President Barack Obama is about to have a busy Monday! Scheduled to give interviews to no less than 6 news channels, including all major networks and cable news channels, on his plans to intervene in Syria, we are sure he and his team are busy trying to make the most of the opportunity.
Top administration officials are also granting on-air interviews with a great frequency.
Obama has a tough challenge ahead trying to convince congress, especially the Republican-led House. According to a ThinkProgress analysis of 413 public statements made by 413 Representatives, only 39 will either definitely vote 'Yes' or are 'likely' to do so.
Not only does Obama face opposition from his usual adversaries, he also needs to convince members of his own camp as well. Not to mention the American people.
“Look, I’m a big supporter of Barack Obama,” says Rep. Jim McGovern, “But sometimes friends can disagree.”
Sen. Tom Udall is not that mellow in his disapproval, “I’m very disappointed that the administration has given up – they have given up – on the United Nations and rallying the world. “
“The American people don’t want to be embroiled in a Middle Eastern civil war,” he added, “We haven’t exhausted all of our political, economic and diplomatic alternatives. That’s where I want to be focusing on.”
Keeping this in mind, President Obama’s taking on the media makes sense. The White House is doing all it can to get the Congressional green light for a military strike in Syria, as well as win the support of the general public.
Congress will be in session on Monday for the first time since the August recess. A House vote appears likely during the week of Sept. 16.
Obama is expected to spend the next several days in personal meetings with members as well.
An important question to raise is that if Congress were to approves a military strike in Syria, would Obama go against the American people?
Obama understands the importance of public opinion on this issue, hence, the unparalleled effort to woe the public via the media.
He needs to present the people with a solid argument as to why his administration shoulf intervene.
Firstly, the chemical attack is not reason enough to intervene militarily. Yes, the attack was horrible and the lives lost very, very sad but that, despite the harrowing images of chemical attack casualties, being a reason to prompt an attack, does not really sound plausible- especially since the number of people killed in the attack is nowhere near the 100,000 already killed in Syria since the war began 2 years ago.
The fact that there has been no proof that the attack was carried out by Bashar al-Assad is also a major issue for the administration.
Without concrete evidence that goes beyond even a shadow of doubt, Obama’s job of garnering support for an intervention will be tougher than ever.