Key Lawmaker Says “Red Line Has Been Crossed” in Syria

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
March 24 2013 2:58 PM

Key Lawmaker Says “Red Line Has Been Crossed” in Syria, Calls for More U.S. Involvement

"Our Arab League allies talk to us frequently, and they are as frustrated as I have seen them because of the lack of U.S. leadership," Rep. Mike Rogers said Sunday.

Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP/GettyImages

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers, a Republican from Michigan, continued on his path to push for greater United States involvement in Syria, telling CBS News there is increasing evidence the government has used “at least a small quantity” of chemical weapons in the ongoing civil war. Amid claims that chemical weapons were used during an attack in Syria last week, President Obama had said that, if true, it would signify a “game changer” but emphasized it’s important to know for sure “whether or not this red line was crossed.”

For Rogers, there isn’t much of a debate. "I think that it is abundantly clear that that red line has been crossed," Rogers said, calling the conflict “a growing, destabilizing event in the Middle East.”


This isn’t the first time, Rogers has made the accusations. After he made similar statements last week, Robert Ford, U.S. envoy to Syria, said there was “no evidence” chemical weapons had been used, reports the Wall Street Journal. Regardless, Rogers says that the mere existence of a chemical weapons stockpile that could fall into terrorist hands justifies increasing U.S. involvement. The lawmaker says there is plenty the United States could do without getting sucked into a “big boots, on-the-ground conflict.” Instead, the United States could train and equip rebels to become a more efficient force. (Watch the CBS interview after the jump.)

But any effort to provide more help for the Syrian opposition could very well be hampered by its lack of unity. The opposition “plunged into disarray” Sunday after its president resigned and the military leader refused to recognize a recently elected prime minister, reports the Associated Press. The resignation of Moaz Alkhatib could make the West “more cautious in supporting the revolt,” notes Reuters, pointing out that he was largely seen as a moderate force to counter the rising influence of jihadist forces with ties to al-Qaida.

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the "Today's Papers" column from 2006 to 2009. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoliti.


Medical Examiner

Here’s Where We Stand With Ebola

Even experienced international disaster responders are shocked at how bad it’s gotten.

U.S. Begins Airstrikes Against ISIS in Syria

The U.S. Is So, So Far Behind Europe on Clean Energy

It Is Very, Very Stupid to Compare Hope Solo to Ray Rice

Friends Was the Last Purely Pleasurable Sitcom

The Eye

This Whimsical Driverless Car Imagines Transportation in 2059


Meet the New Bosses

How the Republicans would run the Senate.

A Woman Who Escaped the Extreme Babymaking Christian Fundamentalism of Quiverfull

How in the World Did Turkey Just Get 46 Hostages Back From ISIS?

  News & Politics
Sept. 22 2014 6:30 PM What Does It Mean to Be an American? Ted Cruz and Scott Brown think it’s about ideology. It’s really about culture.
Sept. 22 2014 5:38 PM Apple Won't Shut Down Beats Music After All (But Will Probably Rename It)
Sept. 22 2014 4:45 PM Why Can’t the Census Count Gay Couples Accurately?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 22 2014 7:43 PM Emma Watson Threatened With Nude Photo Leak for Speaking Out About Women's Equality
  Slate Plus
Slate Plus
Sept. 22 2014 1:52 PM Tell Us What You Think About Slate Plus Help us improve our new membership program.
Brow Beat
Sept. 22 2014 9:17 PM Trent Reznor’s Gone Girl Soundtrack Sounds Like an Eerie, Innovative Success
Future Tense
Sept. 22 2014 6:27 PM Should We All Be Learning How to Type in Virtual Reality?
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Sept. 22 2014 4:34 PM Here’s Where We Stand With Ebola Even experienced international disaster responders are shocked at how bad it’s gotten.
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.