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Will Obama Tolerate Syria’s Sarin Gas Terror?

Doing nothing will tell totalitarians that the word of America means nothing. Related: Obama: Yeah, My Syria Red Line is Still in Effect, But…

by
Jonathan Spyer

Bio

April 26, 2013 - 9:58 am

But, of course, he needs to know what exactly the U.S. meant when it referred to CW use as a “red line.”  If it turns out that this phrase is empty of content, then the way will be clear for a far larger use of these materials as and when the regime deems necessary.

Much therefore now depends on the response of the Obama administration in the days ahead.

As of now, it seems likely that Assad will not be disappointed. The line currently emerging from statements by senior U.S. officials is that the facts are not yet all in, and so further investigation is necessary before any policy conclusions can be drawn. The U.S. government is now calling for a “comprehensive United Nations investigation” to “credibly examine the evidence and establish what took place.”

The possibility of Assad permitting such an investigation is zero. The regime has already refused – setting absurdly narrow conditions in recent weeks for the entry of an existing team, which as a result has found it impossible to begin its work.

So unless this line changes in the days ahead, it appears the dictator can record that the use of chemical weapons can be safely included on the list of military means to be employed against the rebellion and its supporters — as and when deemed necessary.

In his clearest statement regarding the issue of chemical weapons in Syria, on March 21 of this year, President Obama said: “I’ve made it clear to Bashar al-Assad and all who follow his orders: We will not tolerate the use of chemical weapons against the Syrian people. … The world is watching; we will hold you accountable.”

This statement does not include an explicit threat of force against the regime. But it is nevertheless fairly unambiguous. The key words are “not tolerate the use of chemical weapons.”

Chemical weapons have been used. The latest statements by administration officials indicate that tolerating their use, in the sense of taking no action in response, is precisely what Washington is now set to do.

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Top Rated Comments   
Why does the United States have to do anything about Syrian's using war gas on Syrian's or their foreign insurgents?
I don't care at this point if Muslim's gas each other to death as a matter of fact I wish them the best of luck annihilating each other.
Obama? Barack ain't gonna do squat except move the red line a little farther down the road.
let these folks choke each other to death with their chemicals, I culd care less.
It ain't our fight.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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All Comments   (59)
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Going off half cocked is such a Conservative specialty that it's small wonder that you all are calling for your usual answer to every international problem without thinking through the consequences. Sure landing the Marines in Syria is like sticking your dick in a pencil sharpers but I guess if you're drunk enough, it may seem like a good idea at first.

Compare the low cost in money and American lives of Clinton's intervention in Kosovo and Obama's efforts in Libya with the cost of the decade plus disasters in Iraq and Afghanistan initiated by the brainless right-wing chest thumpers of the Bush administration. Since a Syrian intervention is likely to be a horror story for the U.S., we damned well better think through the consequences and develop a solid military and diplomatic strategy before we commit ourselves. Finesse is required and also the nerve it takes to act deliberately.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Doesn't everyone know by now that Obama is a liar? Nothing he says should be believed by anyone. Unfortunately, our enemies and allies know too well that he can't be trusted.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I'll admit that I don't understand this "red line" stuff. Are the victims of gas any "deader" than bullets, bombs or drones? Our president is probably going to threaten Assad with "time out" while he (the president) happily executes people via drone attacks.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
And? Why should I care if the Syrians gas each other? They have nothing the USA needs or wants and we have to stop intervening where we are neither needed nor wanted.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
All those liberal loons need to think for a minute. If it is true that there was gas used, where did it come from? Ding, ding, ding, ding - Saddam. Guess Bush was right about the Weapons of Mass Destruction. We need to stop giving any Middle Eastern Country money and let them kill each other. Help the Christians escape. Let the land return to its state of desolation.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Actually, Syria has had a WMD program for years. They have their own factories and test facilities. Iraq had little, if any, influence.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
When push comes to shove, the liberal meme about equality, humanity and where spirituality resides according to their depraved notions of identity is completely hollow.

Obama will apologize for colonialism making them do it before he intervenes.

Meanwhile, those countries whose religions routinely paint America as a wh-re house with lots of guns, evidently can't even rise to that standard as Turkey, Iraq, Lebanon, Egypt and all the other ducks in a row sit and do nothing.

Liberals and their Islamist allies who whine about ethnic cleansing in Israel and the West Bank need to step up and tell me how many Arab civilians in the West Bank have died since 1968 and compare it to the last 2 years in Syria.

The truth is, when one is addicted to parsing right and wrong by racial identity instead of principle, those simple comparisons are impossible.

For my part, I don't think we should do a thing. You see, liberals have convinced me there are no WMDs and that the whole thing is a fantasy and a conspiracy. Those doctors are probably CIA plants.

We saved how many tens of thousands of Muslim lives in the Balkans? Not only do Muslims never cite this, we got commercial airliners shoved up our backsides according to Islamic one-sided views of history that strip out context in the exact way liberals do. Did the Balkans make bin Laden happy? Hah!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Sorry about the typos. They seem unavoidable in this blog. I meant democracies TEND to not take direct action......also I meant that Israel has never asked for 1 MILITARY person........again, sorry.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Democracies often to not take direct action until the "wolf is at the door." E.g. Pearl Harbor, 9/11, attack on Poland, 1939. It won't be different now. But how different should it be? Since 1945, the US has suffered approximately 120,000 dead and 400,000 wounded in wars that "were vital to American interests."And were they really? In 1949, we told Western Europe that we would be responsible for their protection while they built up their economies and prospered, which of course benefited our nation as well. Same with Japan regarding Red China. As a result our allies spent about 1% of their GDP on defense. Well, that deal is no longer operative. How many more times is our government going to tell American families that it is essential for their loved ones to be put in harms way for another war that "is essential to American interests" while our "allies" sit on the sidelines? Britain, France, and Germany need to re-arm and allign themselves in a defensive pact that could counter a Russian threat to the continent. Japan needs to do likewise with India and Australia. In each case we would have genuine allies, not exposed "friends" who cannot defend themselves. As for Israel, that nation has never asked for 1 single US militaet person to fight it's battles. All they ever requested were arms to do the job themselves. And now they are quite capable to do "carry their own water." This absurdity that America must be in every war that develops, is just that, an absurdity.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Remember Syria has NO OIL.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
REPOSTING WITH CORRECTED FORMATTING

Remind me - were the 9/11 perpetrators:

(1) Sunnis, like the Syrian rebels, and Saudi Arabia); or

(2) Alawites - like Asad's clan and its supporters based along the coast - who are regarded as heretics by the Sunnis, and for that reason face a bloodbatch if the Sunnis take over the Alawite ares of Syria.

The desert equivalent of a "quagmire" is "quicksand".
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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