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Finding himself rushed into ordering a symbolic attack about which he had serious doubts, President Obama called time out and put the question to “the American people’s representatives in Congress.” Whether asking congressional leaders to authorize limited, proportionate air strikes on Syria will turn out to be a wise choice remains uncertain. But Obama’s self-confidence in rejecting what most advisers thought had already been decided—immediate military action—reminds one of JFK during the Cuban Missile Crisis, when he refused to choose between what the system insisted were the two, and only two, alternatives: attack or acquiesce.


Allison, Graham. "Beyond Airstrikes: On Syria, Ask 'What Would the Godfather Do?'." Atlantic Monthly. September 9, 2013.