Friday, September 27, 2019

Once More With Feeling

Assad has sort of won his civil war (which became a multi-war with multiple foreign interventions), so naturally he is rubbing his enemies in the poop of their defeat.


The United States vowed a response Thursday as it said it had confirmed another chemical weapons attack by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's forces, although there were no fatalities.

The Assad regime used chlorine on May 19 in Latakia province during its ferocious offensive to take back the last major rebel stronghold in nearby Idlib, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said.

I know, I know, the brilliant 2013 Syrian chemical weapons deal that Kerry negotiated with Lavrov eliminated all of Assad's chemical weapons! How can this be?

Wait? Your argument is that since chlorine wasn't part of the deal that its use as poison gas doesn't count? Phew! The dead and lung-crippled survivors will be relieved to hear that!

We will strike again, apparently. And it will have little effect other than putting us on record that we reject the use of such weapons. There is probably value in that. But don't expect more.

Countries without the experience of the western front in World War I (who are also democracies, and maybe that's the key) just don't seem to have the cultural taboos about chemical weapons use.

And honestly, for much of America and Western Europe, revulsion of Trump may be so great that the trauma of mass gas use in World War I will fade even in the West. If Trump is against gas use, maybe the global left will start to think it isn't so bad compared to bombs and bullets.

I'd be curious to see opinion polls of Kurds and Iranians who have been on the receiving end on the issue of poison gas use.