Does He?

03.20.13

Does Obama Actually Have a Red Line on Syria?

SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images ()

Syria has been driving up to and over President Obama's red lines for months now.

Back in December, a State Department fact-finding mission discovered evidence of Syrian chemical weapons use.

In January, Josh Rogin of Foreign Policy broke news of the mission's discoveries - which led to an embarrassing back and forth in which the administration first claimed that Rogin had misreported, then had to back down.

The December events now look like a deliberate Syrian test. They concluded that they could get away with more - and now they are trying again.

President Obama said Wednesday that the United States was investigating claims that chemical weapons had been used in Syria the day before and that he was “deeply skeptical” of the Syrian government’s assertion that the insurgency had deployed such weapons.

President Obama does not want to intervene overtly in Syria. We all get that. But then why raise the possibility that he might? Issuing threats on which the president is not firmly committed to act if necessary is dangerous.