James Taranto has an excellent piece taking apart Obama on his “I didn’t set the red line” lie.
First he quotes Obama:
I have, at this point, not ordered military engagement in the situation. But the point that you made about chemical and biological weapons is critical. That’s an issue that doesn’t just concern Syria; it concerns our close allies in the region, including Israel. It concerns us. We cannot have a situation where chemical or biological weapons are falling into the hands of the wrong people.
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.
Taranto then notes:
The context makes clear that when Obama refers to “a red line for us,” the antecedent is not the world but the U.S. or the administration (which are interchangeable for the purpose of a discussion of executive action). He said the use of chemical weapons would change “my calculus” and “my equation,” not the world’s.
As The Weekly Standard’s Daniel Halper notes, the president’s denial that he set a red line contradicts previous statements from his own subordinates. “We go on to reaffirm that the President has set a clear red line as it relates to the United States that the use of chemical weapons . . . is a red line that is not acceptable to us, nor should it be to the international community,” an unnamed “White House official” said during introductory remarks in an April 25, 2013 conference call with reporters.
Lest there be any question, the official went on to say in response to a question: “The people in Syria and the Assad regime should know that the President means what he says when he set that red line. And keep in mind, he is the one who laid down that marker.”
So, Marco Rubio votes no. A lot of no votes lining up in the House. Rand Paul is a certain no and I it seems Ted Cruz will also vote no, describing Obama’s proposal as an effort to use the U.S. military as “Al Qaeda’s Air Force.”
Not looking good for the guy who didn’t set the red line. Lucky for him it isn’t his credibility on the line!