Thom – thank you for your measured and cogent response.
You are correct – the Middle East, the Constitution, international partnerships and war making are complex subjects. I was not commenting on any of those subjects. My thoughts were about the use of force. To threaten force and not follow through is the most dangerous kind of weakness.
One of the first things a new recruit is taught in the police academy is that you don’t draw your firearm unless you are willing to use it. Once drawn, it limits your options. Once drawn it can unnecessarily escalate the situation; or you can simply have a terrible accident. If you point a gun at someone and then, without resolving the situation, you have to holster, you should have never draw the firearm.
For me, the “red line” was nothing more than a rookie waiving his gun around. Once the bad guy (the Syrian government) called the bluff, our international police officer (the President) holstered the firearm and called a supervisor.
An American President drawing a red line and then backing away from same is a stunning and frightening occurrence. Remember – what the President has said – it’s the right and lawful thing to do – he just thought about it and decided he didn’t want to be the one to pull the trigger.