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Obama Just Can't Get Away From the Middle East Obama Just Can't Get Away From the Middle East

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Defense

Obama Just Can't Get Away From the Middle East

President Obama after a new conference in the Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, April 30, 2013.(AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

photo of Michael Hirsh
May 6, 2013

A version of this post appeared in The Edge, National Journal's daily look at today in Washington -- and what's coming next. The email features analysis from NJ's top correspondents, the biggest stories of the day -- and always a few surprises. To subscribe, click here.

Even as the Israelis and a United Nations prosecutor appeared to take a little heat off President Obama over his “red line” on Syria, congressional Republicans revived the long-dormant Benghazi inquiry, suggesting potential trouble for Hillary Rodham Clinton if she decides to run in 2016.

Just as he was getting hammered by Republicans over whether to respond to allegations of chemical-weapons use in Syria, Obama found an unexpected ally in Carla Del Ponte, a commissioner on the United Nations Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Syria. Del Ponte said there were “strong concrete suspicions but not yet incontrovertible proof” that Syrian rebels, rather than President Bashar al-Assad’s forces, used the nerve agent sarin. If true, the allegation would make Obama’s restraint on Syrian intervention look more judicious than timid. Meanwhile, reported Israeli air strikes may be taking care of the worst of the weapons flowing in from Iran. 

 

But the Benghazi investigation, which dogged Obama’s presidential campaign, came to life again with allegations that U.S. military forces may have been barred from intervening during the Benghazi attack.

If it’s not one thing, it’s almost always another.

Click here for a full archive of The Edge.

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