Thursday, April 25, 2013

Red Lines and Empty Gestures

So now our own government has finally admitted that chemical weapons were used in Syria. But...
The current assessment is “not sufficient” to take action, Miguel E. Rodriguez, Obama’s legislative liaison to Congress, wrote in a letter to Congress today.
Even the mainstream lapdoggers can't help but wonder if this crosses the president's 'red line':
“We have been very clear to the Assad regime, but also to other players on the ground, that a red line for us is we start seeing a whole bunch of chemical weapons moving around or being utilized. That would change my calculus,” Obama said. “That would change my equation. . . . We’re monitoring that situation very carefully. We have put together a range of contingency plans.”
Which seems to qualify based on the old red line by today's news.  Obama later issued an updated red line last year, saying that..
President Obama said Wednesday that the use of chemical weapons in Syria would be a "game-changer" that would demand action from the international community, though he stressed that the U.S. and other nations are still trying to determine whether those weapons were used.
Well, that still seems to still qualify. If the Syrian Army didn't use them then the Rebels did, and where did the rebels get Sarin gas?

But the administration has replied the way it does on every sensitive political bombshell event-- "we are waiting for the investigation". And so far it has worked like a charm. We are still waiting for the investigation about the national security leaks from possible administration sources regards the Yemen double agent and the leaking of the story about the Iranian computer worm. And the full truth on Benghazi. And Algeria. And now the Boston bombing.

Clearly this will be seen as another stall tactic to avoid action or a conclusion--they know the UN won't be allowed in to do a full investigation, reminiscent of the inspectors in Iraq, so they'll never be forced to back up the words.

And changing that 'calculus' will only come if Assad wipes out an entire city or the media attains solidarity in a collective outrage, something yet to be seen with this administration. But leaving this dangling is dangerous. America isn't a country that makes hollow gestures. Our presidents aren't empty suits. We don't want to get involved in a ground war (or even an air war) in Syria but we don't want our president cowboy-talking about stepping over red lines if he can't back it up. That's partially what got us attacked on 9/11. Our reputation in the world is still important. 

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