BBC, CNN et al are running with the same line...Assad is responsible for what appears to be a gas attack on a rebel-held area of his own territory. All the usual players on the neocon war party are making their case. The war with Iran, Syria, anybody who makes the Israelis nervous coalition are coordinating their talking points in suspicious unanimity.
Before we plunge into another fiasco a few more questions are in order.
1. Re evidence of the toxic attack, who are the experts on scene? How did they get there? Are such experts poised at all times to make dispositive determinations in areas where actual journalists refuse to go? Who can be trusted in such a partisan environment? Have any actual scientists examined tissue samples, especially lung tissue? I've seen a lot of corpses with foaming mouths. This also happens with common Chlorine inhalation. It also happens any time the lungs fill with fluid such as drownings.
2. Nikki Halley, US UN representative openly accused the Russians of responsibility today. This, after the Russian representative, presented a line of explanation quite like my own about chemical agents already present on the ground. If the best we can do is to show pictures of dead babies, what does that say about our investigative capacity? Argument by appeal to emotion is a cardinal logical fallacy or used to be among adults. What's the rush to judgment?
3. All those interviewed report massive explosion(s). Are toxic agents really dispersed in such a manner? Wouldn't a massive explosive burst destroy the toxic agent as much as disperse it? A statement by a young girl repeated by the New York Times described a single bomb hitting a single house after which a yellow fog killed those who responded. Even a New York Times reporter might wonder if the "fog" might have had something to do with what was in the house rather than in the bomb itself. All the more curious when the same reporter wrote, "The area around Khan Seikhoun is not held by the Islamic State, but by other insurgents: Queda-linked militants and a variety of other rebel groups." Is it fantastical thinking that "Queda-linked militants" might have stored something nasty?
Don't expect any answers to these and other sensible questions. They might distract the public from the need to involve American kids and those of our allies in another pointless Middle East war. And that is the objective here.
At the risk of being a spoilsport, just what would we achieve by intervening? Suppose Assad really did this thing. Who would replace him? Who decides? The nearest thing to Syrian civil society types are now dead or living in tents in Turkey. They are no longer a factor and never had much hope of forming a government in any case. So the only force likely to replace Assad is Salafist bad guys with more in common with ISIS than us. The last time we played at regime change, we forgot to ask, "With what." We failed to replace Saddam Hussain with anyone in particular. Iraq fell into the Mad Max zone it remains today after much blood and treasure.
And let us not forget that Assad's power rests on a coalition of minorities, one of those protected minorities are the Christians. Can we just not sell out the Christians yet again? We already discriminate against them when they try to immigrate here.