Syria crossed that chemical weapons "red line" in a big way last week, making it very difficult for the Obama Administration to continue doing nothing. Discussion of showering Syria with a few million dollars' worth of cruise missiles is now under way.
It's not clear what the endgame of such direct involvement in the Syrian civil war would be, other than hopefully making the Assad regime less likely to deploy weapons of mass destruction in the future. Wouldn't there be a lot of collateral damage from attacking the regime's chemical stockpiles directly? It's not as if Assad will take steps to ensure civilians evacuate the area ahead of the missile strikes.
If there's any logic to the "red line" talk - military intervention after a thousand chemical weapons fatalities, after ignoring over a hundred times as many fatalities from conventional weapons - it's the idea that deploying weapons of mass destruction is absolutely unacceptable, even when a regime feels itself in mortal peril from external attack or insurgency. That's a principle the world community wants to hold somewhat firm, despite having previously ignored a few relatively minor incidents in Syria.
The Israelis - who claim to have intercepted military communications proving that the Syrian army was responsible for this latest chem warfare attack - want the world community to remember Assad's willingness to use WMD when it ponders the Iranian nuclear program. There have to be some red lines... right?
This time Obama has his back against the wall and how will he react to his own threats? There is no one to blame this time, no one. He made the statement, he set the point of "no return" and so it must be hard to stand there with no place to run, no one to blame, all the world watching. Could not happent to a better person.
The question was asked by Tara Jane, what do you think G. W. Bush is thinking. I believe he, being the gentleman that he is, is thinking "It is tough, isn't it, Mr. President, it is tough and I hope you see, now, what it feels like to know there is no safe answer to this situation, no more than there was for me with Hussein and Iraq. Welcome to the real world of US foreign policy and the real life of an American president."