We were able to find a solution that didn't necessitate the use of force that actually removed the chemical weapons that were known from Syria, in a way that the use of force would never have accomplished. Our aim in contemplating the use of force following the use of chemical weapons in August of 2013 was not to intervene in the civil war, not to become involved in the combat between Assad and the opposition, but to deal with the threat of chemical weapons by virtue of the diplomacy that we did with Russia and with the Security Council. We were able to get the Syrian government to voluntarily and verifiably give up its chemical weapons stockpile.
"With respect to Syria of what I have consistently done is taken the best course that I can to end the civil war and having also taken into account of the long-term national security interest of the United States," he said…
"Unless we were all in and willing to take over Syria, we were going to have problems," Obama said in the news conference, noting that it would have required "putting large numbers of U.S. troops on the ground, uninvited, without any international law mandate."…
"Responsibility for this brutality lies in one place alone: with the Assad regime and its allies Russia and Iran. And this blood and these atrocities are on their hands," Obama said.
Syria's chemical weapons are on the move, their precursor chemicals having been mixed, a crossing of a line drawn by President Obama Aug. 20 when he said "a red line for us is we start seeing a whole bunch of chemical weapons moving around or being utilized." So our resolute president decides to draw another line — that if Syria's Bashar al-Assad makes use of those weapons, presumably against his own people or neighbors, he will face "consequences." …Obama's appeasement has come home to roost. Assad remembers how Clinton, appearing on CBS' "Face the Nation," dismissed the idea of U.S. military action or regime change in Syria, claiming that unlike Libya's Moammar Gadhafi, Assad was considered to be a "reformer" by "many of the members of Congress."
"Many of the members of Congress of both parties who have gone to Syria in recent months have said they believe he's a reformer," Clinton said without disputing the assessment. She also drew a distinction between Libya's use of tanks and aircraft against its protesters and "police actions, which, frankly, have exceeded the use of force that any of us would want to see."
Obama and Clinton intervened in Libya to prevent the slaughter of civilians, turning Libya into a failed state and an incubator of terrorism. Yet neither did anything to prevent the slaughter in Syria when they could have easily done so.
These claims don’t jibe with what we know about how the negotiations with Iraq went. It’s the White House itself that decided just 2–3,000 troops made sense, when the Defense Department and others were proposing more. Maliki was willing to accept a deal with U.S. forces if it was worth it to him -- the problem was that the Obama administration wanted a small force so that it could say it had ended the war. Having a very small American force wasn’t worth the domestic political price Maliki would have to pay for supporting their presence. In other words, it’s not correct that “the al-Maliki government wanted American troops to leave.