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The United States is not obstructing Assad's military progress.Then as now, Assad thinks he can slaughter civilians when and where he wishes, so long as he refrains from using certain kinds of chemicals. Boot acknowledges that Assad's assaults on civilian residential areas are war crimes. Would a Washington endorsement of Assad's incumbency, coupled with operational indifference to mass homicide, stop the merciless bombardments of hospitals, schools, marketplaces, mosques and apartment buildings? If the taboo has one practical use, it is this: If Assad decides to use sarin gas now, as he did in April 2017, the American military response would likely be instant.As was the case nearly a year ago, when President Donald Trump ordered cruise missile strikes in the wake of a regime chemical atrocity, the use of sarin now would presumably prompt a similar operation to neutralize some of Assad's weapons of mass terror: aircraft, artillery, rockets and the like.If he believes that letting Assad win is the ultimate answer, fine. He can rest assured there is nothing in the current policy of the U.S. government standing in the way of that outcome.
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