Setting that aside, however, one has to view the chemical warfare claims with the skepticism called for by the history of the rationales used as the bases for past aggressive military actions.
* The Nazis used the claim that their opponents and would-be targets set the Reichstag fire in Berlin in 1933 to gain power and justify coming down on their domestic enemies and Jews. Of course, the whole thing was staged.
* Six years later, Nazi German faked a Polish attack on a German radio station as an excuse to begin the attack on Poland that started World War II.
* False claims by the Johnson Administration of an attack on an American naval ship led to the U.S. Congress authorizing the expansion and intensification of our Vietnam War debacle.
* Still more recently, our current endless war in the Middle East began on the basis of faulty intelligence claims about the possession of weapons of mass destruction by Saddam Hussein in Iraq.
The lesson to be drawn from the foregoing examples -- which are just a few of the many that could be cited -- is that we would be well advised to question any evidence proffered, first, about whether chemical weapons actually were used in the Syrian conflict, and second, if they were, about the identity of the dastardly party or parties who used them.
And finally, why should we care? Neither side in Syria's domestic bloodletting is noble or friendly toward the U.S., and both of them strike me as being equally murderous, demented, and evil.
Remember too that the war drums always are beaten by governmental elders, statists, who have in mind the adage that
War Is the Health of the State
and that others will be doing the fighting, dying, and suffering.