It was exactly a year ago that Obama declared a "red line" for action if the Syrian government or rebels used chemical weapons in Syria. This came after reports that Syrian government used chemical weapons against it's own people earlier in 2012. Obama repeated his "red line" declaration in December 2012:
Obama: I want to make it absolutely clear to Assad and those under his command: The world is watching. The use of chemical weapons is and would be totally unacceptable. And if you make the tragic mistake of using these weapons, there where be consequences, and you will be held accountable.The only action taken was to appoint a team of UN inspectors which only arrived in Syria a few days ago. 72 hours later this happened:
Bodies of dead children killed in gas attack on Damascus suburb of Ain Tarma Wednesday.
More at Daily Mail.
Mass Murder: The Consequence of Doing Nothing
In his history of World War II former British Prime Minister wrote about the folly of ignoring difficult problems when they were relatively easier to solve. The consequences were horrific. We see those consequences now in Syria.
Obama's "red line" a year ago was nothing more than empty words followed by a promise to investigate which never happened. Obviously the Syrians knew they had nothing to fear from Obama. Granted, it would take strong leadership and a clear headed policy to do something, even in a conflict where there are few good options. But there were better options earlier on in the Syrian conflict and they were lost because Obama dithered.
The lesson here for world peace is ominous. If states like Syria, Iran, North Korea, China, Russia and despots in other hot spots see no consequence for their actions what will constrain them? Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize. At what point does the Nobel Committee request he return it? If the U.S. won't lead when decisions are difficult, what price will we pay later on? Ask the survivors in Ain Tarma!