DETROIT (WWJ) – President Barack Obama appears to be facing an uphill battle in an effort to get Congress to approve a military strike against Syria. The director of Wayne State’s Center for Peace and Conflict, Dr. Fred Pearson, says the preferred strategy would be diplomatic pressure on Syria.

“I think what the president might want to be doing is some kind of cruise missile attack on particular storage facilities for the chemical weapons or particular military bases that might be implicated . He would want to be staying away from civilian areas if at all possible.”

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But, Pearson says, who knows what the Syrians will do as far as hiding chemical weapons.

While it’s understood that the Russians don’t want to oust Syria’s president …

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“The United States has taken a position that it wants to see him leave at some point here,” Pearson said. “We have backed the rebels, at least in theory with a promise of arms … again though with slow delivery. That indicates ambiguity on the part of the Americans as to who these rebels are and how trustworthy in the long term they might be.”

“That’s another crucial matter as to whether we are sitting off-shore there with our ships and do the Russians show up,” said Pearson. “We do not like to see a confrontation of any kind, in that matter, you have to consider the possible reactions of parties like the Iranians and the Hezbollah who are helping Assad.”

Pearson says diplomatic pressure on Syria, including cutting off all material and economic trade is

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Pearson notes the irony of the political situation: that 100,000 Syrians have been killed by conventional weapons and we’re responding to 1,400 apparently being killed by chemical weapons.