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Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

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August 21st, 2013
07:35 PM ET

Goldberg: “No one will do a darn thing to stop” Assad, chemical weapons in Syria

One year ago this week, President Obama laid down the line on chemical weapons in Syria.

“We have been very clear to the Assad regime but also to other players on the ground that a red line for us is we start seeing a whole bunch of chemical weapons moving around being utilized,” Obama said. “That would change my calculus. That would change my equation.”

Amid brand new allegations of a barbaric gas attack in the war-ravaged country, Bloomberg View columnist Jeffrey Goldberg argues, even if that red line exists, the President has no intention to do anything to punish Assad for crossing it.

“Assad believes that no one – not the UN, not President Obama, not other Western powers, not the Arab League – will do a darn thing to stop him,” Goldberg wrote.

Syria is again denying this latest round of gas attacks happened, dismissing video released by activists showing scores of dead children in a makeshift morgue as propaganda.

Still, this would not be the first time that the President's red line has been crossed. In March, reports circulated about a chemical strike by the Syrian government against a village in the northern half of the country.

Three months later, the Obama administration said it had “high confidence” of that attack, and, in July, administration sources said the United States would begin to arm some Syrian rebels.

Today’s response from the White House included a statement saying the President is “deeply concerned” about the reports, with a request that the United Nations “urgently investigate this new allegation.”

The U.N. Security Council is convening an emergency meeting Wednesday.

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