One explanation is that he is a creature of television and learning about atrocities and injustice via the boob tube had a profound effect upon his thinking, and I use that term advisedly.
Vijay Prashad: For the past five years, the main slogan from the Syrian opposition and its Gulf Arab, Turkish and Western allies was ‘Assad Must Go’. It now turns out that the government of Bashar al-Assad will remain.
Gareth Porter: Obama’s advisers assumed that neither Iran nor Russia would do more than offer token assistance to keep Assad in power, so there was no risk of an endless, bloody sectarian war.
Joseph Palermo: American foreign policymakers have known all along that ousting President Bashar al-Assad will not magically end the civil, ethnic, and sectarian wars that are now raging in what’s left of Syria. But that fact hasn’t stopped them from trying.
Gareth Porter: The administration’s vacillation on the issue reflects the reality that the US-supported armed opposition has no intention to withdraw from its close military collaboration with Nusra Front.
Gareth Porter: Kerry sought to ‘send a message’ to Assad via cruise missile strikes against Syrian government positions but Obama refused proposal. Forcing Assad to Step Down
Janet Phelan: The US engagement in the Middle East has an unexplored impetus and if allowed to continue unchecked will have unexpected and world-changing consequences.
Gareth Porter: Obama’s Europeans allies as well as US national security officials have urged the United State to downgrade the official US aim of achieving the departure of Bashar al-Assad from Syria.
Gareth Porter: It is astonishing that at this late date, anyone in the media could still be seriously suggesting that the CIA somehow managed to turn the “moderate” Syrian rebels into a powerful offensive force threatening the Assad regime in the north.
John Peeler: Putin will inevitably find, as the West found, that it’s easier to get into the Middle East than to get out.
Ivan Eland: The real rub is that the current Russian leader, unlike his predecessor, the drunk buffoon Boris Yeltsin, refuses to be an American lackey and endure post-Cold War US insults.
John Peeler: Obama faces the likelihood of a defeat in Congress (and in public opinion), after which he would have to choose between acting anyway, in total political isolation, or backing off and looking weak. Either way he would look foolish.
Adil E. Shamoo: Despite his better judgment, Obama is poised to make serious mistakes in Syria–all because he made words like “red line” part of his vocabulary.