…and of its…effectiveness.
Thomas Donnelly of The Weekly Standard wrote that
President Obama said at an August 20 news conference that it was a “red line for us [if] we start seeing a whole bunch of chemical weapons moving around or being utilized.” That would “change my calculus,” he declared.
But then came the weasel words.
But what has changed is the definition of “move.” Apparently, it doesn’t mean the Syrian Army moving chemical rounds in order to use them on rebel forces or mixing the “precursor” elements that give a chemical warhead its lethality, but, in the clarifying words of National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor, “ ’moving around’ means proliferation,” as in transferring them to Hezbollah.
Anything to avoid making a hard decision. Please.
As long as the Obama administration continues to allow itself to be held hostage to such (imaginary) foreign threats—if that’s what the administration is doing—it will continue to be a helpless laughingstock in the eyes of our enemies.
Or, as William Kristol writes,
Obama’s inaction in Syria now is of a piece with his inaction in Iran in 2009, that the abandonment of Iraq in 2011 prefigured the prospective abandonment of Afghanistan over the next couple of years, and that defense cuts at home go hand in hand with an oh-so-light footprint abroad. The Obama administration has chosen a course of American retrenchment and retreat.
In which case, it’s not timidity but a deliberate retrograde advancement. Which doesn’t change in any material way our enemies’ perception of us.
This is where trailing along behind events while yelling, “I’m going there, too” has gotten us.