SECRETARY OF STATE JOHN KERRY: There is so much misunderstanding about [this] and I understand the misunderstanding... I accept -- look, I accept that friends of ours [Israel] have decided the president's "non-strike" impacted perceptions about us.
I believe they are dead wrong, and I think the critics are dead wrong and here's why:
The president made his decision to strike. He announced his decision to strike publicly. And the purpose of the strike was to get the chemical weapons out of Syria... Well, while we were in the process--
Lo and behold unbeknownst to everybody on the Thursday before the weekend we were going to strike, David Cameron went to the parliament and lost the vote. How in the wake of Britain's parliament deciding no in a democratic fashion with congressmen screaming "you've got to come to us" can the president decide to stiff Democracy in America and say no.
We anticipated winning that vote and winning it quickly. But something else happened on the way to the forum.
We achieved a deal with the russians that didn't wind up in 19 days of strikes that would have sent quote "message" but would not have removed the weapons. We struck a deal to get all of the declared weapons out of Syria. Never before in a conflict has that ever happened. That during the conflict weapons of mass destruction are taken out of the zone of conflict and thank god we did that...
Via Wikipedia: Red Line
'' Barack Obama used the phrase on August 20, 2012, during the Syrian civil war in relation to chemical weapons, saying that "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 or being utilized. That would change my calculus. That would change my equation."
In the US, the phrase then became a source of contention when political opponent John McCain said the red line was "apparently written in disappearing ink," due to the perception the red line had been crossed with no action. On the one year anniversary of Obama's red line speech the Ghouta chemical attacks occurred. Obama then clarified "I didn't set a red line. The world set a red line when governments representing 98 percent of the world's population said the use of chemical weapons are abhorrent and passed a treaty forbidding their use even when countries are engaged in war," in reference to the Chemical Weapons Convention. ''