The writer takes a closer look at the headlines, and sees the same people making the same case about Syria that they did for Iraq:

“On April 26, for example, a story by Mark Landler and Eric Schmitt was entitled ‘White House Says Syria Has Used Chemical Arms.’ The factual substance of the article was ambiguous, and its headline might more accurately have read: ‘Chemical Weapons Used in Syria. US Uncertain of Source.’ Again, on May 7 the headline delivered a judgment: ‘White House Sticks to Cautious Path on Syria.’ This would not, in most papers at most times, have qualified as a front-page story at all. That there has been no change of policy is hardly news unless a great many sensible persons are expecting a change. The headline implied that the common sense of the well-informed now favors armed intervention; yet the paper had carried the day before, in a corner of page 9, a Reuters dispatch of some significance. This was a report of a statement by a qualified investigator, Carla Del Ponte of the UN commission of inquiry on Syria, who flatly contradicted the rumors of the use of sarin by the Assad government: ‘This was use on the part of the opposition, the rebels, not by the government authorities.’ UN officials commented that there was ‘no conclusive proof’ about the use of chemical weapons. Astonishingly the Reuters story was neither analyzed nor incorporated in the lead Times story of the day’s events.”