Refreshing Exception: Resistance Prevented Obama From Starting Another Presidential War | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED X-Frame-Options: DENY X-Frame-Options: SAMEORIGIN

Refreshing Exception: Resistance Prevented Obama From Starting Another Presidential War

In 2013, the American people came perilously close to being dragged into a full-scale war in Syria. True, Barack Obama’s administration had been meddling in that country’s civil strife for more than a year in an effort to help insurgents oust President Bashar al-Assad, and once ISIS made a bid to establish its "caliphate," Washington would deploy U.S. Special Forces in Syria – a presence that still continues under a different, vague pretext. However, Obama had a much larger military initiative in mind, and if he had succeeded, America’s Syria entanglement might have rivaled the Iraq War in both size and disastrous consequences. The convergence of various, somewhat unusual, factors prevented that ugly outcome.

In response to some small-scale incidents in 2012 that may have involved chemical agents, President Obama warned Assad’s government that any further use of such weapons would cross a "red line" that could not be tolerated. On August 21, 2013, it appeared that Syrian government forces crossed that line with a chemical attack in Ghouta, a rebel-controlled Damascus suburb. According to media reports, at least several hundred people – and perhaps more than 1,400 – died from the effects of sarin gas.

However, as Scott Ritter, a chemical weapons expert and a member of the UN inspection team in Iraq before the 2003 U.S. invasion, noted: "In August 2013, the OPCW [Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons] dispatched an inspection team into Syria as part of a U.N.-led effort . . . to investigate allegations that sarin had been used in the attack on civilians in the town of Ghouta. While the mission found conclusive evidence that sarin nerve agent had been used, it did not assign blame for the attack. Despite the lack of causality, the US and its NATO allies quickly assigned blame for the sarin attacks on the Syrian government."