Just a short 2 days ago Obama stated that he would wait for all the "facts" and for a thorough UN investigation.
He also played down military action and stressed that a UN mandate and a strong international consensus would be needed before any tougher measures on Syria.
The British, in the last 24 hours or so stated that any action on Syria would have to be taken "in accordance with international law and would require broad international support". (statements by Cameron and Foreign Secretary Hague).
Now, on 8-26-13.... suddenly the UN doesn't matter. Any investigation has already been tainted. So they will create their own facts. They have basically made up their minds already (classic group-think). They decided to go to war even before the UN workers started their investigation. Let me translate what they mean by a broad international coalition. To them, a broad international coalition means NATO/Western nations (the rest of the world...the majority of the world doesn't count, particularly Russia, China & the developing world). Folks, that's not a broad coalition. To them, "international law" means whatever they decide it is going to be. So everything they stated they were going to do...in terms of doing things right.... I knew they weren't going to do. The drumbeat of war had already started some time ago... and their appetite for war is just too strong.
Obama has lied about not going to war and making such a grave decision without waiting for all information (one of many lies he has told regarding Syria...and other issues). He also hinted that he would not make a decision to use force unless it could be determined for sure what happened and who used what. Well, there is no way to determine that in this case. So that would be another lie to add to the pile.
I don't think Obama is as bright as people proclaim him to be. Clearly he doesn't understand international affairs, particularly in Asia and the Middle East. He just doesn't have a good grasp on what is going on. In the case of Syria, his inexperience and lack of good advisors has helped to lead up to this situation. For example, his "red line" speech was nothing short of stupidity. His advisors should have never allowed him to make that speech in the first place. I have no doubt that it actually exacerbated the situation in Syria. It gave extreme motive to any number of bad actors in the civil war.
The fact is that U.S. officials really don't know who is responsible for the alleged chemical attack. They are guessing. Obama has already made up his mind that he won't rely on the UN, after calling for a UN investigation. He will now rely on intelligence reports... which is just a system of guessing. The intelligence community in the U.S. has a bad reputation for getting these assessments wrong....and not just a little bit wrong... but extremely wrong, as was the case with Iraq. In the case of Iraq, U.S. policymakers (who also wanted to go to war anyway...and were looking for an excuse) relied on bad information from opposition groups and Iraq expatriates. It was revealed later, after the U.S. had already sacrificed much blood and treasure, that the whole effort by the opposition groups was an elaborate ruse and a fraud. It turned out that the information that they provided was completely phony....and thus, there were no weapons of mass destruction. The opposition groups, knowing that the U.S. wanted an excuse to go in, offered some bait that would allow us to do their dirty work and remove Saddam Hussein.
The U.S. is following the same script in Syria. It is clear that they simply want an excuse to go in, because they don't seem concerned at all about whether their information is correct.
Key fact missing here is that 1). There are several factions fighting in Syria with a motive to produce and to use chemical weapons. The U.N. has even reported that the rebels have had some responsibility for chemical weapons use.
2). There are numerous chemical weapons specialists in a country like Syria, many from the Army. The FSA is an offshoot of the regular Syrian Army, and many of these fighters (from the FSA opposition, and the regular pro government army) have had the same training on chemical weapons, ordinance use, and many could have at some point had access. The militant groups may also know how to make and use such weapons.
With Obama mentioning a "red line" for triggering U.S. military involvement (the #1 goal of rebel forces), he created the impetus for rebels and possibly others, to begin creating & using these weapons. There is no doubt that as soon as Obama made that "red line" speech, rebels and militant factions began either making chemical weapons (which a skilled chemical ordinance technician or a chemical engineer could do), or they set out to acquire them. Terrorists fighting both the FSA and the Assad government would love to have them. The point is, the government forces are not the only side in this fight who could possibly use chemicals.