President Obama‘s so-called “red line” on Syria was breached this week when chemical weapons were reportedly used against rebels in the country. The New York Times, which supported Obama’s soft approach to the civil war even after the government used nerve gas on its own citizens, seems to be losing its patience.
From a Friday editorial:
President Obama’s credibility is also on the line. In several comments since last August, he called the use of chemical weapons “totally unacceptable” and, in an unwise move, drew a red line by warning that if Mr. Assad resorts to such weapons “there will be consequences.” We have supported Mr. Obama’s cautious approach to Syria, his unwillingness to embroil the United States in another Middle East war and his push for a negotiated solution, which Russia and Mr. Assad continue to thwart.
But chemical weapons would be a chilling escalation. The White House insisted again on Wednesday that those responsible for using them “must be held accountable.” At some point, those words have to mean something, whether the culprit is the Syrian government or the rebels.