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The Hiller Instinct

What will Obama say about Syria

One of the most humiliating charges a politician, or a person, can make against someone else is, "you don't get it!"

But, tonight, I'm not ashamed to admit that, when it comes to the President's speech, I don't get it.

Given everything that's happening right now with Syria, I don't know anything the president can say that will make much difference.

He can try to take credit for the potential diplomatic breakthrough in Syria, by saying the threat of military action made it happen, but so what?

Two days ago, the president had his finger on the trigger; tonight it's on the "hold" button.

The president has gone from cruise missiles to cruise control, and now he's in danger of running off the road.

Even the New York Times agrees, writing, "...Mr. Obama's decision to ask for a Congressional vote has come to be seen as a strategic mistake..."

The vote in Congress has been delayed, and now may never happen.

Because we're all waiting to see whether diplomacy can succeed...and why not?

Like many, I'm skeptical of the plan to have Syria turn over its chemical weapons.

So skeptical I'd like to repeat a question someone else asked today:

"Let's say Assad gives up his chemical weapons. Does that mean he gets to kill civilians in any other way indefinitely? Is that it?"

I'll be listening to the president's speech, but I don't expect him to answer that question.

One of the most humiliating charges a politician, or a person, can make against someone else is, "you don't get it!"

But, tonight, I'm not ashamed to admit that, when it comes to the President's speech, I don't get it.

Given everything that's happening right now with Syria, I don't know anything the President can say that will make much difference.

He can try to take credit for the potential diplomatic breakthrough in Syria, by saying the threat of military action made it happen, but so what?

Two days ago, the President had his finger on the trigger; tonight it's on the "hold" button.

The president has gone from cruise missiles to cruise control, and now he's in danger of running off the road.

Even the New York Times agrees, writing, "...Mr. Obama's decision to ask for a Congressional vote has come to be seen as a strategic mistake..."

Now, the vote in Congress has been delayed, and may never happen.

Because we're all waiting to see whether diplomacy can succeed...and why not?

Like many, I'm skeptical of the plan to have Syria turn over its chemical weapons.

So skeptical I'd like to repeat a question someone else asked today:

"Let's say Assad gives up his chemical weapons. Does that mean he gets to kill civilians in any other way indefinitely? Is that it?"

I'll be listening to the President's speech, but I don't expect him to answer that question.