Then here is the part that I think is a wise move:
"But having made my decision as Commander-in-Chief based on what I am convinced is our national security interests, I'm also mindful that I'm the President of the world's oldest constitutional democracy. I've long believed that our power is rooted not just in our military might, but in our example as a government of the people, by the people, and for the people. And that’s why I've made a second decision: I will seek authorization for the use of force from the American people's representatives in Congress."Promising to provide "every member with the information they need to understand what happened in Syria and why it has such profound implications for America's national security," he then said:
"Yet, while I believe I have the authority to carry out this military action without specific congressional authorization, I know that the country will be stronger if we take this course, and our actions will be even more effective. We should have this debate, because the issues are too big for business as usual. . . .I don't know if he had planned to do this all along, or whether it is a response to those who have criticized him for not doing so. But it is a wise move.
"Here's my question for every member of Congress and every member of the global community: What message will we send if a dictator can gas hundreds of children to death in plain sight and pay no price? What's the purpose of the international system that we've built if a prohibition on the use of chemical weapons that has been agreed to by the governments of 98 percent of the world's people and approved overwhelmingly by the Congress of the United States is not enforced?
"Make no mistake -- this has implications beyond chemical warfare. If we won't enforce accountability in the face of this heinous act, what does it say about our resolve to stand up to others who flout fundamental international rules? To governments who would choose to build nuclear arms? To terrorist who would spread biological weapons? To armies who carry out genocide? . . .
"We all know there are no easy options. But I wasn’t elected to avoid hard decisions. And neither were the members of the House and the Senate. . . . our democracy is stronger when the President and the people’s representatives stand together."
What if Congress says no? The no votes will come from more than one direction. Some liberals, yes; but hawks John McCain and Lindsey Graham have already said they will vote no, because it doesn't go far enough. They want us to go in and oust Assad. It would be good to have Congress rebuke that view, as well as support the president's plan.