In certain circles, it has become almost fashionable to defend the Bashar al-Asad regime; oddly in the US the temptation seems to seduce not only the ideological right but also the ideological left. Outside of Syria's Russian, Iranian, and Hizbullah enablers, it is time for the scales to fall from their eyes. The chemical weapons attack on the town of Khan Shaykhun in Idlib province.
It is true that the Syrian regime denies it was behind the attack and claims it is a "false flag"operation by the opposition. Notwithstanding the fact that witnesses said the attack was delivered by a Sukhoi Su-22 with Arabic markings. The only air forces in Syria flying Su-22s are Syria's and Russia's, and I doubt the Russians would do the dirty work themselves.
The death toll is said to be somewhere in the 80s, including at least 25 children. Most accounts say the gas was Sarin, but those are preliminary reads, and chlorine, which Syria also has used.an have similar symptoms.
But wait! Didn't Syria agree in 2013 to surrender all its chemical weapons? Well, yes, it did.
The world has responded as usual, with massive denunciations. (Though the US Trump Administration said it was the result of President Obama's failure to carry through on his "red line" threats in 2013, which it characterized as weakness, but it offered no prospect of strong action now.
Six years of war in Syria has produced nearly five million external refugees and over six million internally displaced persons. This is a humanitarian disaster of historic proportions. The Asad regime is not solely responsible, but an internationally recognized government systematically gassing its own people deserves no international tolerance.
I am not advocating American boots on the ground, since that almost always backfires, but instead of Russia and some in this country defending Asad, it is time to brand this regime a pariah like North Korea, and treat it as the renegade it has become. If the world cannot find a way, or the will, to stop the atrocities, it should end any pretense of toleration. My language may offend, but the far greater offense is Asad's; this is fucking barbarism, and it is time to call it by its proper name.