This was before Assad's Left apologists, like Amy Goodman and Phyllis Bennis took to the air waves to offer Assad "plausible denial", accuse the opposition of gassing itself, and argue that there was no "confirmed proof", whatever that is, that Assad was guilty of this particular war crime. ["I shot the sheriff..." You know how it goes.]
In spite of their "doubts," it was clear to rational people that the Assad Regime was responsible for the deaths of over 1400 people including more than 400 children. Bashar al-Assad was at a political low point both within Syria, the Arab nation and the larger world.
A week later, Bashar al-Assad's political standing is at a high point as the image of Bashar al-Assad, the blood soaked butcher of East Ghouta has largely been replaced by the illusion of Bashar al-Assad, the "resistance" fighter who stared down a US president, and this turn around in political fortunes has been the results of the efforts of one man - United States President Barack Obama.
First, by announcing his intentions to immediately move on Assad because of the chemical murders, and moving a few ships around to make his point, he immediately shifted the focus from Assad's atrocities to "NATO's War on Syria." It really didn't matter that the Obama administration was promising that what the Left was calling the "US War on Syria" would be nothing more than a shot across Assad's bow, the US Peace and Just Us* movement was out in droves, not to protest Assad, the mass murderer, but to defend Assad, the "anti-imperialist" hero.
Second, with his uses of the congressional gambit to delay any action, he has handed Assad a big victory. Assad can gloat at having stared down the imperial beast because that beast isn't fundamentally opposed to the use of poison gas to suppress populations and just needs to sound opposed for PR reasons. It is actually grateful to Assad for spearheading the reintroduction and happy the peace movement has been tricked into not opposing it. In this case it really is a paper tiger.
Since this proposed "shot across the bow" has only been postponed, not canceled, Assad can now continue to reap all the political benefits to be derived from his having so far prevailed in the "NATO War on Syria" without suffering a single casualty. He can continue to use the threat of US bombs to unite his people and while the opposition sees no military benefit from a US strike, Assad's claim that they are tools of US imperialism is greatly enhanced.
Most importantly, there is really nothing in the past week's events that should deter the Assad regime from continuing with and even enlarging upon its poison gas attacks on the areas it is ethnically cleansing.
All and all, it has been a very good week for Bashar al-Assad. Not bad, considering he just committed the worst crime against humanity since Rwanda, and while the US Left has done what little it could to revive his standing, first prize has to go to Barack Obama, and it should be clear to all that the courtship continues.
More from me on Obama's relationship with Assad:
Obama's Dilemma and Assad's Opportunity
Barack Obama's Courtship of Bashar al-Assad
Obama Denied Gas Masks to Assad's Victims
Barack Obama's Courtship of Bashar al-Assad Exposed!
Obama "green lights" Assad's slaughter in Syria
Assad's Redline and Obama's Greenlight!
Chemical weapons use in Syria, Has Obama's red-line has been crossed?
AP weighs in on Obama's Green Light for Assad's slaughter in Syria
Syria: Obama's moves Assad's "red line" back as SOHR reports 42,000 dead!
SecState John Kerry and his "dear friend" Bashar al-Assad
How Obama's 'No MANPADS for you' policy in Syria is backfiring
More thoughts on Obama's 'No MANPADS for you!' policy
Obama: Did the CIA betray Assad's opposition in Syria?