Don’t say I didn’t warn you, Assad. Sure, chemical weapons are easier to make than a nuclear arsenal and they still give you teeth. But they aren’t supposed to be used. Never, ever, ever, never. Because if they ever get unleashed in combat, like they have in your awful civil war, then people are going to die. . . and you may not be too far from joining them.
Chemical weapons must be the “poor man’s” nukes. They always seem to show up in the background of military conflicts. Saddam Hussein used them mercilessly against the Kurds in the 1980s. Belgium was drenched in chlorine in World War I. I don’t know much about sarin, and I don’t want to know. But I do know that it represents a shocking departure from the civilized world.
British and Israeli intelligence got the word out not long ago on these deadly weapons, and American officials only recently confirmed it in a letter to senators Levin and McCain. Blood samples from Syrian victims test positive for the nerve agent. A great article in Wired points out that none of Syria’s rebels could have faked the attack without exposing themselves.
I have wished for nothing but peaceful transition from this horrible civil war. I have prayed for justice in the name of the thousands of Syrians killed, beaten, threatened or displaced from their home. But the Assad regime was also praying for an end. . . by their own means. Sarin popped up as the unthinkable option.
Assad is reaching the end of his dynasty. Unless he leaves office, the shelf life of the Syrian Army will be drastically reduced by cruise missiles, precision bombs, drone strikes, electromagnetic jamming, and very angry special forces. I only hope that he reaches a logical conclusion before madness consumes his office. Hopefully the threat of coalition assaults will do some good. . . perhaps a limited strike as an appetizer to change his mind. (I also hope that the Syrian Army stays out of populated areas. . . we can’t pinpoint all of them if they threaten us with collateral damage.) But it’s time to finish this nightmare on all sides.
If North Korea is curious as to the present capability of coalition forces, they’ll be sure to watch Damascus in the coming weeks.