Syria's civil war is not America's problem. Syria is surrounded by Turkey, Israel, Egypt, Jordan, and other Arab nations with large standing armies and advanced military equipment. Their cowardice in acting to stop a war on their doorstep should give us pause for thought. Why will they not act, but we must?
Why is American gullibility for war so strong that countries such as Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Israel can dispense of their moral duties to the American taxpayer?
Make no mistake about it: al Assad is a war criminal, having had his own civilians and soldiers slaughtered in a war to keep his family in power.
The sectarian, ethnic, and religious dimensions of the war have kept the Obama administration (rightly in my view) away from direct military involvement in the conflict.
But what has changed now? The use of chemical weapons to kill people jolts us into probable action, but millions displaced, wounded and 100,000 dead did not. Why? Because the banality of the policy shift rests on the assumptions that American cruise missiles can prevent further use of chemical weapons, provide a face-saving measure for President Barack Obama who can argue that he acted after his "red line" had been crossed in Syria, and neuter critics of Obama's Syria policy.