President Obama pushes back against the “red line”
President Obama spoke in Sweden yesterday and stated that he personally did not set a “red line,” as it’s now referred to. The President also said that the credibility of the international community and Congress is on the line, not his own regarding the decision to act in Syria.
Report from CBS DC:
President Barack Obama traveled to Sweden on Wednesday ahead of the G20 Summit as he is seeking international support for a military strike against Syria for use of chemical weapons. Obama landed in Stockholm to meet with Swedish Prime Minister John Fredrik Reinfeldt for a press conference on their shared views for international action in Syria.
“When bad stuff happens around the world, the first question is always, ‘What is the United States going to do about it … the real question is: after we go through all this, can we find a reason not to act?”
Obama expressed optimism that Congress would vote to approve his call for military action in Syria, and said that it is not just an American issue, it’s a worldwide concern.
Obama also stated that Congress’ decision to back the strike against Syria is not just about his credibility as president to “set a red line” against hostile foreign actions.
“First off, I didn’t set a red line. The world set a red line,” said Obama. “Congress set a red line when it indicated in a piece of legislation — the Syria Accountability Act — that some of the horrendous things happening on the ground there need to be accounted for.
“My credibility is not on the line. The international community’s credibility is on the line. America and Congress’ credibility is on the line … we mean what we say.”
Of course, if you’ll recall, the President himself was the first to use the term “red line” in August of 2012 when referring to the mobilization or use of a “whole bunch” of chemical weapons in Syria.