So far there has been plenty of reason to doubt the Executive Branch’s allegation that Bashar-al-Assad used chemical weapons in Damascus. So now that Obama has publicly flinched in the face of massive worldwide skepticism, opposition to war as a tool of enforcing our will without any regard to our real national defense, and to unconstitutional executive aggression, the Administration is working hard to make its case for Assad’s culpability.
While I am doubtful that Assad ordered the attack and much more skeptical that the White House really knows for certain that he carried out the attack, I can’t say that I know that Assad didn’t do it.
(Frankly, my own “red line” was crossed when the Obama Administration bypassed Congress and allied with NATO and Al Qaeda jihadists to overthrow the secular dictatorship in Libya to replace it with warring factions of radical Islamists. But, from what we can see of Obama’s strategy, he regards Libya as a success story and a model for future power projections.)
So I can’t say with one hundred percent certainty that Obama’s case is fictional. However, there is another problem. The Administration’s argument includes an admission that the US government knew Assad was going to kill people by chemical weapons—the people for whom we care so much that we have intervened and ruled from our lofty throne over the world that Assad must leave. Yet it seems we did nothing about it, and did not warn our “freedom fighter” allies whom we have been supporting.
“American intelligence agencies had indications three days beforehand that the Syrian regime was poised to launch a lethal chemical attack that killed more than a thousand people and has set the stage for a possible U.S. military strike on Syria. The disclosure – part of a larger U.S. intelligence briefing on Syria’s chemical attacks – raises all sorts of uncomfortable questions for the American government. First and foremost: What, if anything, did it do to notify the Syrian opposition of the pending attack? In a call with reporters Friday afternoon, senior administration officials did not address whether this information was shared with rebel groups in advance of the attack. A White House spokeswoman declined to comment on whether the information had been shared. But at least some members of the Syrian opposition are already lashing out at the U.S. government for not acting ahead of time to prevent the worst chemical attack in a quarter-century. ‘If you knew, why did you take no action?’ asked Dlshad Othman, a Syrian activist and secure-communications expert who has recently relocated to the United States. He added that none of his contacts had any sort of prior warning about the nerve gas assault – although such an attack was always a constant fear.”
Other witnesses also said they were never warned. But if we now have some moral obligation to kill more Syrians in response to killing Syrians, how did we not have an obligation to warn them and prevent those deaths? Right now, the Administration’s verdict on the Syrian government also makes them complicit in the attack by their own standards.