Syria, O Syria! How could the world have been so quick to get used to the mass murder taking place there? And the disposed, the refugees too: The whole issue has become so banal, so trite. They pass beneath the radar of the world’s media outlets, which are far more interested in making predictions and reiterating the same old questions: “When will Syrian President Bashar al-Assad fall?” “Will he fall at all?” “What will happen there after he’s gone?” “Will the rebels be able to collect the pieces of a shattered Syria and run a functioning country?” Late last week, a new question joined the roster: “Has Assad crossed the red line?”
The red line in question isn’t the line that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu drew with a magic marker on a picture of a bomb with a fuse as he stood before the UN General Assembly. Despite its name, the proverbial red line does not refer to the blood of all the men, women, and children, who were slaughtered by Bashar Assad either. The new red line was advanced by President Barack Obama himself, and it refers exclusively to the use of “tie-breaking weapons,” that is, the chemical weapons that Syria possesses but which remained stored in its arsenals until now. Only if it is proved beyond all shadow of a doubt that Assad and his army used weapons of this sort, or in other words, crossed the red line drawn by the White House, will the world be unable to stand idly by. Then and only then will it be force to intervene with military force.