Bombs rattled Damascus as Israel bombed military targets early Sunday morning, a move that increases pressure on President Obama to intervene in Syria. This is the second attack launched by Israel in two days, and the Israeli officials have said that the bombings were necessary to prevent Syria from delivering weapons to terrorist groups.
Rebel forces have been fighitng against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad While the two year old civil war has led to 70,000 deaths and created thousands of refugees, calls for US military action have been increasing since evidence emerged that Syrian government forces may have used chemical weapons on its own citizens.
President Obama said last August that the use of chemical weapons would cross a “red line“ that would require action. Americans are overwhelmingly opposed to involvement in another conflict; a recent New York Times/CBS News poll found that 62% of respondents did not support intervention.
Talk of chemical weapons and black and white rhetoric recall the march to war in Iraq; on Sunday’s Up with Steve Kornacki, guests Joan Walsh, Amr Al-Azm, Andrew Tabler, and Michael Hanna joined Steve Kornacki to discuss the latest developments, how we can define what constitutes this “red line,” and what options the Obama administration has.
The administration has said that there is not sufficient evidence to prove that Syria used chemical weapons against its own people, but even it if did, there are other factors that should be considered before launching an offensive. Hanna, a senior fellow at the Century Foundation, cautioned against viewing chemical weapons as “the linchpin that will shift US policy.”
Watch Up with Steve Kornacki every Saturday and Sunday at 8 AM ET.