A Republican senator figures the President will retaliate "in a very surgical and proportional way" against Assad, sometime in September.
Would that delayed military response be to stop further chemical attacks by the Syrian head man or simply to get even by killing his supporters too?
Are we so forgetful that we cannot remember where U.S. military intervention in the Middle East has led us so far? Sure, Assad's dangerous, a dictatorial madman, but so was Saddam Hussein. And look where our armed response to that bastard led us: twelve years of warfare in Iraq and thousands of American dead. Oh, yea, you might argue that we nailed Saddam, hiding in a hole, surgically and after months of delay. Big satisfaction from small pickin's,
You will be right if you say that we also surgically removed that other madman, Osama bin Laden. We did. He's dead and gone, but his gang of landless live assassins grows and remains a constant threat from all points on the globe.
I can find no rational reason we took him out by sending American soldiers to kill him in his Pakistani mansion, unless it was to satisfy our own lust for blood and revenge. We did not lose a single American soldier and that's wonderful but didn't we put them at great risk in order to kill one creep? Where's the logic?
Is it America's job to go around killing symbols?
I can find no rational reason [unless you trust our military and political leaders to be rational all, or even half, the time] why we are still fighting and dying in Iraq.
We cannot argue [correction: many of you will argue, despite overwhelming evidence of head-on failure and futility] that by "policing" villains we gained ground in our quest for the safety and freedom of Arabs anywhere. Bush's declared purpose in invading Afghanistan was to stop Taliban cruelty and suppression against its own countrymen and women; we never did stop the Taliban and the cruelty and suppression and murder continue, yet we're still there, fighting and dying.
What makes Obama so different in that respect from Georgie? Suppose he gets surgical on or after September 9, as the Republican senator expects, what will a surgical strike accomplish? Will that destroy Assad's chemical weapon capability? Maybe, yes.
Will it stop the elusive Assad himself, will it end the killing? On both counts: maybe--probably--no.
Will it give the rebels the push they need to bring down Assad? Can we even trust victorious Syrian rebels to align themselves with the west, or will they, as many reportedly already have, join forces with terrorists and repay our help with intensified and expanded hatred and terror against Americans and our allies?
I exclude our defenses against Al Qaeda and fellow terrorists. Searching out terrorists is not foolish. The difference between attacking an Arab country and those savages is those savages are spread everywhere; their primary aim is to kill us any way and from anywhere they can inhumanly devise. Will surgery kill them before they kill us?
So I have one last question: what do we have to gain by militarily taking sides in a single country, in another uncivil Arab war, for the third time in twelve years, when the first two prolonged attempts have failed miserably to halt death in Afghanistan and Iraq or the increasingly deadly export of Muslim fanaticism?