Just off the phone speaking to a friend in Tel Aviv … things are tense, and she has checked on her families gas masks. Not surprisingly (that figures), the Syrian threat to respond to any US attack with a counterattack on Israel doesn’t seem to have caused any alarm to any country (eg US or Australia) other than Israel. (having said that, this article is somewhat reassuring regarding Israel)
The inability of the UN Security Council to agree on a resolution, and the news that Russia is sending a couple of extra ships to the area is raising the stakes.
There’s plenty of commentary around to look at. I suspect (and hope) that the US (plus Britain and France) will content themselves with some VERY VERY strong words of condemnation, and DIRE warnings of what they will do if a chemical attack is repeated… and leave it at that.
Yes, Obama will lose face over his “red line” comment, but he’s lost face plenty of face elsewhere (ah small faces) .. Maybe a game of golf will settle him down… Alternatively, there may be a gentleman’s agreement that Obama will be allowed to send a missile into an empty Syrian military camp .. and then go back to his golf… speaking of which, the New Yorker cartoon this week has a good golf themed example here
For some comment see a summary from Joshua Landis
Having said all that, isn’t it absolutely outrageous that a lethal chemical attack can be used like this by Syrians against civilians – men women and children – of their own country in such a callous way.