President Obama deserves kudos for going to Congress, to seek approval for military strikes against Syria. This country has a long, bloody history of military actions that were not authorized by Congress. But Congress must do the right thing, and tell him "no."
Use of chemical weapons is horrific, but the question isn't whether or not it is against international or moral law, it's what would be accomplished by bombing. To reiterate:
Assad will remain. His military will remain. The chemical stockpiles will remain. Al Qaeda will remain one of the chief beneficiaries of any U.S. strike.And the risk of escalation is growing.
But the real bottom line was perfectly summarized by Meteor Blades:
Any attack is bound to kill more civilians in a nation where more than 100,000 people, a large portion of them civilians, have already been killed. A case could be made that attacking now could save future lives. But there is no evidence that the kinds of attack that seem likely to be carried out, even if they were to topple Assad, would achieve such a goal.So, thanks and praise to President Obama for going through the appropriate legal process before launching any military attack. It's now up to Congress. Which must tell him "no."
Assad's government has been involved in a string of massacres, tortures and other crimes. The rebels have committed atrocities of their own. The use of chemical weapons, whoever is doing it, is a war crime. And war crimes ought not to go unpunished, although most do, as we have unfortunately seen right here at home with such criminals getting fat speaking fees and big advances on their memoirs. That fact alone is, to use the words of John Kerry, a "moral obscenity."
People high and low across the political spectrum in the United States keep saying there are no good options in Syria. When that is the case, how is it that bombing gets moved to the head of the queue as one of those options?