A year ago, President Barack Obama said this about intervening in Syria: “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.” Then last week, as he pushed for a U.S. military response to Bashar al-Assad’s gas attack, the president insisted: “I didn’t set a red line. The world set a red line” (through longstanding international condemnation of chemical weapons, as Congress did by ratifying that treaty). The debate over possible military action in Syria is as serious as it gets. The nation deserves straight talk from the commander in chief, not linguistic gymnastics.