President Obama’s “red line” statement would dog him for the rest of his presidency. Mass confusion followed the Commander-in-Chief’s proclamation and subsequent lack of follow-through.
Almost exactly one year after it was drawn, the red line would be put to the test; in the early hours of August 21, 2013, two opposition-controlled suburbs of Damascus, Syria were struck by rockets containing the chemical nerve agent sarin. The U.S. response was not the reorientation in foreign policy that the war hawks at home and abroad were expecting.
Perhaps this response can be chalked up, at least partially, to the fact that, despite the Western media narrative, the perpetrators of both the Ghoota incident and the most recent attack may have been opposition groups themselves.
A core contention of those challenging the narrative surrounding the chemical weapons attack of April 4 involves the delivery of the deadly sarin gas. Robert Parry, an award-winning journalist who covered the Iran-Contra scandal, points out that a key source of evidence for the administration is satellite images that show evidence of regime involvement in the attacks. Parry points out that releasing these images would not be detrimental to “sources and methods,” as the White House document outlining the administration’s position claims. Furthermore, their release would assuage any concerns. Parry’s sources claim that the deadly attack was delivered via drone, which could be traced back to a joint Saudi-Israeli base set up to aid moderate Al-Qaeda- and Islamic State-affiliated rebels.
The motive behind such actions is not hard to find.
Both on the campaign trail and as president, Donald Trump affirmed his commitment to stay out of the Syrian conflict. Unlike President Obama, he appeared to have little to no interest in a regime change within the Arab nation. Chemical weapons, however, seem to be the “red line” for both Presidents Obama and Trump.
Syria, Russia, Iran, and sometimes Iraq, have somewhat of an alliance. The Sunni Arab states, of which Saudi Arabia is a part, would benefit from the collapse of an Iranian ally – Syria. However, it’s not so straightforward. Once the secular dictatorship of Bashar Al-Assad is removed, a power vacuum is sure to develop; it will then be filled by Islamofascist moderates. While not necessarily beneficial for the people of Syria, the collapse of the Al-Assad regime serves Salafist geopolitical interests well enough.
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