Re "Video killings spotlight Syrian rebel extremists" (Page A1, Sept. 5): Syria's Bashar Assad is both ruthless and intelligent. He certainly understood that deploying chemical weapons would be a stupid thing to do, and would lead to international outrage.
If I were an al-Qaida operative embedded with the opposition, the single most effective thing I could do would be to deploy chemical weapons in areas held by the rebels, implicating Asaad. The ghastly videos following such secret operations would predictably lead to America's current confused, polarized and frightening dilemma. This smells like a set-up, my fellow Americans. Think about it.
-- Jim Lewis, Grass Valley