When it began to be rumored that Syria was getting it's nerve gas ready President Obama drew a line in the sand, saying there would be consequences if chemical weapons were introduced to that "civil" war.
Finally two months later President Obama is willing to admit that Syria used Chemical weapons. Well he hasn't done so yet he told Congress and they leaked the revelation. The White House announced late Thursday afternoon that they are going to hold a previously unscheduled call with reporters to discuss Syria.
According to an internal memorandum circulating inside the government on Thursday, the “intelligence community assesses that the Assad regime has used chemical weapons on a small scale against the opposition multiple times in the last year.” President Obama said in April that the United States had physiological evidence that the nerve gas sarin had been used in Syria, but lacked proof of who used it and under what circumstances. He now believes that the proof is definitive, according to American officials.
But a flurry of high-level meetings in Washington this week only underscored the splits within the Obama administration about what actions to take to quell the fighting, which has claimed more than 90,000 people. The meetings were hastily arranged after Mr. Assad’s troops — joined by fighters from the militant group Hezbollah — claimed the strategic city of Qusayr and raised fears in Washington that large parts of the rebellion could be on the verge of collapse.
Senior State Department officials have been pushing for an aggressive military response, including airstrikes to hit the primary landing strips in Syria that the government uses to launch the chemical weapons attacks, ferry troops around the country, and receive shipments of matériel from Iran. But White House officials remain wary, and one American official said that a meeting on Wednesday of the president’s senior advisers yielded no firm decisions about how to proceed.
It is unclear precisely how the Obama administration made its final determination about the chemical weapons use in Syria. According to the internal memorandum, intelligence agencies have “high confidence” in their assessment, and estimate that between 100 and 150 people have died to date from chemical weapons attacks. The memorandum goes on to say that the conclusion is based on a variety of intelligence.
Perhaps when he drew that "red line" the President was convinced the WMD would never be introduced into the Syrian "civil" war. At a minimum he never considered what he would do should that line be crossed.
According to the Times the Administration hasn't determined what action to take, however don't be surprised if the Times is wrong. One theory for the delay in confirming the Syrian of WMDs is Obama had absolutely no idea of what to do and now that he has made his decision the administration is confirming the use of nerve gas. There have been many hints lately about this administration arming the al-Qaeda connected rebels.
The United States tried to isolate the Syrian branch of al-Qaida ( al-Nusra), a major part of the rebel leadership, this past December by designating it as a terrorist group, at the same time they expressed concern that the al-Qaeda loyalists and radical Islamists are planning on taking control of the opposition movement creating a terrorist state if/once Assad is toppled. Even with this warning the Free Syrian Army, supposedly the moderates, denounced the move as did more than 30 Syrian Salafist rebel groups. In the end given the choice any of these groups would choose the al-Qaida affiliate over United States.
The real question is should the United States be getting involved in this action at all? There are no good guys in this war, a despicable tyrant aided by Iran and Hezbollah vs a terrorist organization associated with al Qaeda.
This country doesn't have a fundamental interest in backing either side. This country's only fundamental interest is those chemical weapons and making sure they don't fall into the hands of the al-Nusra Front. So perhaps someone should explain why we are getting involved in Syria in any way.
It's hard to see how getting involved in a proxy war with Iran will yield positive results for this country.