web analytics
May 5, 2015 / 16 Iyar, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post


Home » InDepth » Op-Eds »

Obama and the Red Line

With the Syrian government refusing to allow UN inspectors into the country it is difficult to see how indisputable proof of use of chemical weapons can be found
President Obama hosting Jordan's King Abdullah.

President Obama hosting Jordan's King Abdullah.
Photo Credit: Yori Yanover

Two other issues are relevant. It is never stated what lies beyond the “red line” or what “changing the calculus” means in practice or what would result from a “game changer.” The slaughter of at least 75,000 people in Syria clearly was not a game changer. The lack of definition, if not deliberate obscurity, about these phrases suggests equivocation or perhaps the hypocritical deception or lack of uncontaminated sincerity that so often is a part of political life. It recalls the ambiance of the famous maxim of the Duc de La Rochefoucauld that “hypocrisy is the homage that vice pays to virtue.”

The other issue is the hesitation about unilateral action. It is desirable that the U.S. should consult with its allies and with some Middle Eastern countries, and that any non-lethal aid should be coordinated by them. Yet the hesitation suggests that the goalposts for American policy have been moved and inaction is more likely than action. The quest for ironclad proof inevitably leads to indecision and probably to frustration of allied countries who look to the U.S. for leadership.

Of course U.S. decision-making on Syria is complex in that there may be little to choose between the desperate Assad regime and opposition forces which include some extreme Islamists and perhaps adherents of al Qaeda. Political deals and compromises may well be necessary. Nevertheless, words should have consequences.

Almost a century ago, Walter Lippmann in his book Political Opinion explained the world of politics was too complex and abstract to be directly experienced and that public communication was thus necessary. The political metaphors concerning Syria communicated by Obama should be backed up by action. American policy should not be indifferent to moral good or evil. It should remember the original metaphor, the “thin red line,” referred to the courageous stand of a red-coated British regiment at the Battle of Balaclava in October 1854 during the Crimean War, that defeated the much larger Russian cavalry force by standing firm and thus became a symbol for barriers against aggressors.

Originally published at The American Thinker.

About the Author: Michael Curtis is Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Rutgers University, and author of the forthcoming book, Should Israel Exist? A sovereign nation under assault by the international community.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

4 Responses to “Obama and the Red Line”

  1. Yechiel Baum says:

    this is a must see video for all, Please pass this one along to family and friends. Maybe then something, anything CAN BE DONE TO STOP THESE TRAVESTIES?

    http://www.therightscoop.com/must-watch-judge-jeanines-epic-smackdown-on-the-mother-of-the-boston-jihadi-bombers/

  2. Yechiel Baum says:

    this is a must see video for all, Please pass this one along to family and friends. Maybe then something, anything CAN BE DONE TO STOP THESE TRAVESTIES?

    http://www.therightscoop.com/must-watch-judge-jeanines-epic-smackdown-on-the-mother-of-the-boston-jihadi-bombers/

  3. Do not trust Obama or any of his cronies.

  4. RABBI DR. BERNHARD ROSENBERG

    America Unite BOSTON BOMBING.

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
President Ruby Rivlin greets new Olim as they step off the plane.
6 Anglo Aliyah Immigrants to Receive NBN Bonei Zion Prize
Latest Indepth Stories
Lewis-050115-Police-Training-at-Aleh

Although it’s emotionally difficult to see the suffering, helping out makes me happy.

I decided to really understand what Jewish people go through by becoming a Jew.

March for Armenian Genocide

Why does Obama and other democratic world leaders resist branding the Armenian killings as genocide?

Rioters smash window of police car in Baltimore.

I stated with clarity in simple terms, “Jews don’t have gangs.”

FBI’s undercover agents contacted ORA (Org. for the Resolution of Agunot) pretending to be an agunah

Israel promotes coexistence and peace, providing freedom for all religions on the Temple Mount.

The Jewish vote won’t impact polls as much as it will the coffers of candidates and their Super PACs

Iran stands unopposed by the “international community” and is racing to assert regional dominance.

If some Israeli cops got a Jewish education & learned to love Jews, Israel would be a better place

No where in the world is there the level of intervention by foreign countries as exists in Israel.

The Ravens’ Ray Lewis screamed that violence is never the answer.” Unfortunately, he is wrong.

Obama is the latest incarnation of our ancient enemies who arise every generation with a new face

Why do Jews, then, sometimes feel more intensely about Polish anti-Semitism than they do about German anti-Semitism?

The president is unwilling to cede any of what he considers his exclusive powers in the area of foreign policy and has struggled mightily to keep the Senate away from any role in the kind of deal to be negotiated.

More Articles from Michael Curtis
Rania Okby, Bedouin Israeli on faculty of Ben Gurion University Health Sciences School

Boko Haram enforces a patriarchal oriented society in which women are treated as “sexual slaves.”

Arab Woman

These feminists are so anti-Israel that they ignore Arab women’s lack of political and social freedom

With the Syrian government refusing to allow UN inspectors into the country it is difficult to see how indisputable proof of use of chemical weapons can be found

Sweden is now a country where orthodox Jews are afraid to wear a skullcap.

Since June 2005, the EU has given more than $48 million to over 90 NGOs based in Israel, who are regarded as critical of Israel.

The EU has yet to appreciate the reality that the conflict continues because of the refusal of the Palestinians to accept the right of the State of Israel to exist.

Today, fewer than 4,500 Jews remain in Arab countries. Israel absorbed and integrated 600,000 of the more than 850,000 who left.

The Palestinians have asked the World Heritage Committee (WHC) of UNESCO to recognize Battir, a village about 5 miles west of Bethlehem, as a World Heritage Site and add it to the 936 sites already maintained by UNESCO. The city’s original name was Betar, the last fortress of Bar Kochba and the name of Jabotinsky’s Zionist youth movement.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/obama-and-the-red-line/2013/04/30/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: