Nate Jackson / May 15, 2015

Obama: Yeah, I Never Intended to Enforce My ‘Red Line’

Remember Barack Obama’s “red line” about chemical weapons in Syria? The one Bashar al-Assad has reportedly crossed on numerous occasions — with weapons he kept after John Kerry and the Russians “saved the day” with a deal to remove all of Syria’s chemical weapons. Well, Obama just moved the goalposts one more time so he wouldn’t have to enforce it, declaring today that he didn’t go into Syria because “Assad gave up his chemical weapons.” And all those reports about chlorine? Never mind that. “It is true that we have seen reports about the use of chlorine in bombs that had the effect of chemical weapons,” he conceded, before discounting it: “Chlorine itself has not been listed as a chemical weapon but when it is used in this fashion it can be consider a prohibited use of that particular chemical. So we are working with the international community to investigate that.” The Germans were the first to use chemical weapons in World War I, and guess what they used. Chlorine. That said, it’s technically correct that chlorine is classified differently, because restricting access to it wouldn’t do wonders for water-cleaning purposes. But the bottom line is this highlights how foolish Obama was to publicly declare this “red line.” First, you don’t disclose such things. Second, you don’t make empty threats. Foreign policy 101.

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