None of this makes any sense. Think about it. Assad has killed fifty times as many people using conventional means. He has the upper hand in the war and the backing of Russia, China, and Iran. The quickest way to destroy his own success and alienate himself from his powerful allies would be to use chemical weapons. There is no sane or logical reason why Assad would have ordered that attack. Assad is an evil man, but he's not stupid. He is focused entirely on holding power, which is something he cannot do if he were to use chemical weapons and have the world turn against him.
BBC security correspondent Frank Gardner shares my suspicion: "the timing is odd, bordering on suspicious. Why would the Assad government, which has recently been retaking ground from the rebels, carry out a chemical attack while UN weapons inspectors are in the country?" He does, however, believe a chemical attack did occur.
UN weapons inspector Rolf Ekeus agrees: "It would be very peculiar if it was the government to do this at the exact moment the international inspectors come into the country....at the least, it wouldn't be very clever."
Regarding the attack a US intelligence official commented "We don't know exactly why it happened. We just know it was pretty fucking stupid."
Why would Assad call in UN weapons inspectors then launch a chemical attack in close proximity to where the inspectors would be? That does not make any sense.
And yet we are rushing headlong into another poorly planned war with no exit strategy in mind and no thought as to the consequences of our actions.
Noah Shachtman writing for Foreign Policy states "However, U.S. spy services still have not acquired the evidence traditionally considered to be the gold standard in chemical weapons cases: soil, blood, and other environmental samples that test positive for reactions with nerve agent. That's the kind of proof that America and its allies processed from earlier, small-scale attacks that the White House described in equivocal tones, and declined to muster a military response to in retaliation."
We are rushing into a foolish war that will only end badly with less evidence than there was for WMDs in Iraq a decade earlier! There were years of UN inspector reports and other intelligence that strongly suggested Saddam Hussein had a thriving chemical and biological warfare infrastructure in place and after the invasion nothing was found. With Syria we have precious little evidence that a chemical attack happened at all.
In the immediate aftermath of the attack, the US intercepted panicked phone calls between defense officials in Damascus and the commander of a chemical weapons unit demanding details about the strike, Foreign Policy reported early Wednesday.
The report comes just days after a report in a major German publication claiming that an IDF intelligence unit had listened in on similar conversations between senior Syrian officials discussing the chemical attack.
US intelligence says that these panicked phone calls prove that Assad or someone in his government was behind the attacks. Now I'm no intelligence expert, but I was right about Egypt and Libya, and I did predict the Benghazi attack two full years before it happened, but these guys know what they're talking about, right? I mean, when the Syrian Minister of Defense demands answers regarding who the hell ordered the attack that proves that the Syrian government was behind it, right? When they start panicking about a move that would mean suicide in the world of geopolitical realpolitik, a move that is "pretty fucking stupid," and then immediately begin working on damage control that means they must be responsible, right?
I mean, it's not like we have members of the Free Syrian Army (the Islamist rebels who ate a man's heart and posted it to YouTube - note, this is a mirror, not the original) on video talking about how they intend to use chemical weapons
Oops! Just ignore that. Didn't happen.
There are only two possible alternatives as to who launched that attack: either it was the rebels themselves or it was operatives from the US or some other country looking for a "responsibility to protect," a casus fœderis, for which to intervene.
Russia and China have warned the United States not to intervene, as has Assad himself. Intervention in Syria will spread the conflict to neighboring countries. A relatively contained problem will grow into a full scale war between, basically, the United States versus Russia and China. China holds the lion's share of US debt. They have the power to economically destroy the country immediately if they so choose. Israel and Iran will be drawn in. There may be a nuclear exchange, or at least the use of a nuclear bunker buster to take out Iran's own nuclear program. Of course, the problems with nukes is when one country uses them it sparks other countries to use them too, resulting in the mutually assured destruction that the world has tried to prevent for six decades.
At the very least a million Syrians will die and the US will be out another trillion dollars.
We cannot go to war in Syria. We cannot help the rebels. If the US gets involved this will be WWIII and it won't end until millions are dead.