Barack Obama defended his decision not to bomb Syria as president in an interview published Monday, casting his controversial decision as an act that “required the most political courage.”
Obama spoke with Jack Schlossberg last week before accepting a John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage award. Schlossberg, Kennedy’s grandson and a member of the award committee, released a transcript of their conversation in a Medium post on Monday.
Sending troops into harm’s way was “the hardest issue that I dealt with,” Obama said, adding that seeing and knowing people younger than Schlossberg, 24, “would be in a really dangerous situation, that was tough.”
“But I actually think that the issue that required the most political courage was the decision not to bomb Syria after the chemical weapons use had been publicized and rather to negotiate them removing chemical weapons from Syria,” Obama said.
The Obama administration drew a so-called “red line” with respect to Syrian dictator Bashar Assad’s regime using chemical weapons on its people, arguing in August 2012 that the use of chemical weapons would provoke a military response from the U.S. Read more at POLITICO.