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The Specter of Syrian Chemical Weapons

Chemical weapons or not, the next few weeks in Syria will be tough to watch

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Jon Lee Anderson has the bad news:

Whatever the regime’s real intentions with regards to its chemical weapons, the next chapter in Syria will be an ugly one, and before it is all over, many people are going to die—from bullets and bombs, if not from sarin gas. Thanks to the boy-who-cried-wolf legacy of the Iraq invasion and the W.M.D.s-that-weren’t, it is not surprising that the alleged Syrian chemical-weapons threat has thus far failed to cause panic in international circles. This could prove to be an unfortunate historical lesson, for, as things stand, there is no guarantee that they won’t be deployed. And if they are used, Syria’s conflict will become a threshold conflict in more ways than one.

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Assad still has the leverage, in the prospect of continued violence, to negotiate some kind of deal, if not for himself then for his family. If he uses chemical weapons, he forecloses that option completely, so I’m skeptical that he would. I would assume that he has also cynically calculated that if he can suppress the insurrection, he will be received back into the international community, if not with enthusiasm than with the indifference born of an inability to coalesce around some kind of plan to oust him.

herbcaen says:

Syria and Egypt have the leadership they deserve. Bon voyage

Poupic says:

If Assad has chemical weapons, they were created for a specific purpose: The Arab will to destroy Israel. It stand to reason that if Assad is to use those chemical weapons it will be on Israel to unite all Arabs to his cause. After all the only thing uniting all Arab states is exactly the same: The destruction of Israel and replacing it with an Islamic state.


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The Specter of Syrian Chemical Weapons

Chemical weapons or not, the next few weeks in Syria will be tough to watch

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