The Irrelevance of Chemical Weapons

Well, it’s been coming for a while now–Barack Obama has decided to arm the Syrian rebels. The justification? The administration believes that somewhere between 100 and 200 people in Syria have been killed with chemical weapons, specifically, nerve agents, even more specifically, sarin. It is too often taken for granted that the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government provides a good reason for the United States to intervene in the Syrian conflict on behalf of the rebels. The assumption must be questioned–does the use of chemical weapons make it in the interest of the United States to intervene where before it was not in the US interest to do so?

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