Word has come that Bashir al-Assad’s illegitimate regime has begun moving stockpiles of chemical weapons within Syria. There are a few hopeful pundits floating the idea that Assad might be doing this to secure these potent weapons, keeping them away from terrorist groups who might use the chaos currently raging through Syria as an excuse to make a grab for VX or sarin gas. However, the obvious conclusion is that Assad, much like Hitler in his last days, is preparing a potential final solution. While Hitler did not ultimately unleash his last swipe at the world which had so righteously smote him, Middle Eastern wars in the near past have shown a remarkable embrace of chemical war tactics. In the end, Assad may not have the scruples of Hitler.
This movement of weapons of mass destruction within Syria is a clear sign of escalation (as if the slaughter of 400+ Syrian civilians last week wasn’t enough). The need to move against the Syrian monarchy is imperative, yet the international community is still stymied, even with the lessons of Libya fresh in our minds. Who, besides the United States, can step forward and deal the Assad regime the death blow it so desperately needs?
Perhaps the Arab League? The failure of this laughable entity is total and, sadly, utterly predictable. As we saw in Libya, the effectiveness of the pan-Arabic union is worse than useless. While many believe the AL’s incompetence stems from a lack of organization, I am of the opinion that Syria’s brutal repression of its people deeply pleases the leadership of countries like Saudi Arabia.
Assad’s bloodthirsty regime has slaughtered Arab Spring protesters wholesale, striking a grand contrast to Egypt, Libya, Tunisia and Yemen, all nations that have bowed to the pressure of their constituents to incorporate democratic ideals. In the case of Libya a good deal of blood was spilled, but in the end a proper and positive outcome (thanks to NATO aid) ruled the day. These successful rebellions against totalitarian rulers terrify the monarchs and military strongmen of the Middle East.