Did Obama Slip Up on Syria's Chemical Weapons?
Obama is walking back his 'red line' on Syria's chemical weapon use.
So help me, I almost agree with Jennifer Rubin on the Obama administration's evasions on whether the Assad regime has used chemical weapons (which Obama vowed would be a 'game changer' in terms of U.S. policy). Now, with evidence mounting that the Assad regime did indeed deploy chemical agents, the administration is back-peddling. Rubin sounds off:
This is as foolhardy as it is shameful. The president was definitive, and if he really didn’t mean what he said, then he shouldn’t have said it. The U.S. dodging now signals to Tehran and Pyongyang that even when we draw a “red line,” we may not really mean it. That imperils our ability to force Iran to give up its nuclear weapons program and to contain Kim Jong Un. It is symptomatic of this administration in which every line is apparently written in sand.
This is the perennial problem with writing checks your foreign policy is unwilling to cash. Neoconservatives are constantly demanding 'red lines' for this or that state and President Obama, on several occasions with both Syria and Iran, has foolishly obliged them. Joe Biden, for instance, is running around telling the world that the president "doesn't bluff." It's a great soundbite, but it's coming at the expense of U.S. credibility.
It would have been better if the administration had just kept quiet. Of course, that would have likely infuriated Rubin even more, but enduring the tantrums of American pundits is a lesser-price than squandering American credibility just to appease them.