The use of chemical weapons by any nation or group against any people is deplorable and should be universally condemned. A far greater condemnation, and much more, would be appropriate for the use of nuclear weapons. A distinct possibility of a nuclear conflagration occurring in the Middle East will be enhanced by a nuclear-armed Israel and Iran.
Iran is on the fast track to developing a nuclear arms capacity, and Israel already has it. Israel has made clear that if Iran gets close to a breakout or nuclear armament, it will attack those facilities as it has done to both Syria and Libya in the past. The United States has pledged it will support those efforts.
At its current pace of nuclear development, Iran's breakout is inevitable within the next year, which also means an Israeli attack is certain. With Muslim countries and their air space to the north and south of Israel, the most direct air strike route to Iran is through Syria, an ally of Iran.
If the United States is able to destroy most of Syria's military command and control infrastructure, which would include airstrips, aircraft, anti-aircraft defenses and radar installations, it will pave the way for successful Israeli air strikes, which is the real reason for an attack on Syria.
No matter how successful the attack is on Iran, ultimately it will achieve a nuclear capacity as has North Korea, and that is why a negotiated peace settlement in the Middle East is crucial to the well-being not only of that region but also of this planet.
CALVIN K. CLINTON SR.