September 16, 2013
By John Zogby
Pollster John Zogby reports in our weekly White House report card for last week that President Obama’s stumbling on Syria at least had the benefit of so far avoiding war. "In the global game of dodgeball over Syria, the president ducked just in time last week.
Regardless of whether or not he stumbled into this, was outmaneuvered by the cagey street fighter Vladimir Putin, Russia’s president, or was boxed into a corner, the fact is that at this moment the conversation is more about negotiations over how to monitor and destroy Syria's cache of chemical weapons and not about going to war.
“Last Friday, the focus was on how the president could ever possibly get out of the mess he created. This week there was at least a glimmer of hope that U.S. involvement in a war can be avoided.
“Also avoided is a potentially humiliating congressional vote rejecting the president's request to authorize bombing. Today, all three players — Obama, Putin, and Syrian President Bashar Hafez al-Assad — are preening, talking tough, and still drawing those silly red lines. But each is also mopping his sweaty forehead and uttering a 'Whew!' And I think the rest of the world is too.”