President Obama got what he asked for from Congress: authorization to train and arm Syrian rebels.
The vote in both congressional chambers crossed party lines, with a majority of Democrats and Republicans supporting his request.
Does this mean Congress is going to set aside its partisan differences among its members and with the president and start actually governing? I’m not holding my breath.
But I was struck by a comment I heard in the wake of the Senate vote from a lawmaker who said that the fact that Congress actually passed something with a bipartisan vote ought to send chills up the spines of the bad guys we’re trying to destroy in Syria and Iraq.
Indeed, the vote is a tricky one.
U.S. national security officials say they’ve identified “moderate” foes of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad. Those are the people who’ll get the arms and the training to use them. The Islamic State will be isolated and wiped out eventually, they contend.
Obama also said that he’s lined up a coalition of about 40 nations. France is going to start flying sorties over targets in Iraq and aiding in our bombing campaign against the Islamic State.
Great. But what about the Sunni Arab states that have pledged to aid in this effort?
They need to get in the game — quickly.