Reuters says that President Obama has asked Congress to delay voting on the authorization to use force against Syria. The delay, supposedly, is being driven by the proposed deal in which Syria would hand over its chemical weapons to the “international community.
“What he (Obama) wants is to check out the seriousness of the Syrian and the Russian willingness to get rid of those chemical weapons in Syria. He wants time to check it out,” Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin told reporters.
Levin made his remarks after a lunch meeting on Capitol Hill that Obama attended. On Monday, the Senate began debating a resolution backing U.S. military strikes against Syria, which was requested by Obama on August 31.
Within about a minute of this news breaking, the UN Security Council’s emergency meeting on Syria was cancelled. By the Russians.
The U.N. Security Council has canceled a meeting on a resolution aimed at securing and destroying Syria’s chemical weapons stockpiles.
The closed consultations had been scheduled for 4 p.m. EDT (2000 GMT) Tuesday. Australian Ambassador Gary Guinlan says in a Twitter message that the meeting was canceled “following withdrawal of the request for consultations.”
Council diplomats had said Russia had asked for the meeting. There were no other details on why it was canceled.
It looks, from the outside, like Obama delayed the vote in Congress because he didn’t have the votes, and the Russians responded by ripping the proposed deal over Syria’s chemical weapons out from under him to expose just how isolated he, and therefore the United States, is.
Hopefully that’s a misreading.
But even Democrat Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee has announced that she is a “no” on Syria. If Obama has lost her…
Update: Putin may have gone too far. He demanded that the U.S. renounce the use of force in exchange for Syria surrendering its chemical weapons. Even with this feckless administration, that’s a non-starter.