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May 05, 2013


Off-the-Cuff Obama Comment Put U.S. in Bind on Syria

"Confronted with evidence that chemical weapons have been used in Syria, President Obama now finds himself in a geopolitical box, his credibility at stake with frustratingly few good options," the New York Times reports.

"The origins of this dilemma can be traced in large part to a weekend last August, when alarming intelligence reports suggested the besieged Syrian government might be preparing to use chemical weapons. After months of keeping a distance from the conflict, Mr. Obama felt he had to become more directly engaged."

"Moving or using large quantities of chemical weapons would cross a 'red line' and 'change my calculus,' the president declared in response to a question at a news conference, to the surprise of some of the advisers who had attended the weekend meetings and wondered where the 'red line' came from. With such an evocative phrase, the president had defined his policy in a way some advisers wish they could take back."












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