Let me state up front that I oppose intervention by the USA in the Syrian civil war. Both sides are strongly anti-American and, as far as I can tell, equally uncivilized. With regard to the alleged chemical weapon attack, I would not be surprised to find out any of three different things —
How can we know? Our government seems remarkably uninterested in actually finding out. Presumably they’ll find some online video that was the real cause.
There are so many things wrong about this it’s difficult to know where to start, but certainly the blatant lying about Benghazi, the support for the Muslim Brotherhood in Eqypt, the deteriorating situation in Libya, and the abandonment of Iraq count for much. The fact that the “plan”, as such, is to be just muscular enough to not be mocked with an unbelievably small attack, in the hope that Iran will abandon Syria in favor of the USA, makes it hard to take any bit of it seriously. After all, it’s already failed because it is being soundly mocked around the world.
Then there is the idea of shooting at chemical weapons — not usually the smarted move, really. And if you don’t do that, what exactly is to be accomplished?
Some argue; that if President Obama doesn’t get Congressional approval, he will lose credibility on the world stage and our enemies will be emboldened. I just have to laugh — that horse is already out of the barn and over the next valley. Our enemies have already taken Obama’s measure and no longer pay much attention to anything he says, unless it provides an opportunity to mock him or score points (which seems to be a favored past time for Russian President Vladimir Putin). I think, at this point, the USA will be less damaged by limiting the damage Obama’s foreign policy is doing.
What this reminds me so much of is the standard tranzi response to problems, which is to do something regardless whether there is any evidence or even a plan indicating these actions would improve the situation. The claim is that if you oppose doing something, regardless of the expected results, you favor whatever suffering is happening. We have simply moved from “we have no evidence this helps” to “we have no plan or expectation this will help”.
P.S. According to Secretary of State Kerry, lobbing cruise missiles at a country isn’t really an act of war, and he was OK with putting troops in Syria before he wasn’t. Before I can support a policy, I have to insist on having an actual policy.