Again. Irrelevant to the point I'm making here.
Yeah, the point I'm making is that the number you're citing is a completely different number and was in fact a major catalyst for Obama chosing to go to Congress.
Except that the number didn't exist until *after* Obama (the White House really) started talking about going to congress to get approval for an airstrike. I'm saying that by doing that, he created the question in the first place. Had he simply taken action unilaterally, the only people talking about whether he should have gotten approval first would be the handful of pundits no one usually listens to anyway. It would be a done deal, just like airstrikes conducted multiple times during the Clinton administration (and drone strikes conducted regularly by the Obama administration I might add).
He created the public discussion Joph. That's the point I'm making. If he'd wanted to do an airstrike and just an airstrike, he should have just done it. The course he chose was guaranteed to create exactly the kind of conflict and disagreement and public response that we're seeing. Which makes one wonder why he chose to do it this way.
If he'd simply ordered air strikes on his own on day one
What's "Day One"? Before the UN inspectors examined the site? Before the reports confirming the weapons used and the delivery systems?
Well. Day one would have been Aug 26th, when Kerry declared the US finding was that chemical weapons were used and that the evidence strongly supported that they were used by the Syrian government. Recall that this was the first *official* statement about this. The unofficial writing had been on the wall for a couple days before that statement.
And even if we want to extend this "just to be sure", on Aug 28th, the US told the press they were positive it was Assad. Obama gave an interview where he spoke about possible military response. Note that this is right at the same time that the poll you're talking about began. You get that this was orchestrated by the White House Communications office, right? The president doesn't do an interview without planning. Thus, the media folks knew this was coming and what was going to be discussed at least a day or two in advance. Hence the poll starting the same day Obama appeared on TV talking about this.
It was designed this way Joph. The White House chose to schedule interviews and TV appearances instead of planning an airstrike. Obama telegraphed his intention to seek congressional approval well ahead of time on this. The idea that he was just sitting around wondering what to do, and then this opinion poll happened to appear and it told him he should send this to congress is ridiculous. The White House clearly wagged the media dog on this one, and if you can't see it, you're blind as a bat.
Because, ya know, they actually pulled out the UN inspectors a day early for fear
that the US would attack. That would have been a couple days AFTER the August 28-29 poll by the way. The one that you say should have never happened because Obama should have just launched a bunch of missiles into Syria.
I'm not sure what you think that means. It's not like the inspectors were anywhere near any likely targets of an airstrike. So... what? Media reporting always trails behind decision making. Obama had clearly decided to hand this one over to Congress well before going on TV and saying that's what he was going to do. And I suspect he made that decision before that poll was put in the field as well. Hell. It was probably put out with the specific intent of supporting the Presidents decision (but obviously, there's no way to prove that, but the timing is amazingly coincidental). You've got to be pretty naive to not see that this was all orchestrated.
Ironically, it looks like the whole things backfiring on Obama though. Not sure if the long term political gains are going to be worth the chaos he's creating right now. Edited, Sep 9th 2013 5:16pm by gbaji