March 20, 2015

Obama Totally Scrapped the Red Line in Syria, Didn’t He

If there is any iconic image of the Syrian Civil War to date, it is the billowing clouds of yellow Chlorine gas Syrian President Bashar al-Assad deployed against his own people. The United Nations condemned Assad when he used Sarin gas two years ago, and they condemned him again a fortnight ago for switching to Chlorine gas – a chemical that sits in a legal grey area as it has legitimate industrial uses. But the initial shock over learning that poison gas is once again floating along the battlefields dissipated and Assad stands beyond the red line of no return that Barack Obama once set. Now, USA Today reports that the Assad regime shot down a U.S. Predator drone – the first loss of American-controlled hardware in the bombing runs against ISIL. Noah Rothman at Hot Air writes, “If Assad’s forces were responsible for the intentional downing of an American unmanned aircraft, it would be a major provocation that would demand a response. But the same could be said for Assad’s repeated use of chemical weapons on civilian and rebel targets alike. At this point, it’s justified to presume that no American response will be forthcoming.” One drone is one thing, but Obama’s negligence as report after report of chemical weaponry used against civilians is hardly the kind of “smart power” he promised he’d wield.

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