Already critics accuse the US president of blinking in a game of chicken with the Middle East's latest tyrant in Syria. Nevertheless, Obama's announcement today, August 31, 2013, demonstrates that he has chosen an unexpected card to slap down in the political arena: the Congress card!
Who knew he kept this card up the always-too-short sleeves of a tall basketball player? Historical scholars will be taking close notes because suddenly this question emerges: What if previous presidents since Franklin Delano Roosevelt had played the Congress card instead of the Zap card?
Military commanders may jump into the fray over timing, of course, but what if President Obama's predecessors in office had played the Congress card before—not after—rushing to attack? Then, the only card left in their hands was the Go-First-and-Get-Approval-If-You-Can-Later from Congress.
Analysts may also talk strategy as much as they please—and God knows they will—but the US president's strategy in this encounter must account for moves by not only Syria, but also China, Russia, the US Congress, and the American people. Obama didn't miss his Napoleon lesson, did he?
Obama has also proven that he understands the business world this time around. Participants in any deal must "buy into" a bargain, or they can and will complain bitterly if results do not meet expectations. This time, who can complain that they went anywhere without full disclosure?
There will be no warranties, of course, the Middle East being the closest thing that Americans know to a scorpions' nest. Still, the American people have heard those magic words at last: We go together, or we don't go! You get your say, and so do I. Don't complain--ever--that I didn't warn you.
Those words are worth pure gold because partisanship has been killing this democracy. At last, Congress must speak as one. Americans must also remember they are one people, too. The Constitution planned this battle on the home front: The Constitutional lawyer did his homework.