Again, the phrases are trite, but it’s the code words that matter.
Asked about claims by anti-regime activists in Syria that Bashar al-Assad’s government used chemical weapons in an attack that was said to have killed more than 1,300 people, Obama responded that officials are “right now gathering information” and that “what we’ve seen indicates that this is clearly a big event of grave concern.”
“It is very troublesome,” the president stressed.
Obama said U.S. officials are pushing “to prompt better action” from the United Nations, and are calling on the Syrian government to allow an investigation of the site of the alleged attack outside Damascus.
All that is meaningless noise. But then comes the invocation of “core national interests”.
He quickly followed up with a warning, however, that “core national interests” of the U.S. are now involved in Syria’s civil war, “both in terms of us making sure that weapons of mass destruction are not proliferating, as well as needing to protect our allies, our bases in the region.”
That’s an important code phrase because Obama needs to call on core national interests to justify a proposed invasion of Syria. He invoked those interests to justify attacking Libya and saving the Islamist militias of Benghazi which went on to murder four Americans.
This time around, Obama isn’t phrasing those interests in terms of protecting civilians. But there are no allies to protect. Israel is taking care of itself when it comes to Syrian shelling. Turkey wants to drag America into its Sunni Islamist regime change war in Syria, but aside from some border friction, it’s not in any danger.
But we are getting a preview of how Obama will try to justify his invasion of Syria. It looks like the Obama Inc consensus is settling on protecting our allies. Or on WMDs.
Considering how Obama achieved his initial higher profile denouncing the Iraq War, that will be particularly ironic.