1. President Barack Obama’s inability to make up his mind on whether the US should intervene militarily in Syria – even in a limited way, such as the imposition of no-fly zones or finding a way to supply non-Islamist Syrian rebel groups with sorely needed weapons.
2. The US president’s refusal to recognize that chemical weapons have already been used in Syria. His reaction to the file put before him in the White House Friday, May 17, by Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan – with evidence from physicians treating wounded Syrians – remained dismissive. “The US has seen evidence of chemical weapons being used in Syria,” he said, adding however, “it is important to get more specific details about alleged chemical attacks.”
This comment was interpreted as the US president’s acceptance of the use of chemical weapons in the Syrian war so long as it was on a limited scale. Obama, like Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, has therefore waved away another red line for military intervention in the Syria conflict, by closing his eyes to the evidence.
Former Israeli defense minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer was more realistic last week when he brusquely brushed aside a radio interviewer’s query by saying: Of course, Assad has used chemical weapons and isn’t it obvious that he has already transferred to Hizballah both chemical substances and other advanced weapons?