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June 30, 2015

Syrian Red Line Update

In August 2012, Barack Obama made an important statement regarding U.S. policy toward Syria: “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.” He went on to repeat the words “red line” to be sure he was clear. Bashar al-Assad is no fool, however, and understands Obama’s weakness and bluster. So he used chemical weapons. And Obama backtracked. “I didn’t set a red line,” he later insisted. “The world set a red line.” So much for being “very clear.” Regardless, Obama and John Kerry forged a deal for Assad to turn over all his chemical weapons … to Russia. In May of this year, Obama boasted that it worked: “Assad gave up his chemical weapons. And that’s not speculation on our part. That, in fact, has been confirmed by the organization internationally that is charged with eliminating chemical weapons.” Well, maybe not so much. The Wall Street Journal reports, “U.S. intelligence agencies believe there is a strong possibility the Assad regime will use chemical weapons on a large scale as part of a last-ditch effort to protect key Syrian government strongholds if Islamist fighters and other rebels try to overrun them.” Not just chlorine gas either, but intelligence officials believe Assad maintained enough supply to create and deploy sarin and VX, too. We’re beginning to think we can’t trust Obama on foreign policy.

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