Enough doublespeak, Mr. President

Commander in chief’s speech brings up more questions than answers

Toward the end of his 15-minute speech Tuesday evening, President Obama called out to conservative and liberal camps, asking the former to reconcile a commitment to the military with inaction in Syria over a just cause, and then asking the latter to reconcile a commitment to freedom and dignity for all people with the images of children dying from Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s alleged deployment of sarin gas.

That was just one portion of a speech filled with desperate undertones and contradictions that left us with a nebulous impression of how the United States will be moving forward, despite the news that Russia has proposed brokering a deal with Syria to relinquish control of its chemical weapons.

Among the rhetoric coming from the White House podium was the argument that it is in the national security interest of the United States to strike at the Assad regime for its use of chemical weapons. However, the president followed that statement by pointing out that he had called upon a vote of Congress in the absence of a direct or imminent threat to our security.

He also said he agreed that the United States should not be the world’s policeman. Yet he’d already described how he had the authority as commander in chief to authorize a strike on this sovereign nation.

In one breath the president acknowledged the concerns that United States military intervention would inadvertently aid extremist groups such as al-Qaida, while in another he talked about redoubling efforts after a military strike to find a political solution to help those rejecting extremism and tyranny.

It was an odd speech considering the president has postponed a vote in Congress and appears willing to see where diplomatic roads may lead. In other words, he seemed to make a case for striking Syria while simultaneously saying America would not take such action. Not yet, anyway.

If anything, President Obama’s speech leaves the American people with a lot of questions.

Following the talk, the president’s staff began pressing lawmakers, grasping for support. So far, it appears not to have made an impact. But that could change quickly. Americans must see through all the doublespeak and call on their representatives in Washington to continue to press for a diplomatic solution.