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August 21, 2013

Claim: Chemical Weapons Attack In Syria Kills 1,000+

Terrible if true.

Rockets with toxic agents were launched at the suburbs of the Ghouta region early on Wednesday as part of a major bombardment on rebel forces, they say.

The Syrian army says the accusations have been fabricated to cover up rebel losses.

The main opposition alliance said that more than 1,000 people were killed by the attacks.

Activist networks also reported death tolls in the hundreds, but these could not be independently confirmed.

It is also not clear how many died in the bombardment of the sites and how many deaths were due to any exposure to toxic substances.

The UK and France have called for international inspectors to be allowed into the region to investigate the claim. The Obama administration has responded by asking, "Have you seen our new puppy?"

Obviously this would be a horrible thing if it turns out it's true but before getting swept up in the emotion of the moment people need to consider the implications of actually doing anything about it.

We could bomb Syrian military units. And then? The government has been regaining lost territory over the last month or two. Would airstrikes make sense now? Would they actually help the rebels that much?

Should we give the rebels more weapons? Just because people may have been killed in a chemical attack doesn't change the fact that we don't want the jihadi connected fighters to win.

Surely no one with half a brain would advocate US troops on the ground in Syria.

In short, even if this terrible massacre did take place (and there's a reasonable case to be made for questioning the timing of the story) it doesn't change the basic calculus for the US...do whatever it takes to keep the fighting going for as long as possible.

More dead Assad loyalists + more dead jihadis = US Win.

It's cold, it's uncaring and it's the reality of our interest in the fight.


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posted by DrewM. at 11:25 AM

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