Syria seems to be moving ahead in the race to serve as the tipping point in the Middle East. Which side released the chemical weapons may not be that important based on the idea that perception is reality.
If this situation creates a scenario in which western powers become overtly involved then we may well be on the way towards seeing a tipping point created:
[So who does one believe?]
For a while it seemed as if the Egyptian situation would promptly escalate to all out war, and necessitate the US "liberation" of this or that interest or ideology (and certainly putting the Suez canal under US-controlled lockdown) until following a series of epically bungled missteps, Obama and John Kerry managed to alienate the Saudis and the Israelis who are firmly behind the new military countercoup government in Egypt, while the US still has to admit a coup ever happened. Which means only Plan B for middle-east escalation remains: Syria.
Sure enough, this morning we woke up to the horrible news that hundreds of people had died following the use of nerve gas in an area close to Damascus in an attack that the "democratic" media, and the Qatari mercenaries, scrambled to pin on the Assad regime. Just like in June the US "found" Assad had used chemcial weapons, only for the UN and Russia to accuse the US of fabricating the data, and for the chemical weapon warehouse of the rebels to be uncovered shortly thereafter, which meant the Syria narrative would have to be put on hiatus for a few months: after all the lies were getting perilously close to those used by Bush in the Iraqi WMD fiasco.
Well, the administration appears certain enough time has passed by and has relaunched the old "blame Assad" plotline, with the WSJ reporting minutes ago that the US "sees strong indications" that Syria's government used chemical weapons in the attacks. What those are it is unclear as the US does not actually have presence on the ground, and neither have any UN inspectors been able to investigate. But why not go for round two of thefalse flag fabrication: maybe this time it will fly?
Syrian authorities denied using chemical weapons in their renewed offensive on Wednesday, accusing the opposition of fabricating claims or staging gas attacks themselves. "These claims are categorically false and completely baseless and are part of the filthy media war waged by some countries against Syria," a spokesman for Syria's armed forces said.
U.S. officials disagreed on Wednesday. "There are strong indications there was a chemical weapons attack—clearly by the government," a senior administration official said. "But we do need to do our due diligence and get all the facts and determine what steps need to be taken."
The United Nations Security Council, in an emergency meeting in New York, backed calls for a prompt investigation of the allegations, which came just days after a U.N. team arrived in Damascus to look into earlier claims of chemical-weapons use by both sides.
Rolf Ekeus, a retired Swedish diplomat who headed a team of UN weapons inspectors in Iraq in the 1990s:
The timing and location of the reported chemical weapons use - just three days after the team of U.N. chemical experts checked in to a Damascus hotel a few km (miles) to the east at the start of their mission - was surprising.
"It would be very peculiar if it was the government to do this at the exact moment the international inspectors come into the country," said Rolf Ekeus, a retired Swedish diplomat who headed a team of UN weapons inspectors in Iraq in the 1990s.
"At the least, it wouldn't be very clever."
Russia, a supporter of the Assad regime, suggested rebels had launched a chemical attack and blamed it on the regime in order to gain U.N. support and thwart a planned peace conference in Geneva. "All of this really looks like an attempt, at any cost, to create a reason to produce demands for the U.N. Security Council to side with the regime's opponents and undermine the chances of convening the Geneva conference," Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said.
Also in the news: