A limited cruise missile strike on Assad after he has used WMD on his own people is the equivalent to a mild barehanded swat on his clothed bottom, being afraid to spank in case it “leaves a mark”.
Vice President Biden has adamantly stated there is no doubt Syrian president Bashar Assad is responsible for using chemical weapons on his own people in the current Syrian civil war. Now Sec. of State John Kerry has echoed the same in his speech yesterday announcing that the U.S. cannot stand by without taking action. (even if such ‘action’ isn’t as destructive as a recent California fireworks show that went awry last July 4th!)
Don’t forget that the ONLY justification for our invasion of Iraq was Saddam Hussein having used chemical weapons on the Kurds in Iraq, and we waited over 10 years to do something about that, using it as an ‘excuse’ to occupy Iraq for more than 10 years now. If we really cared about Saddam’s use of chemical weapons (only used 4 times since World War 1, twice by Saddam) we would have acted when it happened in the 80’s instead of waiting until Bush Jr. was in office looking for an excuse to occupy the Middle East after 9/11. (This oddly enough despite the fact that Al Qaeda was known NOT to be in Iraq at all)
Don’t get me wrong, we need to act and we need to act forcefully when such human rights violations occur, especially when they involve chemical weapons of mass destruction. The problem with the Iraq situation was, we didn’t act when we should have initially, and when we finally used it as an excuse in 2000, we didn’t just deal with Saddam and get the hell out. We stayed in a protracted bullshit war because of a deeper agenda to have a permanent occupation and base of operation in the Middle East, not to mention our interest in the lucrative oil reserves there and a hardly ever reported plan to build a natural gas pipeline in the Middle East, Asia and Afghanistan.
People who are selfish isolationists love to ask why we should get involved internationally in such civil wars. The answer is because of what we stand for. We are the equivalent of the only ‘adult in the room’ morally speaking. (One could argue that we share company with Britain and Israel as well.)
As such, when this kind of genocide and mass killing occurs, WHETHER OR NOT by chemical weapons, morally speaking we cannot stand by and do nothing(as we actually HAVE done…As the expression goes: “Don’t just do something, STAND THERE!”). And a limited strike with cruise missiles for a day or two IS DOING NOTHING. One could argue it is WORSE than doing nothing. God forbid we strike a facility that has WMD’s and release the chemical weapons into the air by our own missiles!
We can’t be like an ineffective parent afraid to be criticized for discipline of a violent delinquent juvenile. Assad’s behavior as a homicidal dictator in Syria having indiscriminately killed tens of thousands, and now in addition thousands more with chemical weapons, is so out of control and ‘off the reservation’, it is comparable to us being the only adult in the room and the delinquent juvenile has just set fire and burned thousands of kids in their beds. We know we have to act. So we decide we must give this delinquent murderous juvenile just a swat through his pants on the rear end. Just one swat and we must not leave a mark. This way we can be seen as having done something.