In agreeing to arm Syrian rebels, President Obama is finally showing some much-needed backbone.

obamaThe White House says it is making the move because of evidence that Bashar al-Assad's regime used chemical weapons that killed about 150 people. The Syrian Government apparently crossed one of Obama's magical "red lines." That's really weak tea.

More than 90,000 people have died in the two-year conflict. The rebels, who were on the upswing six-months ago, have had a tough time of it of late as Syria has received a major boost from Hezbollah, Iran and Russia. U.S. support for Syria may be too little too late. That’s tragic.

So why did Obama finally act?

Could former President Clinton’s Tuesday criticism of Obama's policy as "lame" have done the trick?

People do take notice when a former commander-in-chief calls one of his successors a "fool." Clinton did not exactly plunge into Bosnia and Kosovo during his tenure in the White House. But when he did, the U.S. acting forcefully via a massive bombing of Syria.  

Clinton today said Obama's policy is now "trending in the right direction." Will Obama follow through and do what it takes to prop up Syria's opposition. Time will tell.

The President's Syrian intervention plan serves as a useful PR diversion from the National Security Agency, FBI spying on Americans story. It sends a strong signal to China, which is America's No. 1 rival. The Chinese had to view Obama as a "wuss" for his hands-off policy on Syria.

His new found strength is especially well-timed just ahead of the cyberwar showdown with China in the aftermath of ex-Booz Allen Hamilton "infrastructure analyst" Edward Snowden's allegations of widespread U.S. hacking of the Chinese.

One thing is certain: a President Hillary Clinton administration would have had the rebels in charge of Damascus some time ago.

That has to drive Obama a little nuts.