Has the Syrian war effort weakened Obama?

Based on public polls, political statements, international efforts and hearsay on the streets, it appears that Barack Obama's presidency is weakening with each passing day.

The first blemishes began when early polling showed the American people overwhelmingly rejecting the idea of a strike against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's embattled government. This followed the Obama administration's publication of a dossier outlining its allegations against the Assad government, including "assessments" of chemical weapons use. Yet repeated questions for the actual proof of Assad's culpability in the attack went mostly unanswered, and within days members of Congress – both Democrats and Republicans – began to openly question the logic of the president and senior White House officials.

Fast-forward to yesterday, when an off-hand comment by Secretary of State John Kerry led to a potential diplomatic breakthrough brokered by Russian President Vladimir Putin. In that deal, the Syrian government would submit to a U.N.-supported commission that would take control of and eventually dismantle the Middle Eastern nation's massive chemical weapons stockpile. Initial responses from the Obama administration were dismissive before becoming more welcoming of the proposal.

Whether or not this fig leaf grows is contingent on the actions of Congress. If an authorization of force is granted, the U.S. military still may move in as scheduled. However, Obama's credibility – especially as a Nobel Peace Prize laureate – could suffer greatly if the "unbelievably small" strike turns into a more protracted conflict. 

The American people should focus on these developments closely, as they are sure to determine the course of U.S. foreign policy in the 21st century. Additionally, folks should look into their retirement plans to make sure that they are adequately prepared for an uncertain economic future.