1. For almost three years the Obama administration has been watching a civil war in Syria rage on.
2. A key American concern was that weapons of mass destruction would be used by the dictator of the country, Bashar al-Assad.
3. Obama did not like Assad but was not prepared to intervene.
4. Secretary of State John Kerry, who was also against intervention, had met multiple times with Assad before the civil war began.
5. But then on Aug. 21, the administration believes, Assad used chemical weapons. Obama said that this action crossed his “red line.”
6. And the administration began to aggressively promote military intervention in Syria against Assad.
7. The administration’s main case for military action against Assad was the dangerous precedent that inaction would set.
8. After the initial argument had been made for military action, a war-weary public seemed to be unconvinced.
9. Russian President Vladimir Putin, Syria’s patron, was flatly against the attacks, saying they were only in “America’s interests.”
10. Many in the international community asked the administration for definitive proof that Assad was behind the attacks. The White House has not provided it.
11. The administration asked Putin to stop selling arms to Syria. The request was flatly denied. Putin also released his own account of what might have happened, blaming the rebels for the attack.
12. Another great setback for the Obama administration.
13. In the wake of dismal public approval and international pressure, Obama decided to take the argument to Congress.
14. The administration sent John Kerry to the Hill to make the case for war in a series of exhaustive meetings.
15. The administration promised Congress that this war was “not about regime change.”
16. And that there would be “no boots on the ground.”
17. But Obama’s plea for military action was met with stiff resistance on the Hill, with some even in his own party saying it was not a smart idea.
18. The votes for military action are not looking like they will pass.
19. And after multiple speeches and hearings before both chambers of Congress, Kerry has been unable to sway public opinion in favor of military action.
20. Obama still might win the votes to bomb Syria this week from Congress.
Although the administration has regularly reminded that they have the power to bomb any time they want, with or without approval.