Bomb Syria? 9/7/13

gas_maskA lot of news out of Syria of late, much of it about someone, most likely the government of “President” Bashar Al-Assad, using chemical weapons in their ongoing civil war.  We’ve seen war hawks in our government and media urging attacks by the US on Syria, as well as protests against such action.

I’m very ambivalent about US intervention, even if there were to be support from the International community and the UN, especially after our previous “successes” in Iraq and Afghanistan.  I’m not sure our intervention would accomplish anything other than create additional instability in the region, and short of an all-out invasion as in Iraq, we cannot predict the outcome.  (Even with a large invasion, we certainly didn’t have the outcome the Bush Administration promised in Iraq.  Our record with such things hasn’t been the best in this century.)

I’m leaning towards supporting a “surgical” strike (although they seldom really are) on Syria in response to the chemical weapons attacks.  Whether on the weapons themselves (assuming we know where they are, and they haven’t been moved), or on the systems that support their deployment, I think we need to do something, and fairly soon.

I don’t think we’ll be successful in “regime change”, nor do I think we’ll significantly reduce Al-Assad’s military capability.  What I think will result from such an attack is a chilling effect on anyone else considering using chemical weapons.  People who consider using them should wonder if doing so will result in cruise missiles raining down on them in response.

While it’s perhaps splitting hairs, since you’re just as dead whether you are the victim of a bullet, a cluster bomb, a land mine, a mortar round, or a chemical weapon, we as a “civilized” community have decided chemical weapons are unacceptable.  If we don’t respond forcefully to their use, do we encourage it in the future?

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