There are so many problems with the propaganda campaign against Assad getting unrolled now.
(1) You can’t treat exposure to sarin with your bare hands without falling ill/dead yourself, as the White Helmets were apparently doing in the aftermath of the Idlib attack.
(2) As Syrian war reporter @Partisangirl noticed, some journalists were apparently discussing a chlorine sarin attack before it actually happened.
(3) It is eerily reminescent of the aftermath of the 2013 Gouta attacks, in which the Western media and neocon and neocon-in-all-but-name politicians and punditry parroted the official line that Assad’s troops were responsible even though consequent journalistic work by Sermour Hersh and MIT raised serious doubts over the veracity of that allegation.
(4) The “moderate rebels” have themselves resorted to poison gas on various occasions.
(5) Unlike in 2013, Assad is now winning. Why on Earth now, of all times, would he resort to poison gas – one of the few things he can do to that is capable of provoking a strong Western reaction – just to kill all of 75 civilians?
It just makes no sense.
So one can’t help but treat Nikky Haley’s melodramatic performance at the UN with skepticism. The idea that the poisoning was due to a bomb hitting a chemical weapons manufactory seems more plausible.
Trump’s initial non-interventionist rhetoric on assuming the Presidency was encouraging, as was his promotion of other anti-war figures such as Tulsi Gabbard. However, the latest response of the US administration, including Trump himself, is not giving any cause for optimism:
I will tell you that attack on children yesterday had a big impact on me, big impact. That was a horrible, horrible thing. And I’ve been watching it, and seeing it, and it doesn’t get any worse than that… And I will tell you it’s already happened, that my attitude toward Syria and Assad has changed very much.
To be sure, one might view this as a merely ritualistic expression of outrage, but also coming on as it does on the eve of Steve Bannon’s dismissal from the National Security Council… one can’t help but start having dark thoughts on whether the deep state might be triumphing after all.