by Ezra Van Auken
What went from an imminent attack on Syria to delayed negotiations and entangled relations has finally taken a seat on the back burner, for now. Two weeks ago, US officials felt emboldened by the Syrian incident of chemical weapons use, which led to the calling of international support by Obama’s administration. Early on, days after the attack, agreements to slap Syrian President Bashar al-Assad were locked.
American officials had confidence in the United Nations, NATO and European allies to back a US-led bombing campaign on Assad’s regime, however that dissolved quickly. Before UN inspectors even completed a ground investigation of the suspected areas hit by chemical weapons, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon was warding off Obama’s administration from escalating the situation. On top of the UN throwing water on the West’s fire for Syrian intervention, NATO officials decided to remain idle as well.
Before American officials knew it, they were already behind on international support. Next up was Britain, and in the middle of last week, officials found out that Parliament would not authorize military action on Syria. Before Britain opted out of intervention, Italy did the same – leaving France to be disputed. With basically an entire group of Western allies saying no to participation in Syria or at least stalling on the issue, Obama’s administration has been working to backpedal the intervention, while still justifying it.