So the Western media monopoly -- already running white hot trying to make a case that Assad, on the doorstep of military victory after a brutal six-year war against a foreign invasion, would risk losing everything by using sarin for negligible gains against a town behind the front lines -- has to in a sense "square the circle" and justify why Assad would use chemical weapons yet again.
It is absurd to say the least. But it is Max Fisher's assignment in "Why the Syrian Chemical Weapons Problem Is So Hard to Solve." One can go through and refute each argument that Fisher makes, like the first one, that chemical weapons are extremely effective and make up for the Syrian Arab Army's (SAA) manpower shortage. Chemical weapons are actually very difficult to use effectively. And the SAA has far more popular support in Syria than Nusra, ISIS or the Free Syrian Army.
But you know you are dealing with a stressed show pony when the writer contradicts himself in the same article. After arguing in his opening that Assad will continue to use chemical weapons because they are the most uniquely effective given Assad's manpower shortage, Fisher concludes by saying,
In waging total war against rebels and his own population, Mr. Assad has backed himself into an all-or-nothing conflict. Even if chemical weapons play only a secondary role in his political and battlefield strategies, he faces margins too slim and stakes too high to abandon them without a fundamental shift.Wait. I thought Assad used chemical weapons repeatedly despite continuing denials because they offered him a game-changing advantage. But here Fisher says they are of only secondary importance.
If the stakes Assad faces are "too high," why invite widening the war by using a weapon you know will be used by the West to justify attacking you?
Fisher sings for his supper. When you're on deadline mistakes are made. The important thing is the headline. But still, the Western media monopoly seems to be breaking down.