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Red lines: Obama's costly bluster
Last August, President Obama drew his line in the Syrian sand. "We have been very clear to the Assad regime, but also to other players on the ground, that a red line for us is we start seeing a whole bunch of chemical weapons moving around or being utilized. That would change my calculus. That would change my equation."
It is an axiom of statecraft that one does not go rattling sabers if one is not prepared to stain them with an enemy's blood. Or as Napoleon put it, "One should never forbid what one lacks the power to prevent." In Obama's case, we can replace "power" with "will."
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