(Washington, D.C.) — Will the Obama administration decide to use military force inside Syria to stop the Assad regime’s use of chemical weapons and protect Syrian civilians, or even to bring down the Assad regime?
Precisely one year ago today, President Obama warned the Syrian regime not to cross his “red line” by using chemical weapons. Today, it appears the Assad regime may have used such weapons of mass destruction multiple times, including in recent days, allegedly leading to the death of hundreds, if not thousands.
“President Obama’s warning to Syria that the use of chemical weapons would cross a ‘red line’ for the administration drew criticism Tuesday, with experts saying that the remark could provide President Bashar al-Assad cover to continue battling the opposition with tanks, warplanes and other conventional weaponry,” reported the Washington Post at the time. “Obama on Monday used some of his most specific language yet to warn Assad not to use or move Syria’s stockpile of chemical weapons, saying that such an action would change his ‘calculus’ about the possibility of a U.S. intervention.”
“We have been very clear to the Assad regime, but also to other players on the ground, that a red line for us is [if] we start seeing a whole bunch of chemical weapons moving around or being utilized,” Obama told reporters. “That would change my calculus.”
Now the President’s credibility is on the line.
However, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff has just declared that the U.S. should not try to assist the Syrian rebels because they will not serve American or Western interests.
“The Obama administration is opposed to even limited U.S. military intervention in Syria because it believes rebels fighting the Assad regime wouldn’t support American interests if they were to seize power right now, according to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff,” reports the Associated Press. “Effectively ruling out U.S. cruise missile attacks and other options that wouldn’t require U.S. troops on the ground, Gen. Martin Dempsey said in a letter to a congressman that the military is clearly capable of taking out Syrian President Bashar Assad’s air force and shifting the balance of the Arab country’s 2 1/2-year war back toward the armed opposition. But he said such an approach would plunge the United States deep into another war in the Arab world and offer no strategy for peace in a nation plagued by ethnic rivalries. ‘Syria today is not about choosing between two sides but rather about choosing one among many sides,’ Dempsey said in the letter Aug. 19 to Rep. Eliot Engel, D-N.Y. ‘It is my belief that the side we choose must be ready to promote their interests and ours when the balance shifts in their favor. Today, they are not.'”
We are witnessing a terrible evil unleashed in Syria. There are no good answers at the moment for American or Western governments. We need to pray faithfully for the people of Syria. We also need to be aware that Bible prophecy indicates the city of Damascus will be utterly destroyed in the End Times in a divine judgment of its evil. The Bible does not say precisely when this judgment will occur, but it is not out of the question to think it could be coming soon in light of the recent carnage. This is all the more reason we need to be praying for the Christians in Syria to be brave, and to be bold. We should join with them to do everything possible to communicate the Gospel of Jesus Christ to all Syrians — especially those in Syria — before it is too late.
>> To watch the President’s warning on Syrian chemical weapons use on August 21, 2012, please click here.