President Obama “painted himself into a corner,” said Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, by declaring in 2012 that the use of chemical weapons in Syria was a “red line” for the administration.
And now the U.S. is stuck in the international debate it’s in now which, as Paul said on Friday’s “Fox and Friends” show, is about “saving face.” Via the Washington Times:
“Sen. Rand Paul said Friday that President Obama appears to be interested in ‘saving face’ when it comes to his pending decision on whether to approve U.S.-led military strikes against the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad…
‘It sounds to me like saving face because he has made a promise, so he is going to follow through with his promise,’ the Kentucky Republican said on ‘Fox and Friends.’ ‘That’s why you ought to be very careful about drawing lines in the sand, or red lines, because now he feels that he looks weak to both his colleagues in the United States as well as his international colleagues. I don’t think that is enough reason to go to war.’”
Paul’s comments come as the Obama administration continues to weigh whether to get involved militarily in the Syrian civil war, after evidence of chemical weapons attacks came to light in recent weeks. Which side used the weapons – the rebels, or supporters of Syrian President Bashar al Assad – has been the big question since then, but Obama said on Aug. 28 that his administration has indeed “concluded” that Assad was the culprit.
But as Obama attempts to build international support for military action, he is being greeted with skepticism. British parliament voted against Syrian intervention by 13 votes which, as CBS reports, “will almost guarantee that Britain plays no direct role in any U.S. attack on Bashar Assad’s government.”
Other European countries, meanwhile, are waiting for the results of U.N. Inspectors’ reports on what has happened in Syria.
Whatever comes out, you can expect Paul to keep pushing for the Obama administration to follow the Constitution above all else – the president must get approval from Congress before involving the military in a conflict. Red line crossed or not.
In a situation that is often murky at best, it’s hard to argue with that clear line of thought.
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