Barack Obama Rose Garden Fade
Obama presses Congress on Syria
01:53 - Source: CNN

Story highlights

President Obama may feel like Marshal Will Kane in the iconic Western film

Abandoned by his allies, Obama decides to go to Congress for political cover

In the film, Kane is told that "people got to talk themselves into law and order"

By seeking congressional approval, Obama buys himself some time

Washington CNN  — 

If President Barack Obama fancies himself a modern Will Kane of “High Noon,” standing up for what’s right when his allies desert him on Syria, he might be following advice the marshal got in the iconic 1952 Western film.

Kane, played by Gary Cooper, goes to his mentor and predecessor Martin Howe in a last-ditch plea for help, but the former lawman – crippled by age and arthritis – declines and explains why everyone from the judge to the deputy to the church-going folks of Hadleyville backed off.

“It figures. It’s all happened too sudden,” says Howe, played by Lon Chaney Jr. “People got to talk themselves into law and order before they do anything about it.”

Obama bought himself time for that discussion on whether to attack Syria over the use of banned chemical weapons by putting the question to Congress, setting up Senate committee hearings this week and votes in both chambers after the House returns from summer recess on September 9.

Stunned by what U.S. officials call a major chemical weapons attack on August 21, less than two weeks ago, Obama initially tried to put together an international coalition to respond immediately to punish the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and signal widespread resolve.