In previous pieces here, I have advocated that – as a general policy – we allow the various factions to kill each other off in the Middle East, but that we should take out the Assad regime (by targeting Bashar Assad and his cronies) because he has used his chemical weapons and actively sponsors terrorism against us throughout the world.
This piece, however, argues against an attack on Syria – unless our primary objective is to target the Assad leadership regime and its chemical weapons capabilities.
Any other reason for an attack on Syria is, frankly, silly – an unreasonable expenditure of our national resources for little or no return, other than to coalesce the various radical and/or corrupt powers against us in the region and elsewhere in the world – Iran, for example.
This unless the strike is – like Bill Clinton's "strike" in 1993 against Saddam Hussein's regime in Baghdad – at night on a Saturday and against a mostly unoccupied government building, and wholly symbolic. And even that, under the circumstances of the goofy "red line" would be ridiculed and cause more embarrassment to the Obama team than has already been heaped upon them.
In the most simplistic terms, Obama and his amateur poliatical crowd screwed up by his "redline;" and now, to save face, he's about to order some kind of a strike, against something in Syria, but not to threaten any kind of regime change there.
In short, Assad need not worry about it or even go to his bunker – let alone send his family packing to Europe. And after the strike, Assad can use it to his political and military advantage to strengthen his family's corrupt control of the country.
Remember: Assad's only goals – and his father's only goals before him – in Syria are simple: To keep his hands in the treasury and kill off his various political oppositions by the thousands – and he will. And he'll continue to gas them just like Saddam gassed the Kurds.
A symbolic attack against this modern day Hitler will do nothing but embolden him and is a foolish move on our part, whether Congress "approves" it or not. At this stage, Obama may even hope Congress opposes military action against Syria. Then, he could say 1) he has "deferred" to them, and later 2) that they are to blame for him not doing anything. This would not fool anybody, however.
In the longer run, and if we are – somehow – able to get past this embarrassing chapter in our political history, we should, as a matter of our national policy, target the senior leaderships of countries that sponsor terror against us, and especially the ones with weapons of mass destruction, like Syria. Then, at a time and place of our determination, we should act against the leaderships swiftly and with overwhelming force, this while assisting the various opposition factions to form a more responsible regime.