Destroyed World War Two weapons are displayed during a media demonstration at the Society for the Disposal of Chemical Weapons and Ordnance (GEKA) in Munster, March 5, 2014.
Fabian Bimmer / Reuters

On October 27, Syria’s citizens might finally see some justice. That day, the United Nations Security Council will meet to discuss the latest report from international inspectors who have gathered copious evidence that Syria has been a blatant violator of the 1997 treaty banning the development, production, stockpiling, and use of any toxic chemical in war.

Nothing in the report should be surprising. As I wrote in 2013, after Syrian President Bashar al-Assad bowed to Russian and U.S. pressure following his use of sarin gas on civilians and joined the Chemical Weapons Convention, it was not likely that he would just “meekly” forfeit his chemical weapons capabilities “barring a miraculous personality change.” Indeed, given his merciless conduct of the war—including the calculated use of poison gas to kill, injure, and terrorize rebel civilians—Assad was practically bound to cheat.

To be sure, after joining the chemical convention, Syria at first

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