The Syrian civil war now threatens to split the Middle East along a Sunni-Shia chasm. The horrifying news reports Wednesday about the Assad government’s possible chemical attack on civilians, if proven true, mean that the Obama administration’s “red line” has been crossed yet again.
Thursday, both France and Turkey called for stronger action — including a possible use of force. Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) renewed his call for a no-fly zone.
But does all this mean that the United States and the European Union will now follow a more assertive policy in Syria?
Sadly, that’s unlikely. For now, the Obama administration is still scrambling to walk back President Barack Obama’s vow from last year about any use of chemical weapons “changing the calculus.” The administration is not likely to become substantially forward-leaning in Syria — no matter what outside pressure is brought to bear.
Their likely reasoning is as follows: