    • mr. Deeds

      I tried that website and Im blocked.

      August 30, 2013 at 6:54 pm | Reply
  19. Tfhktyu Jrtuiftj

    'Show me the MONEY!'

    August 30, 2013 at 2:50 pm | Reply
  20. StanCalif

    Kerry's speech today did nothing to convince me that we, the USA, need to get involved in Syria. Where is Russia? Syria is Russia's friend, not ours. Does Russia condone gas attacks? Probably. Anyone who tries to challenge Putin is suddenly gone. Even those who live abroad are not safe from Putin. Mysterious deaths are common. Syria is Russia's problem, not ours! Our relationship with Russia must be carefully examined.
    Also, keep in mind, Israel would love it if we attack Syria! If we can attack Syria, why not attack Iran? This is Israel's "golden moment" to draw the US into conflicts they have been wishing for. Don't trust Israeli "intelligence"!!! Israel has its own agenda, and our Congress just adores Israel. Fortunately, our President does not trust them!

    August 30, 2013 at 2:45 pm | Reply
    • Lyndsie Graham

      if we trust Chinese exploding watermelon, why can't we trust Israeli "intelligence"!!!

      August 30, 2013 at 8:07 pm | Reply
  21. George patton

    All middle eastern and South Asian muslim countries are sitting or believed to be sitting on WMDs and posing more threats their own citizens than neighbors aka enemies. Let's start with limited strikes on Syria. We don't need a regime change in Syria, but make sure Assad never dreams of using WMDs.

    August 30, 2013 at 1:54 pm | Reply
  22. saeed

    Obama is a Irish Ghanaian Jewish half breed he is a cocaine junkie.

    August 30, 2013 at 1:33 pm | Reply
    • George patton

      first learn to spell your name mister; it is Shaheed for middle eastern people and Shahid for Pakistanis.

      August 30, 2013 at 2:11 pm | Reply
  23. jonny

    I am not a general BUT DOESNT ANYONE ELSE THINK GIVING THEM WEEKS ADVANCE NOTICE LET THEM MOVE THE ASSETS OUT OF HARMS WAY AND POSSIBLY PUT CIVILIANS IN HARMS WAY. Sure would give syria a big pr win ,
    let them kill each other stay out of it nothing good will come from getting involved in the middle east. LET THE SAUDIAS FIGHT THERE OWN WARS

    August 30, 2013 at 12:52 pm | Reply
  24. KHarrington

    Russia is part of the problem. They are purposefully being blind to the atrocities being caused by Assad...it wouldn't matter how many atrocities Assad did...they are perpetuating the tyrant and the genocide. If Russia would gather its own intelligence on Syria...they'd probably find the same things we did. What's stopping them? Greed and power.

    August 30, 2013 at 11:08 am | Reply
    • Lyndsie Graham

      Gee whiz KHarrington, are really that naive or are you trying to be funny? We Americans are by far the problem the Syrians have since it is we who are endeavoring to take over that country by proxy. The problem for Obama is that the "rebels" don't seem to be doing so well and he wants to shift the initiative back to them!

      August 30, 2013 at 11:19 am | Reply
    • George patton

      Russia is not part of the problem, but Russia is the problem, and so do all arab countries.

      August 30, 2013 at 1:23 pm | Reply
      • George patton

        No, Phunnie boy, it's the other way around and you know that!!! It's America that's the one and only problem here and no one else!!!

        August 31, 2013 at 12:23 pm |
  25. StanCalif

    Obama needs to take "the high road". Do nothing! Syria is a problem, but it is NOT our problem! Why isn't Russia doing anything? Syria is Russia's friend, not ours. Let Russia "solve" this mess. Russia already has a military presence in Syria and wants to maintain this presence. Go do your job, Russia!

    August 30, 2013 at 10:52 am | Reply
    • Lyndsie Graham

      Well put, Stan. I agree.

      August 30, 2013 at 11:20 am | Reply
      • Gerald O'Hare

        make up your mind jerk, are you George patton or Lyndsie Graham?

        August 30, 2013 at 1:21 pm |
      • U.S.M.C. 1371

        He is dazed and confused

        August 30, 2013 at 4:05 pm |

Post a comment


 

CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.