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Saying It And Meaning It
Is The Red Line Back?

A report alleges that the Assad regime has used chemical weapons again. Does the Obama Administration care that its threats and warnings mean so little in this ever-more chaotic world?

Published on: April 10, 2014
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  • rheddles

    If the regime is the “bad guy”, as U.S. declaratory policy has it, then how can those fighting the regime also be “bad guys”?

    Who was the good guy in the Ribbentrop-Molotov pact?

    • amgarfinkle

      There was none, which is why we wisely kept our mouths mainly shut at the time. QED.

    • Pete

      Amazing/. Garfinkle can’t figure out how two ‘bad guys’ can fight each other.

  • Jim__L

    Putin’s actions have a clear meaning: “What are you willing and able to keep?”

    Assad’s are a bit less voluntary — he’s asking the same question, but he’s fighting for survival in a way that Putin isn’t.

    The problem here is that most policing systems are dependent on self-policing — the Thin Blue Line is just too thin to hold, if everyone were to cause trouble. Are we not willing to use force? Are we not willing to spend on defense? The Thin Blue Line crumbles.

    The only thing either Putin or Assad fears is a reinvigorated America, one willing to strengthen the Blue Line, and one intelligent and coherent enough to pursue a policy that will maximize the effectiveness of our strength.

    What we have now is a president whose inclinations and actions minimize our strength. “What are we willing and able to keep?” Not much, according to Obama and the EU.

  • Joseph Blieu

    I still wonder what Putin’s long plan is. Certainly to stay in power
    and maintain the oligarchy that keeps him alive. He must also pander to
    his demographic groups, many of which seem want a return to Soviet
    style ability to make the world tremble. In Russia and North Korea I
    get a sense of protection racket operations ( you got a nice country there,
    hate to see it bombed into the stone age), and shakedowns however China
    seems to care in it’s own way about a better life for it’s people as well as an even
    better one for elites. I am certain that Putin shares a bottle with his
    pals every week and relives the latest stick in our eye, and some of
    them are very clever and well planned. But the old KGB operations,
    although brilliant, could not win the cold war and I don’t really think
    that today’s Russia can do more than embarrass us, crumble the hopes of a
    few small nations, and scare allies who have no where else to go. So
    if American policy becomes a three stooges redux for a while until we
    elect a qualified president we will have to absorb the losses and carry
    on. Wilson and Roosevelt were outmaneuvered on the world stage also but
    we came out OK. If it gets too bad we may have to save the world a
    third time, and thus be hated even more.

  • Paul J

    The Syrian network for Human Rights, which sounds legit enough, is nothing other than a pro-rebel mouthpiece. They have no credibility at all.

    • amgarfinkle

      I said, several times, IF the report proves true. SNHR is not just a rebel mouthpiece and, as I said, it’s tended to be accurate in the past. I don’t take their claims uncritically, but I don’t dismiss them out of hand as you do. So we’ll see.

    • LivingRock

      Yes, Paul, b/c there’s just a huge presence of credible press sources just running around Damascus these days /s.

    • Curious Mayhem

      Not true. It’s a group that predates the rebellion and acts as a clearinghouse for information from the various non-jihadist rebel groups.

  • Corlyss

    Not if it means actually doing anything overt that demonstrates serious intent on our part.

    “Does the Obama Administration care that its threats and warnings mean so little in this ever-more chaotic world?”

    No. You guys are in cognitive lock [vide James Chiles Inviting Disaster]. You keep thinking because you are foreign policy pros, and have no doubt devoted much of your life to your expertise, and you understand the post WW2 world order and who created and maintained it, that an American president could not possibly have a vastly inferior grasp of what you understand to be important. It ain’t so and will not be so as long as Dem incompetents retain the position. The current Doofus occupying the job possesses the same dismal grasp of facts that his entire party has since the death of John Kennedy and the RFK and “Clean Gene” debacle of the ’60s.

    Rehashing the same despairing analytical, hoping to influence the ideologically blind, merely bores your readers.

  • Brian Stahl

    I’m skeptical that “wringing necks” after an attack that only killed 7 people would do much to enhance American credibility. People haven’t forgotten about the red line, but they all saw Obama back down on it, meaning that he has judged that the costs in that case outweigh the benefits, and now our allies and enemies are just hoping that the same calculation doesn’t apply to them. Responding to this chemical weapons attack would just make us look schizophrenic. Plus, Obama only has two years left. I don’t think that this would be a great boost to his credibility, but even it was, it’s not worth going down the Syrian rabbit hole when he’ll be packing his bags soon anyway.

  • maranathasoon

    Putin and Russia will ultimately be dragged even further into the Middle East – we ain’t seen nothing, yet. Their support for Iran and Syria will force them into a war against Israel, one that they may not even yet realize is coming. But it will, nonetheless. The Bible predicts it.

    Dave … prophecy102.com

  • Blaton Hardey

    A.G., let’s say the wisdom of the ages enlightens everyone in the current administration. How would they act differently? Regarding Syria, Ukraine, Japan, the world in general? Things could be better, yes, but I think things could just as well be a lot worse, no?

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