web analytics
August 1, 2015 / 16 Av, 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
Public Security Minister  Gilad Erdan, seen during a visit to the Western Wall and to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem's Old City as tensions rise in Judea and Samaria.
Arabs Attack Israeli Forces Over Deaths of Innocent Baby, Teen Terrorist
Latest Indepth Stories
Silhouette of "hilltop settler."

“Yesha” and Binyamin Regional Council leaders said the attack “is not the path of Jews in Judea and Samaria.”

Schwartz-073115

The occasion? The rarely performed mitzvah of pidyon peter chamor: Redemption of a firstborn donkey.

Rabbi YY Rubinstein

American leftists have a pathological self-inflicted blindness to the dangers of political Islam

Tobin-073115

Hillary should THANK Trump; By dominating the news he’s overshadowed the implosion of her campaign

Hard to remember when Jewish youth were so hostile to their heritage as they are on campuses today.

Names of the enablers of Iran’s Nuclear weapons will be added next to Hitler’s on the list of infamy

By most accounts, the one person with the political muscle to swing enough Democratic votes to override a veto is Sen. Schumer.

The next day, in a speech in New York to the Council on Foreign Relations, Mr. Kerry substantially upped the ante.

In Israel, the judiciary has established itself as superior to ALL other branches of the government.

The Fifteenth Day of the month of Av became a day of national rejoicing. The moment that had seemed hopeless became the moment of Redemption.

I think the melodies in our religious services have a haunting sound to them that just permeates your guts and gets into your soul. If you have any musical inclination, I think they inspire you to compose.

Cavalier analogies to the Holocaust are unacceptable, but Huckabee’s analogy was very appropriate.

Pollard was a Jewish-head-on-a-pike for all American Jews to see and to learn the explicit lesson.

If the Iran deal passes, Obama’s WH becomes world’s leading financier of terrorism against Americans

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.”

A typical veiled Arab woman (illustrative only).

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: