U.S. House Speaker John Boehner has been persuaded: Striking Syria is the right thing to do, given the Syrians’ horrifying act of gassing civilians.
So will House Majority Leader Eric Cantor.
The question? Will these two leaders be able to bring the rest of their Republican caucus behind them, giving the president an important foreign-policy victory? My guess is that most of the GOP caucus will join them.
President Obama sought and received the backing of the House GOP leadership in advance of Congress’s planned vote on whether to authorize a military strike. What the president has done is put the burning ember in the Republicans’ pocket. Now it’s their call, along with congressional Democrats, on whether Syrian military authorities should be punished for using the chemical weapons on innocent victims.
I still believe a strike must occur. Barack Obama drew that “red line” when he said using the chemicals would violate all “international norms.” The president reportedly is considering a limited strike aimed solely at military targets. Whether our forces can pull this off without inflicting civilian casualties remains to be seen.
Rest assured, even if the attacks are executed as planned, someone within the Syrian government is going to accuse us of harming civilians. Hey, that’s politics — even in international affairs.
The political battle back home, though, has cleared an important hurdle with the House’s two leading Republicans signing on.
Let the debate continue.