Following yesterday’s sudden 180 with respect to US assessments of Syria’s chemical weapons, President Obama dubbed the allegations of use a “game-changer,” insisting the world would not stand by and allow “systematic use of weapons like chemical weapons on civilian populations.”
At the same time, officials aren’t really sure what they know about Syria, and Obama reiterated his intentions to “gather evidence on the ground,” suggesting the case isn’t nearly as closed as officials made it sound yesterday.
Pentagon officials are also emphasizing that they are still “weighing the evidence” in the matter, though they’re also reiterating that they are planning a “military option,” which of course they were doing in the first place.
Britain’s reaction to the comments also seems more bark than bite, with Prime Minister David Cameron conceding that a British invasion was “unlikely” and instead reiterating his determination to send more aid to rebels, something he too was doing anyhow.
Ultimately, while some hawks are hoping the “red line” can be parlayed into a war, it seems like most of the officials in charge are just standing pat, and using the new “evidence,” such as it is, to claim justification for policies they had already put in place.