A too-timely change in the calculus

It’s pretty well understood that the Assad regime has the Syrian civil war well in hand.  So, are we supposed to believe that the regime is not only dumb enough to resort to chemical weapons it didn’t use when it was in far more dire straits, but just happened to pick the one weapon that could be expected to trigger US involvement?  That makes no sense.

“A year ago President Obama promised that the use of chemical weapons against Syrian rebels would bring a game-changing shift in U.S. posture toward Assad’s often brutal regime.

“‘We have been very clear to the Assad regime, but also to other players on the ground,’ Obama said on August 20, 2012, ‘that a red line for us is [if] we start seeing a whole bunch of chemical weapons moving around or being utilized. That would change my calculus.'”

I think it is considerably more likely that the Syrian rebels staged the chemical attack in order to try to force the West’s hand.  Foreign Affairs even stated: “months of fighting have underlined the harsh reality that the opposition is outmatched”. To be honest, if I thought the Obama administration wanted yet another war on its hands – and I most certainly do not – I would find Obama to be a far more credible suspect than Assad.