Exactly one year ago, President Obama warned the Syrian government against crossing the now famous 'Red Line':
"We have been very clear to the Assad regime, but also to other players on the ground, that a red line for us is [when] we start seeing a whole bunch of chemical weapons moving around or being utilized. That would change my calculus. That would change my equation."
Outraged by opposition rebel claims of being "exterminated', many in the international community are calling for Assad's head. France's foreign minister raised the possibility of using force against Syria if it is proven that Bashir Assad's regime used chemical weapons against his own people.
The U.N. Security Council called for a "thorough, impartial, and prompt investigation", backed by demands from the U.S., Britain, France, Turkey, and Germany that a team of U.N. experts already in Syria be granted immediate access to investigate the site.
Some, like Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag, insist it is clear Assad is the culprit. Others, like Russia, China and Assad himself, deny the allegations: "These claims are categorically false and completely baseless and are part of the filthy media war waged by some countries against Syria," an Assad spokesman said. Further, the Assad regime accuses the opposition of fabricating claims or staging gas attacks themselves.
Sounds ridiculous until you remember that the opposition has been taken over by al-Qaeda operatives desperate to sway public opinion against Assad and toward military intervention.
And then there's the timing of the attack--just three days after the team of U.N. chemical experts arrived.
"It would be very peculiar if it was the government to do this at the exact moment the international inspectors come into the country," said Rolf Ekeus, a retired Swedish diplomat and former head of U.N. weapons inspectors. "At the least, it wouldn't be very clever."
Let's hope clear heads prevail.
A wise man once said: "Sometimes the only winning move is not to play." unknown
"Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God." Matthew 5:9
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