File this one under “Duh.” Read:
President Obama’s “red line” on Syria isn’t quite as straightforward as it’s been made out to be.
The use of chemical weapons, itself, was not exactly Obama’s original “red line,” as he laid it out during a news conference at the White House on Aug. 20, 2012. For purposes of expediency and practicality, media outlets have simplified the “red line” as this: If Syria deployed chemical weapons against its own people, it would have crossed a threshold with the White House.
But what Obama said was a little less clear.
“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,” the president said a year ago last week. “That would change my calculus. That would change my equation.”
That’s ABC’s Chris Good, providing convenient cover for the President. But couldn’t the bit about “moving around” also be played up as making the red line even stricter? Why, Assad didn’t have to use the weapons, he’d just have to move them around.
Mayne that kind of language might be what the President mistakes for strategic ambiguity.