Patrick Cockburn writes for The Independent. He is accusing Assad of the horrific events of Wednesday. But at least he provides a possible reason. Besides using the "only Assad could have killed on such a massive scale" argument, Cockburn proposes:
If the Syrian leadership knew that chemical weapons were going to be used, what could be their motive? They may be so convinced of American weakness and so confident of the backing of Russia and Iran that they feel they can ignore international condemnation. They may have seen Egypt's security forces shoot down hundreds of Muslim Brotherhood supporters on 14 August and thought, "If they can get away with it, so can we." Even so, the benefits of such an operation were always going to be outweighed by political costs abroad.
Other factors, too, may have been at work. The Middle East has been bubbling, this past year, with exaggerated talk of US political and military decline, pumped up by visits from US politicians such as Senator John McCain denouncing White House "cowardice". No doubt the US has a weaker position in the Middle East because of the Iraq and Afghan wars, when its army failed to defeat limited guerrilla forces. But US and Nato intervention in Kosovo in 1999 was cited last week as an example of interventions that succeeded.
...But the action is also a sign of weakness, suggesting the Syrian army cannot capture with conventional arms districts such as Jobar close to the centre of Damascus.
[source : Did Syria gas its own people? The evidence is mounting..., The Independent, http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/did-syria-gas-its-own-people-the-evidence-is-mounting-8783590.html, 25th August 2013]
So according to Cockburn, because he is "so convinced of American weakness" and that "the Syrian army cannot capture with conventional arms districts such as Jobar close to the centre of Damascus", Assad just decided to kill approximately 1000 of his own people, including lots of children, thus giving Cameron and Hague and Netanyahu and Kerry and Fabius and Hollande the casus belli to attack Syria.
The Syrian government denies it had anything to do with the gas attack, but it has not given a credible account of what did happen. Initially, there was disbelief that it would do something so patently against its own interests, but all the evidence so far is that it has done just that.
But the main point I take from Cockburn's drivel is that even though he recognises that the rebels may have tried to fake evidence of chemical weapons use before, this time they are the pinnacle of righteousness and virtue. Cockburn writes:
...By the same token, the opposition has tried by every means to secure armed intervention by the US and its allies sufficient to win the war.
The action by the Syrian government most likely to push an unwilling White House into military involvement has been the open use of chemical weapons against civilians. Damascus has furiously denied in the past that it had done so and proof has been lacking. Rebel accusations might have been fabricated and claims by Western governments were tainted by propaganda.
But as stated, Cockburn accuses Assad simply because of the reported large numbers of dead, not because of any proof, and he also refuses to address the possibility that this time the rebels are once again fabricating evidence. But as we are beginning to hear, the numbers of dead are being significantly revised down, from initial estimates of approaching 2000 down to less than 400. And 400 dead over three areas is possible from a small quantity of deadly chemicals if the concentrations of the chemicals and target human populations are high enough.
Cockburn married into the extremely wealthy Jewish Montefiore family. His wife is a direct descendent of the same Moses Montefiore who devoted his life and fortune to establishing a Jewish colony in Palestine.
So that is one 'respected' 'journalist' dealt with.
Now, onto The Guardian/Observer.
The Guardian is the controlled left. It pushed mass genocide at Copenhagen, and supports Mikhail Khordokovsky. It ran the Iraq War Logs of Wikileaks and is currently running the Snowden revelations. The result of the latter is that Russia and the USA are not now talking to each other at this crucial stage of troubled international diplomatic relations. Snowden is a wrecker. So well done to The Guardian and Snowden.
The Editorial of The Observer today is as blatant a leftist call for war that you will ever read, citing R2P. The editorial does not accuse Assad of using weapons, it merely addresses the use of chemical weapons by persons as yet unknown, and that such use must be stopped by attacking missile sites. But whose missile sites?
Yet the case for military intervention has still to be made. Obama seems intent, rightly, on getting international agreement for an even more limited form of action – securing chemical weapons or neutralising missile sites. And, looking back at Libya, Iraq and Afghanistan, who can say with any certainty that the lives of Syrians would improve in the long term if such a course of action was taken?
But as the situation deteriorates, there is a responsibility on all our parts to engage meaningfully with this debate and consider the choices we might face. If, after due consideration, the decision is made to leave well alone, we will at least be clearer as to why we have made that choice.
[source : Choosing between bad options in Syria becomes ever more complex, The Observer, http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/aug/24/options-syria, 25th August 2013]
Again, the presumption is that Assad is guilty. There is no mention of destroying the rebels and their weapons. Or that the rebels are guilty. The editorial is classic R2P.
The classic R2P editorial concludes:
We can avert our eyes when "suspected" chemical attacks take place. Can we still avert our eyes if they are proved to have taken place? The answer may still be yes, but let's explain to those caught in the Syrian nightmare why that is so.
Yes, let's explain why there is a Syrian nightmare, shall we?
Let's explain that in 1996 Zionists wrote A Clean Break demanding war on Iraq, Iran, Syria and Hezbollah.
Let's explain that Zionists formed The Project for a New American Century calling for a global warmongering rampage but recognising the need for a "new Pearl Harbor".
Let's explain that on 9/11 the PNAC Zionists were in charge of the US military as four alleged hijacked passenger planes flew unimpeded around US airspace for nearly two hours before flying into The Pentagon, thus providing that "new Pearl Harbor".
Let's explain that shortly after 9/11 General Wesley Clark was told of the PNAC Zionist plan for war on seven nations in five years; Iraq, Iran, Syria, Lebanon (Hezbollah), Libya, Sudan and Somalia.
Let's explain that by 2007 this plan was moribund so a Plan B was agreed between the USA, Israel and Saudi Arabia that the latter would unleash the nastiest cutthroat Jihadis onto those nations named to Clark.
Let's explain that the Jihadis were first sent into Libya where they received assistance from British Special Forces.
Let's explain that after killing our former ally in the Global War on Terror, Colonel Gaddafi (who was giving names of al Qaeda to MI6 and CIA), the Jihadis and weapons looted from the arsenal of the Libyan military were transported to Syria via Turkey and Lebanon.
Let's explain that in 2009 former French foreign minister Roland Dumas was asked by British officials to help plan the invasion of Syria by these Jihdadis.
Let's explain that Russia proved that the rebels used chemical weapons at Khan al Assal, prompting the rebels to massacre every living thing there so that no survivors could testify to UN investigators.
And let's explain that the rebels have filmed their experiments with chemicals, have filmed themselves issuing threats of using chemical weapons, their dens have been found to have contained barrels of chemicals, and the rebels have been arrested with kilograms of chemical weapons.
Yes, let's explain that despite all this evidence, our glorious leaders still accuse Assad of killing 1000 of his own people for no apparent reason, to give them the perfect casus belli to bomb Syria to smithereens.
This, oh mugged off people of Great Britain, is your media, your leadership, your country.