Syria... Isn't there a Biblical prophecy about trouble coming from Damascus? (See Isaiah 17.) Well, let's look at all of the factors. First, neither group in Syria likes us; neither Assad nor his rivals (largely led by known terrorist groups) have any love for the United States. Assad and his party are Ba'athists, the same as Saddam Hussein was. In fact, according to Georges Sada, one of Saddam's military commanders, all of Iraq's WMDs were sent to Syria as the US was entering Iraq, which is why no significant caches were found.
Now, Russia and Iran are lining up in support of Assad. Russia claims he is the lesser of two evils, noting that the opposition engages in outright barbarism, including cannibalism captured on video. Iran and Syria have been longtime allies. Iran promises to attack Israel should the US intervene. This may be the occasion on which they debut their nuclear capabilities, which we have graciously allowed them to explore. (Thank you, Mr. President.)
What have we to gain from an attack on Syria? Nothing, so far as anyone can tell. Obama has promised that no ground troops will be deployed, so occupation is out of the question. If Assad is toppled, the country and its weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) are turned over to the likes of the Muslim Brotherhood and Al Qaeda. However, if the two sides keep fighting our enemies are engaged in killing each other. Why in the world would we want to put a stop to that? Over 100,000 potential terrorists have killed each other. Thanks, Syria!
What this is really about is Obama saving face. He promised that chemical weapons would constitute a "red line" that Syria had better not cross. So? It isn't like anyone really expected Obama to actually do anything except drop a bomb or two and take credit if things went well. The vast majority of Americans wisely want us to stay out of Syria. We have no self-interest in the country--any step we take will be bad for us.
It's painful to see John Kerry making the case for action in Syria. At least in Iraq we were toppling a known enemy who was aiding and abetting terrorism. Yet Kerry vehemently opposed that (after it became politically beneficial to do so), and is gung-ho on war with Syria. The rhetorical contortions he is making fill me with the greatest of pity for the man.
Let Obama look like a wimp. Who cares? Who would we be fooling to pretend otherwise? Perhaps the president is just concerned that too many Islamists are dying. He seems to sympathize with them a great deal.