The United States, Syrian govt use of Nerve Gas…and our Options

This morning it became clear that the President is seriously thinking of militarily intervening in Syria–because it’s now coming clear that men, women and children are being killed by Sarin nerve gas there. One key remark he made (paraphrasing here) is that “It is a threat to the security of the USA when people are using nerve gas anywhere.”… People talk as if Egypt, Syria, the middle east in general, is all part of the USA. “Why doesn’t the President do something more about Egypt?” Egypt is not Missouri or Oregon. It is a foreign country so he can only do so much. And he can only do so much about Syria…But there were hints in his remarks today that *if the UN approves* he’s going to intervene in some way. …President Clinton said that his own greatest policy mistake in office was not doing anything about Rwanda when it was clear that genocide was taking place there. He regrets it… But these aren’t American states–so why do we have to take responsibility? Because we can. And because no one else is doing so, in any major way. Re Egypt, our military intervention doesn’t make sense; I suspect the Pres will suspend military aid to the present govt there… Re Syria, there’s no other way–military intervention is the only course of conscience…If the President intervenes, many on the left and some on the right (like Rand Paul) may object. “Warmonger!” If he doesn’t intervene militarily, many other people of all camps may be horrified with the consequences and howl, “Why didn’t he intervene?” He has just said that international law prevents military intervention by the USA *unless the UN votes to allow it*. If they do, I think he’ll use pinpoint military intervention: a No fly zone, carefully placed missiles–*perhaps* the use of special forces in some small operations *if* he can reliably locate the whereabouts of Assad. I think that, with UN backing, simply taking out Assad and his closest backers… this man who’s ordered the use of Sarin nerve gas on civilians…is appropriate.

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