Did our non-response to slaughter in Egypt embolden Assad to use WMD?

This is one of many questions asked in this NY Times piece by Anne Barnard, which looks at possible reasons Assad may have unleashed such a deadly chemical weapon attack. Bottom line: we may never know. But it is probable that somewhere in Assad's calculations, the idea that the world has become desensitized to the slaughter in Syria and Egypt may have played a role. "What makes military and strategic sense to Assad may not make military and strategic sense to us," said Emile Hokayem, a military analyst at the International Institute for Strategic Studies. "Assad is fighting his own fight on his terms and on the timing of his choosing. He may have made a mistake this time -- perhaps he didn't mean to kill that many, or assumed the international community had become less sensitive -- but it doesn't mean that it didn't make sense from his perspective." The attack, which killed hundreds of people in heavily bombarded suburbs east and southwest of Damascus, the capital, appears...(Read Full Post)