Members of the UN Security Council cried after watching a video that shows doctors unsuccessfully trying to revive child victims of an apparent government chlorine gas attack in Syria last month.
One hopes they were tears of shame.
Samantha Power, America’s ambassador to the UN, pledged those responsible will be held to account.
Nobody believes her. Nobody should, anyway.
It was not even two years ago that evidence of poison gas attacks by Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad’s forces inconveniently became too persuasive for America to ignore.
In August 2012, U.S. President Barack Obama had declared that the use or transfer of a “whole bunch” of chemical weapons would be a “red line” for the United States. This didn’t stop Assad from gassing Syrians to death on several occasions after that statement was made, but he did so in sufficiently small numbers that Obama must have felt safe hiding behind his “whole bunch” threshold and did nothing.
Then, in August 2013, regime forces slaughtered some 1,400 Syrians in a sarin gas attack, including more than 400 children, according to White House figures. That, finally but temporarily, pushed Obama toward action.