Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Obama's Red Line

Pentagon Planning for Military Intervention in Syria - Barbara Starr

The Pentagon has stepped up planning for potential military intervention in the Syrian civil war. A senior administration official said U.S. intervention is not likely to involve troops on the ground in Syria. Two other officials say the most likely options would be using cruise missiles to try to destroy chemical sites or the headquarters of Syrian military elements linked to them. U.S. Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey has told Congress the military could not secure the entire chemical stockpile because it does not know where it's all located.

Report of Israeli Strike on Syrian Chemical Weapons Site

After the United States revealed last week that it now believes Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has used chemical weapons against rebel forces, the Israel Air Force reportedly struck a Syrian chemical weapons site near Damascus over the weekend.

The Free Syrian Army (FSA) rebel group posted a video of smoke rising from a chemical weapons site that it claims Israeli jets struck on Saturday, the Israeli newspaper Maariv reported. FSA said the jets flew over the palace of Assad before the strike, and that a Syrian air defense battery went on to fire at the jets. Neither Israeli nor Syrian officials have confirmed the reported strike. 
[The Algemeiner]

Blame Obama, Not Israel for Syria Push -Jonathan Tobin

It was [Obama] who stated that Syrian use of chemical weapons constituted a red line that warrant American action. It was he, and not the Israelis, who publicly expressed the belief that Assad had to go. If, even after the White House admitted proof existed of the use of deadly poisons like sarin, the United States does nothing, it will effectively destroy his credibility.

Friends of Israel are watching to see what happens when a foreign leader crosses what President Obama defined as a red line, as he did in Syria. If the answer is nothing, they'll have a better grasp of what they can expect out of the administration on Iran. But there should be no doubt about who set this red line about what is going on in Damascus. It wasn't Israel, Netanyahu or the pro-Israel community in the United States. The impetus to take a stand on Syria came from a president who was eager to place himself on the side of Arab Spring protesters against authoritarian regimes. No one was more vocal than Obama when it came to supporting the ouster of dictators...
[Jewish World Review]


Syria's Civil War: The Empire Strikes Back -Barry Rubin, PhD

[W]ho used the nerve gas? UN investigators are concluding that the rebels might have used it. I am no expert but I think it is possible that this is true on the following basis: The attack was on a very small scale in a non-critical area of fighting.

If the Syrian government was going to use chemical weapons it would be in a critical battle where victory was imperative and there were lots of enemy soldiers to kill and to terrify. This is what happened in the Iran-Iraq war.

Again, I want to stress that I am not claiming to know which side did it in a conflict where events are often mysterious and it is hard to be certain whether, for example, a claimed massacre did take place. There are no good guys, if we're speaking of the two sides in general.
[The Rubin Report]

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