Obama makes a show of backing off by appearing to leave the decision on a military strike to Congress, but his staff indicates that the outcome of vote may not matter:
"President Obama is apparently leaving the door open to moving ahead with a military strike on Syria even if Congress votes against it, adding to the confusion over the president’s evolving position.
The president, in a surprise decision Saturday, announced he would seek a vote in Congress on launching a military attack against the Assad regime.
One senior State Department official, though, told Fox News that the president’s goal to take military action will indeed be carried out, regardless of whether Congress votes to approve the use of force.
Other senior administration officials said Obama is merely leaving the door open to that possibility. They say he would prefer that Congress approve a military attack on the Assad regime, in response to its alleged use of chemical weapons, and will wait to see what Congress does before making any final decisions on authorizing military force...."
Speaking for the first time since the suspected chemical weapons attack on Aug. 21, Putin also questioned whether Syrian government troops should be held responsible. He said it would make no sense for them to carry out such a devastating attack while they were on the offensive.
"In such conditions, to give a trump card to those who are calling for foreign military intervention is foolish nonsense," Putin said....."
“Regarding the position of our American colleagues, who affirm that government troops used… chemical weapons, and say that they have proof, well, let them show it to the United Nations inspectors and the Security Council,” Putin reportedly told journalists. “If they don’t show it, that means there is none.”
The Russian president, who has recently been at odds with President Obama, added the attack may have been a ploy to get the U.S. involved in an overseas conflict.
“[I] am convinced that [the chemical attack] is nothing more than a provocation by those who want to drag other countries into the Syrian conflict, and who want to win the support of powerful members of the international arena, especially the United States,” Putin reportedly said.'....."