The PJ Tatler

Obama U-Turns on the Red Line

So, all diplomatic options to avert a military strike on Syria had not been exhausted…?

President Obama on Monday took a sharp turn away from his “red line” threat to Syria on the eve of taking his case to the American people, saying in an interview with Fox News that he’s open to negotiations on an alternative plan that could avert a military strike.

The president was responding to a proposal, formally put forward by the Russians, to have the Assad regime turn over its chemical weapons to international control.

“We will pursue this diplomatic track,” Obama told Fox News. “I fervently hope that this can be resolved in a non-military way.”

How is it that an offhand comment from John Kerry has produced such a turn? It’s only possible, really, if Obama is desperate to get out of the corner he has painted himself into, and he painted himself into that corner by not pursuing diplomacy before war.

In the interview with Fox, Obama now talks about weeks before a strike, and the possibility of UN weapons inspections, etc. Quite a climb shift from “It’s so urgent that, eh, we’ll wait on Congress.”