I’m wondering whether the allegations of chemical weapon use have anything to do with the Manning sentence – that is, a leak might have saved that situation.
I guess that whoever did the chemical weapons release wanted to make sure that the UN commission could not say that chemical weapons were not used. (Here, one imagines the off-hand flip and sarcastic remark “Even if it were right under their noses…”). Many innocent sleeping civilians were hurt from both sides. One notes the juxtaposition of the 1000 that were lost in Egypt last week, with the over 350 lost in Syria this week.
August 14, 2013 Over 1000 Egyptians are killed in an attempt to remove nonviolent protests from the squares of Cairo.
August 18, 2013 UN Commission arrives in Damascus, Syria to investigate chemical weapons allegations.
3:30am August 21, 2013 (8:30 PM August 20, 2013 US time) Chemical attack is alleged to have occurred in Ghouta, a suburb of Damascus, killing 350 (many children) from both sides of conflict.
10am August 21, 2013 Judge sentences Manning for intelligence leaks.
Perhaps the reporting of the incident in Ghouta was supposed to coincide with the sentencing?
Is the Ghouta incident a profound bitterness over inaction by others misdirected toward innocents?
Was it an accident? The chemicals stored or moved into an underground tunnel, and a missile unknowingly or accidentally fired onto it?
There is a significant part of me that cannot reconcile that a man trained to save people’s lives (medical training), would have any part in what is alleged to have happened in Damascus.
What is shocking to me is that everyone seems to talk about escalation in this situation. No one should rush anything. The best course seems to me to assume that, if chemical weapons were activated, it was an accident, an entrapment, or at worst, a provocation. At this point, one negotiates the release of everyone who wants to leave the situation.
There is nothing dumber than escalating a situation with chemical weapons in order to “save face” over something that was said. If chemical weapons are there, get everyone who wants to leave out, and focus on destroying any missiles that are launched close to where they are launched.