President Barack Obama got ahead of himself and his advisers when he said that Syria using chemical weapons would cross a “red line,” the New York Times reports.
“How can we attack another country unless it’s in self-defense and with no Security Council resolution?” an unnamed Obama administration official tells the paper. “If he drops sarin on his own people, what’s that got to do with us?”
But they concluded that drawing a firm line might deter Mr. Assad. In addition to secret messages relayed through Russia, Iran and other governments, they decided that the president would publicly address the matter.
Several officials said they recalled no discussion about the “red line” phrase but suspected that it came out of the election-year conversation about Iran and how far to allow its nuclear program to progress before being forced to take action. It was a concept that was “embedded in people’s prefrontal cortex,” one of the officials said.
via The Weekly Standard.
Twitter responds to Obama’s Red Line evolution
Re: Obama adviser’s Sarin line, the Arsenal of Democracy is on sabbatical until further notice.
— jimgeraghty (@jimgeraghty) May 5, 2013
That sarin quote is really, really bad…I’m on the fence about military intervention in Syria, but shouldn’t be cavalier abt sarin’s use…
— Liz Mair (@LizMair) May 5, 2013
Somebody should enroll Obama foreign policy advisers in remedial quote school–the sarin line is as damaging as “leading from behind”
— John Podhoretz (@jpodhoretz) May 5, 2013
— Sean Agnew (@seanagnew) May 5, 2013
“If Assad drops sarin on his own people, what’s that got to do with us?” is the new Obama admin version of “what difference does it make?”.
— Julie (@MsIntervention) May 5, 2013