Of red lines and red flags

How pathetic is this? How pathetic is he? Obama in Sweden this morning:

First of all, I didn’t set a red line. The world set a red line. The world set a red line when governments representing 98 percent of the world’s population said the use of chemical weapons are [inaudble] and passed a treaty forbidding their use, even when countries are engaged in war. Congress set a red line when it ratified that treaty. Congress set a red line when it indicated that in a piece of legislation entitled the Syria Accountability Act that some of the horrendous things happening on the ground there need to be answered for. So, when I said in a press conference that my calculus about what’s happening in Syria would be altered by the use of chemical weapons, which the overwhelming consensus of humanity says is wrong, that wasn’t something I just kind of made up. I didn’t pluck it out of thin air. There’s a reason for it.

If “the world” set a red line, Obama can shut up and let “the world” do something about it. Here is where “the world” is today under “the world’s” treaty:

The Chemical Weapons Convention adhered to by 189 countries of the world represents today a global norm with zero tolerance for chemical weapons. For States that are not Parties [such as Syria, I believe], procedures are provided under the UN Secretary-General’s Mechanism to investigate allegations of use of chemical weapons. The present investigation in Syria is proceeding under this mechanism. The Convention and the related arrangements between the UN and the OPCW establish the basis for cooperation between the two Organisations recognising that the latter possesses the necessary expertise to investigate allegations of use.

The Director-General of the OPCW, Ambassador Ahmet Üzümcü has commended the members of the team upon on their arrival back in The Hague for their courage, professionalism and their commitment in carrying out their assigned duties in difficult and sometimes dangerous circumstances. He also thanked the German government for providing an aircraft to transport the team to The Netherlands.

When Obama cites “the world,” I wonder about the United States. Obama’s invocation of Congress’s red line is the sheerest sophistry. We’re abiding by the treaty. The United States has no obligation to take any additional action under it. Speaking of “red,” Obama’s blather along with his refusal to articulate our own national interest should raise a red flag.

Via Daniel Halper/Weekly Standard.

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