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Assad to US, EU: Just Try To Stop Me

Reports are emerging today of a horrific chemical weapons attack in a suburb of Damascus. Reuters initially put the tally at “over 200” dead. An opposition group counted 494 dead. George Sabra, an opposition official, said 1,300 people had died. Images and videos of children and women and elderly and ordinary people, dead without visible wounds, were taken by Reuters photographers and others. Hospital personnel say they arrived with foam in their mouths and pupils dilated, which is consistent among victims of a gas attack.

As is usually the case in war zones, we don’t yet fully know what happened. But the timing of the attack could not have been more perfect, if that’s the right word: several UN chemical weapons inspectors, sent to investigate earlier conflicting reports of gas attacks by rebels and government soldiers, were in Damascus. Now they might have a chance to examine evidence while it’s fresh.

If Assad indeed did order the gassing of hundreds of civilians while UN inspectors were literally in the neighborhood, he will have successfully communicated the deepest levels of contempt for the Western powers wagging their fingers at him. This wouldn’t just be crossing Obama’s red line. This is would be leaping over the line with gusto, kicking dust all over it, and taunting Obama and the Europeans to try to do anything about it.

Has Assad finally miscalculated? Or does he in fact have Western leaders all figured out?

[Obama photo courtesy of Getty Images. Assad photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.]

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  • James Jones

    And the answer is…..Assad has Western leaders all figured out! There will not be real, substantive penalties because that would require military intervention with large forces for a prolonged period.
    Western leaders love to talk, but they fear to act. Some fear action because they know their publics will not support it. Some fear action because they have let their militaries deteriorate so much that they can no longer deploy or sustain powerful expeditionary forces. And some fear action because resorting to decisive military force is a rejection of their deeply held belief that all conflicts can be settled through negotiation and press conferences.
    Another scary possibility is that President Obama and many of the European leaders no longer comprehend the realities of survival in dangerous regions like the Middle East. Their pious statements that X (ruler, nation, or group) MUST refrain from something or do something to conform with “international standards” simply make the hard men laugh in contempt.

  • gwvanderleun

    Assad has got it going on. He looked at what happened to the guy in Libya and said “Sodomy by knife? Not for me.”

    • James Jones

      Qaddafi was sodomized twice. The first time was by the US and UK when they (we) decided to back the French and Italians in support of the rebels. Qaddafi had agreed to give up his nuclear & chemical weapons programs & his support for Islamic terrorism if we would agree to let him stay in power. (All of this followed the invasion of Iraq and execution of Saddam Hussein).
      The Obama Administration reneged on the Bush Administration’s deal with Qaddafi. They also reneged on the long term policy of support for the Egyptian military’s de facto rule of Egypt when they helped push out Hosni Mubarak. It’s just another reason for Assad to ignore any threats from the West. Why not be an enemy if we can’t be counted on?

  • Blaton Hardey

    Woohoo!!! Finally some more to condemn and be concerned about. 20 years from now, comics about the wild 2010s will have a central character called “Obamaman”, who’s most effective attack is “being concerned”.

  • Matt B

    Under Obama, the US is a paper tiger, and Assad knows it. I can picture our president in front of a mirror tonight, practicing his “stern” look, searching for the words that will deliver him from this nightmare.

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