“If these chemical attacks were ordered, orchestrated or even tacitly permitted by Bashar al Assad, the United States can never grant him the imprimatur of our approval by recognizing him any longer as the legitimate head of state of the Syrian people.”
I am not quite sure I understand the logic there. I assume that the USA or Russia or China or whoever, will recognise whatever government is expedient to their interests at any given time anywhere. Whether that government is murdering people or not has never mattered in the past, so I am not optimistic that that will change any-time soon.
Don’t forget that Saddam Hussein was lauded in the USA for his place as a “moderate Arab leader;” only days before he suddenly became compared to Hitler; not because he was murdering people; but because he started messing with the oil supply.
Today “moderate Arab leaders” include the Saudi Royal Family: Enough said.
The use of poison or infection against civilian populations has been recorded since Roman times. But in the relatively modern era it was Britain and Germany that led the way. Gas was used as a major weapon in the Crimean war for the first time as far as I am aware; and of course chemical weapons were used by both sides in WWI.
But as far as I am aware, the first time chemicals were used on a large scale against civilian populations was during the British bombing of the Kurds in 1920. Winston Churchill; not understanding the revulsion; waved it off as simply “the appliance of science to warfare.”
It is ironic that the use of chemical weapons on civilian populations in Iraq; one of the justifications the British government used to join America in the war there, to protect the Kurdish population that Britain had, in the past, subjected to the same chemical attacks.
You couldn't make it up; but such is politics.
In the end it was all about the gold. It always has been.