With the revelation that Syrian President Bashir al-Assad has used chemical weapons on his people, folks on both sides of the aisle are wondering if Barack Obama will keep his word that this is the red line that if crossed would require American action.
On Fox News's Special Report, syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer said Thursday, "What’s at stake here is whether anything that this president now says is believable around the world."
CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER: Well, I think what’s really important here is that what’s at stake is not the trajectory of the Syrian war. There’s something else at stake here and that’s America’s word. Whatever Obama does, I don’t think he’ll do anything. He’ll try to minimize this. He’ll try to caveat himself out of this. But even if he does act, it’ll be a minor act. It’s not going to have any effect on what happens in Syria.
What’s at stake here is whether anything that this president now says is believable around the world. When you say "red line," and you make the red line way out there – it’s not the slaughter of 80,000 of your own people. It’s the use of chemical weapons - and then you get definitive evidence that it has been used, and you don’t do anything, then your word means nothing. And the one thing America’s had for the last 60 years is the power and the belief in the world that when it says X, it will do X. And I think that’s really the problem is here. I’m wondering whether this Administration understands how much of its word is at stake.