William Katz:  Urgent Agenda

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SYRIAN NIGHTMARE – AT 8:07 A.M. ET:  The latest from Syria is hardly encouraging, especially when we contemplate the risks to American troops of an intervention.  From Fox:

Syrian forces have mixed chemical weapons and loaded them into bombs in preparation for possible use on President Bashar Assad's own people, Fox News confirms.

A senior U.S. official told Fox News that bombs were loaded with components of sarin gas, a deadly nerve gas. Syrian forces have 60 days to use these bombs until the chemical mixture expires and has to be destroyed.

NBC News, which first reported this latest escalation in the Syrian civil war, cited sources saying bombs filled with a sarin component have not yet been loaded onto planes, but the Syrian military is prepared to use these chemical weapons against civilians pending orders from Assad.

The sarin could be delivered in several ways but is believed to have been placed in fracturable canisters that can be dropped from planes, according to a senior US military source.

"We think they have it in aerosol form," the source told Fox News.

The United States has said chemical weapons use would be unacceptable and would trigger greater Western intervention in the conflict.

The US military is making contingency plans should Assad leave suddenly. Various Middle Eastern countries are trying to find a place to give Assad asylum, according to Middle Eastern diplomatic sources.

In Brussels earlier Wednesday, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton reiterated concerns that "an increasingly desperate Assad regime might turn to chemical weapons" or lose control of them to militant groups.

COMMENT:  It gets worse and worse in Syria.  There really is no American policy, just a day-by-day wait for developments, and an endless stream of spineless statements.  Meanwhile, the president is ready to go on still one more Hawaiian vacation.

I wonder what the rest of the world sees when it looks at American leadership.  Of course, the left is jubilant, as we have a willful weakening of the United States.  The more thoughtful observers among our foreign allies must be appalled. 

December 6,  2012