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Die Tageszeitung taz - Germany | Friday, August 23, 2013

Humanitarian aid possible despite "red line"

The US has reacted cautiously to the presumed chemical weapons attack by the Assad regime. With his "red line" Obama has restricted his country's room to manoeuvre, the left-leaning daily taz comments: "Ousting the Assad government by military means would perhaps be possible, but at a high price. … Any outside power that wants to do that has to be ready to play the policeman for a very long time. The US isn't. So it's all the more annoying that with his palaver about a 'red line' Obama has backed himself into a corner from which he can only emerge at the price of being seen as a toothless tiger. It's also annoying because with these words he unilaterally focussed debate over international cooperation in Syria on military intervention. No one wants that, so nothing at all is being done. The Syrian population is paying the price. But something can be done: immediate, widespread measures to protect the civilian population, open the borders - including those to Europe - and protect and care for the refugees."

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