One year ago today: Obama warns Assad not to cross the “red line” of chemical weapons

posted at 6:41 pm on August 21, 2013 by Allahpundit

Via David Shor and Aaron Zelin, who was quick this morning in remembering that today’s apparent chemical massacre outside Damascus falls a year to the day from Obama issuing his empty “red line” threat. Is that why Assad did it, to show the world that he’s still alive, kicking, and defying the United States a year after O talked fake-tough about him? The “red line” comment backfired long ago by forcing Obama to take action, however feeble, in the name of protecting American credibility. Who knows if he would have decided to arm the Syrian rebels if he hadn’t boxed himself in rhetorically? (Which, actually, might explain why the rebels haven’t received those arms yet.) If this new chemical attack was a reaction to his comments last year, though, that’s a backfire of historic dimensions.

Ed was skeptical earlier, for good reasons, that the attack really was chemical, but U.S. intelligence appears to think it’s legit. It might not be sarin, but it’s something:

“No doubt it’s a chemical release of some variety — and a military release of some variety,” said Gwyn Winfield, the editor of CRBNe World, the trade journal of the unconventional weapons community…

“Because of the intensity of the gas, a majority of victims were found with heavy respiratory secretions, myosis, and muscular spasms,” Layman said, after speaking with the director of the Douma city medical office, a man who goes by the nom de guerre Khaled ad-Doumi. “Atropine, the chemical used to curb the effects of these chemical attacks, has had only limited effects.”

However, Winfield, after examining video and photo evidence of the attack, doubted that pure sarin was involved. “There doesn’t seem to be quite enough mucus or saliva for a pure organophosphate,” he said, referring to the class of chemical to which nerve gases belong. “No doubt it’s a chemical release of some variety … But it’s too weak for a pure sarin release.”

“If indeed 600 [or more] people were killed, the attack would have had to involve a large amount of chemical agent,” Elleman said. “Which means it would have had to be delivered in a very deliberate fashion, and that would be a strong indicator that it was deliberate use or not accidental use, or just spraying munitions, which may be what happened in the past – we don’t know.”

The UN’s holding an emergency session this afternoon, but nothing can happen at the Security Council if, as expected, Russia vetoes whatever’s proposed. Is that likely to happen? You tell me.

The Times has an amazing line-up of video from the aftermath of the attack. Two questions to mull while we wait for the UNSC to do nothing. One: Ed noted this morning that it seems unlikely Assad would stage a big chemical massacre at a moment when UN inspectors are inside the country, but if Zelin’s theory that Assad did this as a middle finger to Obama and the world is correct, the presence of inspectors only makes the defiance sweeter for him, no? Note that the inspectors aren’t free to investigate the new attack either — their movements are restricted to the locations of previous alleged chemical attacks — so it’s not like they’re a threat to find the smoking gun of what just happened. Two: Did the timing here have anything to do with what’s happening in Egypt? Now that the Muslim Brotherhood is under Sisi’s thumb, with the west unwilling to do much to intervene, Assad might have decided to “celebrate” the world’s Strange New Respect for dictatorship in the name of keeping Islamists in line by showing how far he’s willing to go to do that. Even if his victims weren’t Islamist.


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So, whaddaya gonna do about it, punk?

Harbingeing on August 21, 2013 at 6:42 PM

Three: Where did Syria get the chemical weapons?

RedRedRice on August 21, 2013 at 6:42 PM

empty threats from an empty suit

gerrym51 on August 21, 2013 at 6:43 PM

you tell ‘em, tiger!

dpduq on August 21, 2013 at 6:45 PM

Who cares, he’s so dreamy……and the new puppy is adorable!!!!!

……LIV

tru2tx on August 21, 2013 at 6:45 PM

If those people were killed with Sarin you could not get near them without a lot of protective gear or you would get poisoned too.

myiq2xu on August 21, 2013 at 6:46 PM

One year ago today: Obama warns Assad not to cross the “red line” of chemical weapons

…the line keeps moving!

KOOLAID2 on August 21, 2013 at 6:49 PM

Beware our non-binding resolutions!

DAT60A3 on August 21, 2013 at 6:49 PM

Wouldn’t be surprised if a chemical plant got hit. That could result in Bhopal-level casualties.

Christien on August 21, 2013 at 6:52 PM

Skynews is saying 1300 dead now:

http://news.sky.com/story/1131320/syrian-rebels-1300-killed-in-gas-attack

dogsoldier on August 21, 2013 at 6:52 PM

Old and Busted: Qaddafi’s Line of Death
The New Hotness: Obama’s Red Line

Christien on August 21, 2013 at 6:53 PM

I’ll take Guantanamo Bay for $800, Alex.

rogerb on August 21, 2013 at 6:53 PM

When Obama drew his red line, I was reminded of an Abbott and Costello skit where Lou draws a line on the floor, challenging a bigger man. When the man crosses it, Lou says, “Now you’re on my side!”

Liam on August 21, 2013 at 6:55 PM

Is that why Assad did it, to show the world that he’s still alive, kicking, and defying the United States a year after O talked fake-tough about him?

The timing of it makes it look even more like a False Flag operation by AQ.

besser tot als rot on August 21, 2013 at 6:57 PM

“I was talking about a screaming fire engine red line; this is more of a maroon line.”
/Obama

Bitter Clinger on August 21, 2013 at 6:58 PM

Via David Shor and Aaron Zelin, who was quick this morning in remembering that today’s apparent chemical massacre outside Damascus falls a year to the day from Obama issuing his empty “red line” threat.

Not a coincidence though any discussion in the American media mentions that speech was “one year ago.”

Happy Nomad on August 21, 2013 at 6:59 PM

ANY Rodeo Clown has more credibility than this White House clown.

TeaPartyNation on August 21, 2013 at 7:01 PM

besser tot als rot on August 21, 2013 at 6:57 PM

Yeah, nobody there is trustworthy, that’s for sure.

dogsoldier on August 21, 2013 at 7:01 PM

Via David Shor and Aaron Zelin, who was quick this morning in remembering that today’s apparent chemical massacre outside Damascus falls a year to the day from Obama issuing his empty “red line” threat.

Come on AP, that “red line” threat is well past its expiration date.

rbj on August 21, 2013 at 7:03 PM

expiration date….

good times

cmsinaz on August 21, 2013 at 7:05 PM

Gee, just recently there were a bunch of mass jailbreaks by jihadis. Now this.

Christien on August 21, 2013 at 7:05 PM

The red line is racist! Trayvon had red Skittles!

SouthernGent on August 21, 2013 at 7:05 PM

RedRedRice on August 21, 2013 at 6:42 PM

oooh i know…..saddam baby

cmsinaz on August 21, 2013 at 7:06 PM

tru2tx on August 21, 2013 at 6:45 PM

+1

cmsinaz on August 21, 2013 at 7:06 PM

Just words… Pay no attention to the man leading from behind.

AH_C on August 21, 2013 at 7:08 PM

Syria sending the Country Club Marxist some love today…….
.
HAPPY ANNIVERSARY, BARKY !

FlaMurph on August 21, 2013 at 7:08 PM

ANY Rodeo Clown has more credibility than this White House clown.

TeaPartyNation on August 21, 2013 at 7:01 PM

Hey no fair making such references when HA is pretending that a murder by black thugs in OK never happened.

Seriously, the rodeo clown got a thread but the death of an innocent by black thugs is being ignored.

Happy Nomad on August 21, 2013 at 7:08 PM

“The goal is never to shut down a business. The goal is to rehabilitate,” [state labor commissioner Brad] Avakian said. “For those who do violate the law, we want them to learn from that experience and have a good, successful business in Oregon.”

http://www.redstate.com/2013/08/20/oregon-to-rehabilitate-businesses-opposed-to-gay-marriage/

davidk on August 21, 2013 at 7:09 PM

Seriously, the rodeo clown got a thread but the death of an innocent by black thugs is being ignored.
 
Happy Nomad on August 21, 2013 at 7:08 PM

 
Innocence something something hegemony something social justice something something.

rogerb on August 21, 2013 at 7:10 PM

http://news.sky.com/story/1131320/syrian-rebels-1300-killed-in-gas-attack

Syrians retrieve ‘sleeping’ dead after alleged chemical attack

Residents of Damascus suburbs recount massive assault by Assad army; videos show small children convulsing on the floor, foaming at the nose and mouth. Doctor: Injuries correspond with sarin gas

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4420755,00.html

davidk on August 21, 2013 at 7:11 PM

Happy Nomad on August 21, 2013 at 7:08 PM

Black thuggas.

davidk on August 21, 2013 at 7:12 PM

Two questions to mull while we wait for the UNSC to do nothing…

1. Will there be an angry letter?
2. will there be a trap-door and a shark?

David Blue on August 21, 2013 at 7:14 PM

The Obama administration is preparing a new even more stern letter of concern. It will be emailed to underscore its urgency. They are going to include the words “deplore” and “tut tut“. Give them a little taste of what’s in for them if they mess with a superpower! Giddy-up!

Mason on August 21, 2013 at 7:23 PM

Via David Shor and Aaron Zelin, who was quick this morning in remembering that today’s apparent chemical massacre outside Damascus falls a year to the day from Obama issuing his empty “red line” threat.

Arabs do tend to like anniversaries. It would stand to reason that someone planned it.

Count to 10 on August 21, 2013 at 7:25 PM

The whole world knows Obama is a gutless coward, whose threats are meaningless.

Assad is evil, not stupid.

AZCoyote on August 21, 2013 at 7:32 PM

Residents of Damascus suburbs recount massive assault by Assad army; videos show small children convulsing on the floor, foaming at the nose and mouth. Doctor: Injuries correspond with sarin gas

Prayers ascending for the children caught up in this madness.

AZCoyote on August 21, 2013 at 7:35 PM

“Don’t call my bluff!”

slickwillie2001 on August 21, 2013 at 7:38 PM

Cat 0 Strophic Cairo Speech Failure!

canopfor on August 21, 2013 at 7:41 PM

Via David Shor and Aaron Zelin, who was quick this morning in remembering that today’s apparent chemical massacre outside Damascus falls a year to the day from Obama issuing his empty “red line” threat. Is that why Assad did it
=================================

Lets see,um,both Hopey and Assad are Loony-Tics,could be!!
(sarc)

canopfor on August 21, 2013 at 7:45 PM

ajamlive ‏@ajamlive 1h

UN Security Council agrees on need for ‘clarity’ with alleged #Syria gas attack. No explicit call for UN probe – @Reuters #breaking
Retweeted by Reuters Top News
==============================

https://twitter.com/Reuters

canopfor on August 21, 2013 at 7:50 PM

If only Assad were in the Tea Party.

jukin3 on August 21, 2013 at 7:58 PM

ajamlive ‏@ajamlive 1h

UN Security Council agrees on need for ‘clarity’ with alleged #Syria gas attack. No explicit call for UN probe – @Reuters #breaking
Retweeted by Reuters Top News
==============================

https://twitter.com/Reuters

canopfor on August 21, 2013 at 7:50 PM

.
We need CLARITY . . . . . . . . . . . . . so … who’s going to go get it?

Not me.

But I got it, last time, so it’s someone else’s turn.

NO you didn’t.

Oh YES I did … it’s your turn.

No it’s NOT !

Oh yes it IS.

(repeat until the end of time)

listens2glenn on August 21, 2013 at 8:01 PM

Since the total Syrian death count is already well over 100,000, in the famous words of Hillary, “At this point, what difference difference does it make?”

marybel on August 21, 2013 at 8:02 PM

Since the total Syrian death count is already well over 100,000, in the famous words of Hillary, “At this point, what difference difference does it make?”

marybel on August 21, 2013 at 8:02 PM

Or, as a long-time hero of the Left once indicated, it’s only a statistic.

Liam on August 21, 2013 at 8:04 PM

He and John McCain would happily be on the board of Directors of AlJazerra America.

What else do you need to know…….. they are supporters of the radical Islamic Muslim Brotherhood.

PappyD61 on August 21, 2013 at 8:10 PM

The UN is basically as irrelevant today as the League of Nations was in 1935 – 1936 (Italy / Ethiopia).

As for the Dear Leader – he’s trapped within a box made from his own naivte, incompetence, and hubris regarding not only Syria, but the entire Middle East / North African region.

Our friends and enemies have learned over the last 5 years that he is weak and driven by a short-term political / ideological viewpoint that is based on a fundamental and core fallacy. It is one of the most inept examples of statesmanship since Chamberlain and Munich in 1938.

What is most surprising about this – and the looming catastrophe that he is leading the country towards, is that his progressive left base – so vehement against Bush 43 in the wake of 9.11 – has been silent in the wake of President Obama’s illegal military activity in Libya – and shows no signs of abandoning their hypocritical position as the President has to defend his ‘red line’ declaration.

Athos on August 21, 2013 at 8:10 PM

What no Obama Fluffers?

CW on August 21, 2013 at 8:14 PM

So, what’s King Barry gonna do now?

A far more stern letter to Assad…another one-hour speech at some podunk college?

Maybe deploy our military to fight alongside AQ in the Levant?

Maybe it is time for Russia to deploy its Spetnaz forces into Syria, eliminate the jihadis once and for all…and a lot of others…they are not too picky…remember Beslan.

On the other hand…a real Moslem on Moslem holocaust of their very own…not such a bad thing…the rest of the world goes in after to pick up anything that remains that may be of worth.

But, none of it is worth one single American soldier’s life.

None of it.

coldwarrior on August 21, 2013 at 8:20 PM

Assad, paraphrasing Captain Kirk: “Obama! I’m laughing at the ‘superior intellect’!”

Liam on August 21, 2013 at 8:30 PM

https://twitter.com/Reuters

canopfor on August 21, 2013 at 7:50 PM

No it’s NOT !

Oh yes it IS.

(repeat until the end of time)

listens2glenn on August 21, 2013 at 8:01 PM

listens2glenn:Lol,yup,those fancy UN Buzzy words:)

canopfor on August 21, 2013 at 8:51 PM

On August 21, 2012, Obama told reporters, “We have been very clear to the Assad regime, but also to other players on the ground, that a red line for us is we start seeing a whole bunch of chemical weapons moving around or being utilized. That would change my calculus. That would change my equation.”

Obama will do nothing and claim that the chemical attack did not meet his “bunch of” threshold.

Colony14 on August 21, 2013 at 9:05 PM

Obama’s merely redoing the Pharaoh’s part from Night At The Museum 2.
“I can’t believe he crothed the line!” (skip to halfway in the vid):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1uWSVHnmsk

itsnotaboutme on August 21, 2013 at 9:12 PM

the president of empty rhetoric, broken promises, opacity, and irrelevance. That will be his legacy.

scalleywag on August 21, 2013 at 9:47 PM

Let me get this straight.

Assad works very hard for a very long time to keep the inspectors out.

He is clearly winning with al Qaeda on the defensive.

The inspectors arrive.

Within a day or so and virtually on their doorstep Assad gasses some of his own citizens.

Who here really thinks Assad is that sublimely dumb? Why is everybody treating this as “obviously Assad did it?” When it served their interests al Qaeda has been known to do this sort of thing in the past.

{^_^}

herself on August 22, 2013 at 3:49 AM

Hey no fair making such references when HA is pretending that a murder by black thugs in OK never happened.

Seriously, the rodeo clown got a thread but the death of an innocent by black thugs is being ignored.

Happy Nomad on August 21, 2013 at 7:08 PM

Of course AP isn’t writing about the ball player being murdered. He’s a Mets fan. He has no clue what a baseball star even looks like.

*ducks*

#toosoon?

nukemhill on August 22, 2013 at 10:09 AM

Must have been another thing bamster said that had an expiration date

ouldbollix on August 22, 2013 at 12:08 PM

So, what’s King Barry BAMSTAHHHHHHH !!! YOU DA MANNNN BAMMY BABYY!!!!! LOVE YA BARRY OL BUDDY OL PALLLL!!!!! YAHHHHHHhHH!!!!!!

oldwarrior at 8:20

cableguy615 on August 22, 2013 at 9:14 PM