“In retrospect, I wish we hadn’t gone to Congress with the—in the red line moment”
When Obama drew his red line on the Syrian government’s use of chemical weapons against Syrian civilians, few of us believed it. As it turned out Assad didn’t believe it, either, and dealt a serious blow to the Obama administration and to Obama’s legacy.
Since President Trump took office, Assad has reportedly used chemical weapons against his own people twice. In both instances, Trump responded with missile attacks against Syrian interests, prompting the progressive outlet Vox to note that “Obama’s ‘red line’ fiasco led to Trump bombing Syria.”
And now, former Obama administration official Samantha Powers acknowledges that was indeed a bad move.
Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power said on Thursday that she regrets President Barack Obama going to Congress to ask for authority to strike Syria after drawing a “red line.”
Obama had said chemical weapons use in Syria by Bashar al-Assad’s regime would be the “red line” that would prompt a U.S. military response. Following a chemical weapons attack, however, Obama did not take military action, and Power told an audience at Harvard that the administration misjudged the situation.
“In retrospect, I wish we hadn’t gone to Congress with the—in the red line moment, when we had already committed to using force,” Power said. “You know, I think, that was actually really a pivotal moment where we knew, prior to that point, that many of Obama’s critics were not at the level, you know, things they were for on a Monday if Obama was for them on a Tuesday they were then against them on a Wednesday.”
Power then blamed those who were frequent critics and opponents of Obama for his lack of action in Syria.
We knew that and yet that decision to go to Congress was made—and a lot of people don’t believe this, but in good faith, in believing that, given the number of people who in response to this monstrous attack on 1,500 people including several hundred kids, so many people come out kind of calling for the president to act, criticizing him for being feckless, and then the president turned around and said, “Okay, here, this is what I want to do. Now we can do this together,” and they basically kind of ran for the exits.
“I think that was a misjudgment,” she added.
It’s worth noting that she is not concerned with America’s standing on the world stage, with our national security, or even with Mideast stability. Instead, she’s focused on politics, on Obama’s legacy . . . on, in other words, trivia.DONATE
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