Op-Ed: President Obama has Tripped over his own Red Line
David SingerDavid Singer is an Australian lawyer who is active in Zionist community organizations in that country.
The President's statement last year on the possible use of chemical weapons - supposedly then awash in Syria whilst a civil war had been raging for eighteen months between the Assad regime and a rebel group comprising Syrian civilians, deserting Syrian soldiers and foreign insurgents - was spot on:
No mention was made by President Obama of the need to identify who was utilizing such weapons.
That red line appears to have been definitely crossed on 21 August 2013 with a claimed chemical warfare attack using sarin causing more than 1429 confirmed deaths - including 426 children.
"Syria's chemical weapons program stretches back decades, allowing the country to amass a supply of nerve and blister agents capable of being mounted on long-range missiles that could reach neighboring countries, according to government and independent analysts.
Syria has stocks of sarin and VX, which attacks the nervous system, and mustard gas, which burns the skin, according to the Defense Intelligence Agency.
Syria is one of a handful of nations that the United States says is pursuing an active chemical weapons program, along with Iran and North Korea.
Syria has not signed the Chemical Weapons Convention, which was ratified by the United States in 1997.
Syria's stockpile of any such suspected chemicals cache could have been accessed by the rebel forces during the long running conflict or additional supplies procured by them from other sources.
Wasn't the Obama red line crossed because such weapons had in fact been used in Syria on Syrian civilians - no matter which side had launched such attack?
UK Prime Minister David Cameron announced that a resolution would be tabled with the UN Security Council.
Russia and China indicated they would veto such resolution.
Such action has so far proved illusory as both Cameron and Obama hesitated to initiate any action without the consent of their Legislatures. Indeed the British Parliament has already voted against intervening and any Congress decision will be at least seven days away.
Surely consideration should now be given to urgently securing Security Council approval to a resolution that:
There is evidence Russia and China would not veto such a Resolution
The document pointedly refrained from the need to assign blame for their use.
Precious time is being lost as the conflicting parties in Syria continue their war with increasing death and suffering to its hapless civilian population - with the threat of further chemical warfare now being a distinct possibility instead of a theoretical probability.
Like its predecessor - the League of Nations - the UN could be writing its own death certificate if it fails to rise to this challenge.