How they got their samples is unclear, but for the sake of argument lets assume it's true. If so the al Assad regime violated Obama's red line. We also know that no actions will be taken. I've come to accept that as long as this administration holds office there will be no punitive action taken against any country no matter how egregious their actions.
The other shoe will fall when it will. No amount of ranting on my part is going to change what is. The madness in Syria has gone beyond the pale. It's sad though. There was a time, when the uprising first began, that we could have given aid to the rebels in some form without actually putting troops on the ground. The conflict could well be over and we could have had a say as to who would be the new leadership in return for the aid.
The opportunity is long gone. We've watched an emboldened Iran, Russia and Hezbollah come to the aid of al Assad and in so doing prolong the bloody conflict while giving Islamic radicals the opportunity to infiltrate and take over the ranks of the rebels. Why not? You take help from where ever it comes.
Now the region and the world is facing an end much like Egypt when we threw the imperfect Mubarak under the bus and ended up with the Muslim brotherhood. That's their problem, they'll have to sort it out.
We've come full circle it seems. Remember when then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton claimed to Bob Schieffer that Assad could be a reformer? The term 'reformer' might not be the best choice but sentiment is now in his corner. Before the unrest he protected Christians, their churches and the Syrian Jewish community such as it was. The country was secular. He, along with his supporters, are vehemently opposed to the Muslim Brotherhood. Membership in Syria would have gotten you executed.
If the outcome goes against al Assad we know what's coming. Israel will be annihilated, Jordon as we know it too. Then what? An even stronger foothold from which Islamic radicals will be able to expand their territory.
It does not bode well for the region nor the rest of the world as that radicalism creeps across Africa and further into Europe than it already is.
Will we support al Assad? No. That's a given. Can Iran and Russia save him? Perhaps - that has yet to play out. Will we support the rebels? No. We have a habit of picking the wrong sides anyway.
The really disappointing part to me is that we might have been able to help prevent the escalation of the war at it's outset yet we chose to do nothing. We chose to not even try. We have abdicated our place in the world. I hope we can live with the decision.