White House National Security Adviser: Why Are People Criticizing Obama’s Red Lines?
WH Nat. Sec. Advisor: I Don’t Understand Obama ‘Red Line’ Criticism (Washington Free Beacon)
White House National Security Advisor Tony Blinken told Jake Tapper he didn’t “understand the criticism” regarding the credibility behind President Obama’s threat of “consequences” should Ukrainian officials fail to restore calm Friday on CNN.
Tapper told Blinken he was a surprised Obama used the term “step over the line” given the president’s record of renegging on the Syrian “red line.”
Blinken offered a strange explanation, telling Tapper he does not understand the criticism. “When it comes to Syria, we made it very clear we were prepared to act to deal with the chemical weapons. And what resulted was an agreement with Russia and with us that Syria adhered to, to give up chemical weapons,” he said.
In typical fashion for this White House, Blinken subtly tried to redefine what the Syrian red line meant without actually saying so. Obama’s 2012 red line was widely interpreted, without objection by the White House, to mean a response of military force should chemical weapons be used in Syria.