When you are looking for an explanation for events to which you don't have all the facts its useful to use Occam's Razor. I don't know what the truth is about the reported chemical attack on civilians in Syria. No one else, including Donald Trump does either, other than those that were responsible. That is why, before jumping to a response, it would have been at least useful to have had an inquiry into what actually happened.
But, using Occam's Razor the facts we do know suggest that the blame placed on Assad is probably wrong. Yes, Occam's Razor would say, what seems the most obvious answer, and given that Assad's regime has chemical weapons, and warplanes there is certainly a case for coming to that conclusion, but as one US military expert has said, if it was, it must have been one of the stupidest moves by any political leader ever. Given that Assad, and his Russian backers certainly are not stupid, and have shown themselves ahead of the tactical and strategic game all along, that at last ought to cause some further consideration.
Yes, Assad has chemical weapons and warplanes, but with the world, and particularly US satellites and other surveillance, in a world of instant citizen journalism, why would he think that it was possible to launch such an attack, and why would he or his Russian backers think it would go unnoticed, or that he could get away with it?
But, even if he thought there was a chance of getting away with such an attack why bother? Why would he launch a chemical weapons attack that he knew would provoke a response, rather than continue using the barrel bombs, and other conventional weapons he has been using all along, which provoke no such response?
And, why bother when he is winning, or has effectively already won the war against his opponents? ISIS has been more or less wiped out, as a result of the offensive against them by Russian, Syrian, Iranian, Turkish and Hezbollah forces. The other Al Qaeda offshoots are also close to being wiped out, as Turkey as moved closer to Russia, and started to close some of the arms routes through to Syria. The so called moderate Syrian opposition forces always were a mirage, a fiction created by western politicians to justify their intervention in Syria, just as they invented such forces in Iraq and Libya. So, why would Assad, and still more, why would his Russian backers risk all that by unnecessarily using chemical weapons rather than simply using their overwhelming conventional military power?
Moreover, besides the fact that in recent months Turkey has moved closer to Russia and Iran, and thereby helped stem some of the flow of weapons and fighters into Syria from the Gulf states, and western Europe, the election of Trump, and his connections with Putin must have given the Russian and Assad the confidence that it was only a short matter of time before the remnants of any opposition were cleaned up. Trump himself in a tweet from 2013, said that Obama's decision not to follow through on his promised attack on Syria, if it crossed his red lines, had saved the US from a costly and ineffective intervention.
And herein lies the obvious answer provided by Occam's Razor. If there was no obvious reason for Assad or the Russians to launch a chemical attack on civilians, they probably didn't. If Assad and the Russians had no obvious benefit from launching such an attack, they probably realised that given that they have been winning the tactical and strategic game all along. The obvious answer here is that Assad and the Russians did not launch a chemical attack on civilians, but a naive Trump, at war with his own capitalist state, and particularly at war with his State Department, his CIA, and his Department of Defence, has been played, by the state, and driven quickly into a confrontation with his buddy Putin.
The evidence suggests that the civilians were affected by chemicals, but how is open to question. For a long period, various opposition forces had control over large areas of the country, including military bases and weapons storage areas. As they have lost ground its likely that any chemical and other weapons caches they came across would be moved, and given their propensity to site weapons in the middle of civilian areas, its quite probable that the cause was a cache of such weapons on the ground, being hit by bombs dropped by Assad's planes.
The Russians have suggested that it was actually Islamists that launched chemical filled shells that were responsible, but there is no more reason to believe that than to believe that it was Assad's forces that were responsible. It could have been a false flag operation, of which the US is well equipped to undertake, and has done many times in the past, for example, with the USS Liberty. Whatever the actual facts, its likely that it was not Assad's forces that were responsible, but that Trump has simply been played by his own state apparatus, thereby achieving their goal of driving a wedge between him and Putin.
As I said in my predictions for this year, the love affair between Trump and Putin would come to an end sooner or later, because all such relations always do. Not only is the relation one between two narcissists, who currently massage the others ego, but it is a relation between two ultra nationalists, in the same way as the relation between Hitler and Stalin broke down, and between Stalin and Mao etc.
The danger is with such figures, and their respective fingers on the nuclear button, the world has just become a more dangerous place than it has ever been.