In December 2012 Barack Obama promised “there will be consequences” if the regime of Bashar Al-Assad in Syria used chemical weapons.
“The world is watching.”
The latest line at the White House is, “If he drops sarin on his own people, what’s that got to do with us?”
The New York Times reported:
Mr. Obama’s advisers also raised legal issues. “How can we attack another country unless it’s in self-defense and with no Security Council resolution?” another official said, referring to United Nations authorization. “If he drops sarin on his own people, what’s that got to do with us?”
But they concluded that drawing a firm line might deter Mr. Assad. In addition to secret messages relayed through Russia, Iran and other governments, they decided that the president would publicly address the matter.
Several officials said they recalled no discussion about the “red line” phrase but suspected that it came out of the election-year conversation about Iran and how far to allow its nuclear program to progress before being forced to take action.