The thing about chemical weapons is that an odor usually follows their use, what is odd about Syria is that it is the United States' decision to arm the rebels that stinks.
The US, despite its poor track record of linking weapons to nations, has recently announced that because it now believes the Syrian government did use chemical weapons, arming the rebels is now a moral imperative. However the often under-reported and plainly ignored facts strongly suggest it was not the Syrian government that used chemical weapons, but the rebels.
Besides of course that a significant amount of rebels belong to Jabhat al-Nusra a group classified as terrorists by the US and the UN, perhaps the most striking evidence that the Syrian rebels used chemical weapons is that a large portion of those who died from them are government soldiers.
Time World has reported that there are four alleged instances of chemical weapon use in Syria with other news agencies reporting that in at least one of these the majority of deaths were pro-Assad forces.
From Time, June 5 2013: "On Monday, the U.N. panel charged with investigating Syria’s hostilities issued a report in Geneva, saying that there was evidence that “limited quantities of toxic chemicals” had been used in four attacks in March and April, twice in Aleppo, once in Damascus, and once in Idlib."
The idea that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad would use chemical weapons to kill his own soldiers who at the time were fighting the rebels is just one of the many inconsistencies in the US narrative in this civil war.
Another is that Assad, who knew using chemical weapons would bring US intervention, would have little reason to fire them, especially since his forces have had the upper hand for months. And not only did he not have a reason to use them, but using them to only kill a total of 100 to 150 people in four separate incidences would be inefficient; more traditional rockets and firepower are more accurate and far cheaper.
On top of all this is of course the fact that the UN has not only reported there is no evidence that Assad used chemical weapons, but that a UN inspector, independently, said it was the rebels who were the ones who used chemical weapons, which just so happens to explain why so many Syrian soldiers died from them.
Nonetheless, the United States has decided, despite the inconsistencies in its justification, to intervene in Syria's civil war.
And because of that some may draw parallels between US involvement in Iraq with Syria, but some caution is required. Yes, both involved fictitious weapon allegations and will only lead to more violence, more extremists, and more years if not decades of instability, but this time a government gets overturned, a nation is ruined, and millions of lives are affected without any Americans getting their boots dirty.
Smell that? That's progress.