The message should have been delivered some other way, in some other venue. Telling the American people that the vote by Congress would be delayed isn’t material for a presidential address to the nation.
The president didn’t address the concerns that the American people have raised over the last few weeks. What is the objective of an attack? What comes next? How does it fit into a larger strategy, if there is one?
Tonight the president built a higher wall between himself and Republicans. It was a partisan speech. He repeatedly raised the ghosts of Iraq and Afghanistan. Even Kosovo! But he didn’t refer, except in passing, to the most recent American intervention, Libya, which has more in common with what the president is proposing in Syria. It didn’t turn out very well.
The American people will be thankful for the “pause” that was set in place tonight. Hopefully the president, Congress, and the American people will use this time wisely to develop a comprehensive strategy to defeat radical Islam.
— Pete Hoekstra is the former chairman of the House Intelligence Commitee.