n one of the best Presidential interviews done in years (an indictment of our media can be seen in the fact that two of the most interesting interviews during the election came from MTV and Jon Stewart), President Obama responded to a question about how he deals with the violence in Syria. His response should serve as a major schooling to the war hawks (especially those who have never been to war).
Here’s an excerpt from The New Republic’s must-read interview with President Obama:
CH: The last question is about Syria. I wonder if you can speak about how you personally, morally, wrestle with the ongoing violence there.
Obama: Every morning, I have what’s called the PDB—presidential daily briefing—and our intelligence and national security teams come in here and they essentially brief me on the events of the previous day. And very rarely is there good news. And a big chunk of my day is occupied by news of war, terrorism, ethnic clashes, violence done to innocents. And what I have to constantly wrestle with is where and when can the United States intervene or act in ways that advance our national interest, advance our security, and speak to our highest ideals and sense of common humanity.
And as I wrestle with those decisions, I am more mindful probably than most of not only our incredible strengths and capabilities, but also our limitations. In a situation like Syria, I have to ask, can we make a difference in that situation? Would a military intervention have an impact? How would it affect our ability to support troops who are still in Afghanistan? What would be the aftermath of our involvement on the ground? Could it trigger even worse violence or the use of chemical weapons? What offers the best prospect of a stable post-Assad regime? And how do I weigh tens of thousands who’ve been killed in Syria versus the tens of thousands who are currently being killed in the Congo?
keyboard shortcuts: V vote up article J next comment K previous comment