As Air Force One landed in Buffalo, the President's National Security team met at the White House gathering details of a chemical attack on civilians in Syria. Between presidential stops at Magnolia's in Rochester and the Women's Rights National Historical Park in Seneca Falls American intelligence worked to understand which deadly chemicals were used and how many men, women and children were killed.
As President Obama addressed the crowd in Syracuse's Henninger High School gymnasium his defense team worked on military options to be used against the regime of Syrian President Bashad al-Assad. Surely, before that work out at the Auburn YMCA, the President received his daily security briefing with fresh details from overseas of the growing picture of a growing death toll of the horrid end for hundreds in Syria 48 hours before.
The New York Times has effectively filled in the blanks of the private moments and phone conversations of the Commander-in-Chief from aboard that secure million dollar bus. We do not know how close the Obama Administration was to canceling the visit so highly anticipated by people from Buffalo to Binghamton. Instead of working from home, the President took advantage of his ever connected world to combine his roles of ceremonial and political leader of a nation with military commander.
It should come as no surprise that President Obama was able to so effectively compartmentalize his thoughts and concerns about Syria as he chatted with children on that Auburn basketball court or kicked the soccer ball in Tully. This after all is the President who ordered the successful attack on Osama Bin Laden and then headlined the White House Correspondents Dinner where he killed joke after joke.
The end result of the deliberations on the Syrian issue now appear heading toward American military intervention. An assault from the air on specific Assad targets is the likely option. A president who has carefully avoided fresh intervention into Middle Eastern conflict has been left little choice but to act in the name of defending the innocents who died simply be breathing the toxic air that was poisoned by their own government.
The seeds of the decision to act were planted behind the tinted windows of that slick black bus as it carried President Barack Obama through our rolling hills and past our shimmering lakes of Central New York.
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