Bashar Assad seems to have no qualms about doing just that. It brings truth to the idea that absolute power corrupts absolutely. The Middle East seems to be full of such leaders and the divide between them and their citizens seems to be escalating with numbing speed and cruelty.
Mr. Morsi's power grab in Egypt does not bode well for that country after the people had finally rid themselves of the preceding dictator. The civil war in Syria is far worse. What began as a protest has turned into a full fledged onslaught by government troops against not only the 'resistance', if you will, but the entire civilian population. The West has done what it does best. Tsk. Tsk. It's an internal problem, they'll have to sort it out themselves.
It's an easy out for the war weary unless you happen to be Syrian or on the wrong side of Russia and Iran who are supporting the government effort. I'm wondering if they will still continue to stand with Syria if Syria indeed brings into use it's supply of chemical weapons.
Desperate measures for desperate people? We know they have the weapons and we know they've been moving them around. We also know what horrible results will ensue should they actually be brought into use. Not only among what's left of the Syrian population, but also to their neighbors who have no skin in the fight except trying to save their own.
Our State Department, in the person of Secretary Clinton ,so you know it's important, came out today stating that the use of such weapons is a red line for the U.S. That it would prompt action. She went on to say she didn't want to 'telegraph' what we would do until there was 'credible evidence' that the weapons had been used.
Having heard such rhetoric so many times before I somehow doubt those words will deter Assad should he decide to move ahead. We talk, we dither, we study but we rarely 'do' anything other than posture and our enemies know it.
As far as 'credible evidence' is concerned, that would indicate the weapons had already been put into use. By then isn't it just a bit too late? Unspeakable damage will have been done and who knows who else might get their hands on any left overs. Entire populations could be wiped out. The death toll will soar to even greater heights and be unspeakably agonizing to the targeted masses.
If Iran and Russia stand behind Ssyria in the use of these weapons, the entire region and probably beyond is doomed. Perhaps it's time to move beyond platitudes and let them know exactly what we would do.
Or by following our usual procedure of rhetorical scolding, have we already done so?