If President Barack Obama wants the country united behind him, no matter his position, he should come out front-and-center as did British Prime Minister David Cameron yesterday.
The president needs to demonstrate unequivocally that hidden agendas, puffed up 'intelligence,' patriotic chest-pounding and pie-in-the-sky predictions of a positive outcome -- including the notion that this would be a 'limited' strike -- that buttressed the rationale of our invasion of Iraq do not happen this time.
As parents we tell our children what our government should know by now: "Lie to us and you lose our trust." And that's how it should be. Once you've lost the trust of others, it's a long way back. You don't want to go there.
Lies got us into the war in Iraq. Lies accompanied massive spying on Americans long before most of us really believed such could be true. To praise and promote the same Masters of the Universe who ruthlessly gutted major underpinnings of the economy in the name of 'competitiveness' during both Democratic and Republican administrations constitutes a continuing lie.
This just skims the surface of the half-truths and outright lies Americans have come to expect from those we elect to represent us. Over and over we have told ourselves, surely this latest attack on another country must have something to do with national security; surely our government has the big picture in mind and surely our government wouldn't put us in the same kind of fix yet again.
Is it any wonder that Americans across the political spectrum wonder whether another military adventure is a wise move?
If Bashar Assad's military is indeed attacking the people of that country with chemical weapons, civilized nations must act in concert to stop it.
But we want to hear truth from the top this time. Why is a military solution the only one? Why not build a coalition of the willing? And if we fail to do so, doesn't that tell us something? Again?
Those who will fight on our behalf deserve that kind of honest leadership. Their families and friends deserve it. We all do. And it's high time we got it.
Kathleen also blogs here and just published her first novel, Shadow Campus.