Reporting Joe Mathieu
BOSTON (CBS) - There’s an old saying that being President of the United States is the loneliest job in the world. And I’m reminded of it on days like this one.
Earlier this week the U.S. was supposedly on-track to building an international coalition for an attack on Syria.
Since then, the British parliament has voted against involvement, U.S. intelligence has been questioned and both Russia and China have warned us to stay out of Syria’s business. They compare this with the run-up to the war in Iraq.
There were of course no weapons of mass destruction found in Iraq, making it even more difficult for the president and the intelligence community to make the case this time.
But the biggest challenge for the White House right now could be its own record. Not from the Bush administration but from this one.
Some critics say President Obama has backed himself into a corner on Syria and indeed he may have. Words count when it comes to war.
Remember – President Obama drew a red line on the use of chemical weapons in Syria. Said so himself. And his own Defense Secretary, Chuck Hagel, said Thursday that despite the British vote, any action against Syria be “an international collaboration.”
Now reports suggest the president is prepared to act alone despite growing concern in Congress and little support among the American people.
President Obama has some very tough decisions to make and no matter what he decides, he will upset a lot of people here at home and abroad.
That’s why the leader of the free world can still be the loneliest man in the world.
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